TALLINN – The opposition Isamaa group in the council of Tallinn has proposed to set up an anti-corruption select committee in the city council and has made an interpellation to the city government on the topic of corruption.
The Isamaa group said in a press release on Saturday that the responses to both the proposal and the interpellation were negative, which means that problems are not acknowledged and one is not willing to address them in-depth.
"The internal auditor of the city of Tallinn said in an analysis on January 20, 2021 that no circumstances were identified during the audit indicating outside interference in the city's decision making processes, and the procedure is compliant with legislative acts," Mart Luik, head of the Isamaa group, cited the response offered by Mayor Mihhail Kolvart in connection with the Porto Franco case as saying.
"In view of the above, there is no need to hold a discussion on the topic of corruption in connection with the easement established in favor of the Porto Franco development," the letter from the mayor reads.
According to the head of the opposition group in the city council, this represents an obviously incorrect attitude towards the risk of corruption in Tallinn, as facts demonstrate that corruption continues to be an extensive problem which needs to be rooted out.
In its response to the proposal of Isamaa to set up an anti-corruption select committee in the city council, the city government said that in the organization of the city of Tallinn prevention of corruption is being dealt with actively and systematically, employing all lawful means.
"If one were to believe what the authorities of the city are saying to the effect that everything is in order in the capital city when it comes to corruption, then why does the prosecutor's office have to investigate corruption cases connected with Tallinn?" Luik asked.
"Tallinn must admit the problem of corruption and address it in actuality. Relying on an assessment of the audit committee from six years ago and tapping oneself on the shoulder in a situation where facts indicate continued corruption in the city is a blind alley. All problem solving begins with acknowledging the problem, and this is also what the attitude of the authorities of the city should be. There must be no corruption in any form whatsoever in the management of a modern capital city," Luik said.
The head of the Isamaa group said that the group continues to act with a view to the council supporting the establishment of a select committee on corruption despite the city government's negative stance.