Saeima bans offshore companies from public contracts

Take note – story published 6 years and 1 month ago

On April 26 the Latvian parliament banned offshore companies from partaking in public contracts or tenders.

The amendments to the Public Procurement Law were supported all but unanimously despite the fact that similar amendments had been previously repealed by president Raimonds Vējonis.

During the debate over the proposal, submitted by the National Alliance party, MP Rihards Kols said the amendments seek to prevent tax evasion on the part of the companies participating in public contracts.

"Public contracts amount to about 17% of Latvia's GDP. As this is taxpayer money...we must ensure transparent and honest spending. We can't use public funds to finance the business of unfair businessmen," he said.

The president had sent back the previous initiative back to the parliament, but this is unlikely to happen now.

"The regulation has been significantly improved, and there are no more risks it won't fit EU rights...what remain are the questions to the Procurement Monitoring Bureau and the Enterprise Register which had expressed doubts whether it will be possible to monitor the criteria included in the law, i.e. whether it will be applicable [in practice]. But that falls outside the president's jurisdiction," said Kristīne Jaunzeme, a legal adviser to the president. 

The ban is to come into force on June 1. 

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