Those responsible for mismanagement of procurement of Covid-19 vaccines should be found - Jansons

  • 2021-03-30
  • LETA/TBT Staff

RIGA - Those responsible for mismanagement of procurement of Covid-19 vaccines should definitely be found, Ombudsman Juris Jansons told Latvian Television this morning.

The Ombudsman emphasized that a situation should not be allowed in a state governed by the rule of law if, in the event of an offense against the public, officials are not at the height of their duties and are not performing their duties, those responsible are not sought. "Punishment is a matter of justice. But to say that something just happened and lets forget about it, this cannot be," Jansons emphasized.

He pointed out that when assessing the public acknowledgment of the mistake  made by former Minister of Health Ilze Vinkele (For Development), pointing out that it was a human error, it should be understood that decisions are made in the government, and civil servants are those that implement these decisions.

"Anyone can apologize - I violated the speed limit, crossed the street at a red light, and it was a human mistake. Apologies are not enough," Jansons concluded.

As reported, the Corruption Prevention Bureau has completed a probe into Latvian officials' decisions to initially not buy large quantities of Pfizer vaccines, and decided not to start a criminal case, LETA learned at the bureau.

Meanwhile, Prosecutor General Juris Stukans has opened a separate probe into the matter.

In the first procurement held until November 19, 2020, up to 860,000 Pfizer/BioNTech vaccines were available to Latvia, but a decision was made on purchasing 97,500 vaccines. During the next stage when 430,000 vaccines were offered, Latvia made a decision to purchase 100,000 vaccines.