For the fight against corruption to be effective, the KNAB must be constantly evolving - Straume

  • 2022-06-09
  • LETA/TBT Staff

RIGA - For the fight against corruption to be effective, the Corruption Prevention Bureau  (KNAB) must be constantly evolving, and this is what has been taking place the past five years, KNAB chief Jekabs Straume said in a statement to the press after being confirmed for a second term today.

Straume points out that corruption is a changing phenomenon, which depends both on the public's attitude and readiness to engage in or support corrupt crimes, and on the skills and ability of the anti-corruption authority to adapt to the current situation in preventing and combating corruption.

For the fight against corruption to be effective, the KNAB must be constantly evolving, and this has been the case for the past five years. During this time, the KNAB has made several achievements.

For the first time in the history of its existence, the KNAB has investigated and initiated criminal proceedings in four cases of bribery of foreign officials, and one of them has already been fully concluded, which has helped Latvia to comply with the recommendations of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.

As risk analysis plays an increasingly important role in the fight against corruption, significant work has been done to strengthen analytical capacity, including through additional funding from the European Commission and other bodies.

No less important task that has been fulfilled during the last five years is the general strengthening of the capacity of the KNAB, which takes the form of both team building and the allocation of additional staff and budget resources.

"I am convinced that the course started is correct and it should be continued in the coming term. I thank the KNAB team for its selfless work for the benefit of society, as well as cooperation partners and society as a whole for their support in the fight against corruption, as well as their readiness not to accept corruption as the norm and to report such incidents,'' said Straume.

As reported, Saeima on Thursday confirmed Jekabs Straume for a second term as the chief of the KNAB.

72 MPs supported Straume's candidacy, while 16 MPs, mostly from the Conservatives, voted against.

Straume took the helm of KNAB in June 2017 after winning a tender. Before that, Straume had worked at the Military Intelligence and Security Service for more than 16 years, including ten years as the service's head. Previously, he had worked at the organized crime enforcement unit (ONAP) of the State Police.

Straume won the competition for KNAB chief earlier this year, despite being basically the only candidate.