Estonian parliament adopts bill reducing corruption risk in municipalities

  • 2019-01-23
  • BNS/TBT Staff

TALLINN – The Estonian parliament on Wednesday adopted a law amendment that stipulates additional measures for preventing corruption threats.

The Riigikogu on Wednesday adopted a legislative amendment initiated by the constitutional committee that sets out additional measures to more effectively prevent the risk of corruption and conflicts of interest mainly on the local government level. Altogether 79 MPs voted in favor of the bill.

The bill stipulates additional measures for preventing corruption threats and avoiding conflicts of interest mainly in local governments. It also specifies regulations that raised questions in applying the Local Government Organization Act.

The bill of amendments to the Local Government Organization Act and related laws will make it a duty of institutions of the state and municipal government to see to it that people performing public duties on their behalf have not been punished for crimes of corruption.

In order to avoid conflicts of interest, restrictions will be set on the chairpersons and deputy chairpersons of municipal councils and members of audit committees when it comes to being the head or a board member of a business, foundation or non-governmental organization under the governing influence of the same rural municipality or city and the head or deputy head of an institution governed by an institution of the same rural municipality or city.

The bill will also authorize the prosecutor's office to claim from a suspect, an accused or a civil defendant in a criminal proceeding the material damage caused by the crime to the state, institutions of a municipality or other bearers of public authority.

The bill was drafted following an opinion by which the chancellor of justice drew the attention of the constitutional committee to valid laws likely being not sufficient to enable combating corruption on the level of municipalities efficiently enough.