Rīga re-establishes anti-corruption committee

On Wednesday, November 29, Riga City Council decided to reinstate the previously abolished Anti-Corruption Committee. The aim is to better understand ethics, prevent conflicts of interest and improve whistleblowing, Latvian Radio reported.

Einārs Cilinskis (National Alliance/Latvian Association of Regions), a Member of the City Council, has been appointed as its leader. Cilinskis previously led the Committee in 2009.

Members began talking about renewing the Committee in the summer when a coalition led by former Mayor Mārtiņš Staķis dissolved. The Committee terminated its work 14 years ago when Nils Ušakovs (Harmony) came to power in Riga.

Cilinskis said the Committee's tasks will be preventive: "It must be understood that the anti-corruption committee will not catch criminals. So they can't do the work that KNAB and other institutions have to do. Our job is to watch prevention – what the issues are that could contribute to corruption or what the risks of corruption are. But that doesn't mean, of course, that we wouldn't be looking into specific issues, say why maybe corruption situations have arisen or suspicions about those situations have arisen."

"I'm not saying there's corruption out there. There are bigger risks in departments dealing with projects that have contracts and things like that. Then you have to look," he continued. He declined to name specific departments. 

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