Coalition parties submit competing bills on tax service reform

Latvia's ruling coalition today agreed to send to the parliamentary committees for review all bills on reforms in the State Revenue Service prepared by Unity and the Union of Greens and Farmers, reported LETA Thursday.

The Unity party's parliamentary faction has proposed new bills for reforms at the tax authority, and the Union of Greens and Farmers has advised the coalition partners about its intention to submit new legislative proposals on the subject.

Yesterday Unity said in a statement to the press that it had objections to the earlier proposal of the Finance Ministry to form the Internal Security Department of the Finance Police into a "repressive investigative structure", at the same time, putting this function under direct supervision of the Revenue Service's general director.

Unity proposes to leave unchanged the regulations governing the Internal Security Department.

The Finance Ministry's parliamentary secretary, Edgars Putra (Greens/Farmers), said that under the new proposals by Greens/Farmers the Internal Security Department would still operate under supervision by the head of the State Revenue Service but would deal exclusively with violations committed by the Revenue Service staff in their work.

The Saeima last week rejected in the first reading the draft amendments to the Law on the State Revenue Service that would merge the Revenue Service's Finance Police with Customs Police and put the head of the Revenue Service in charge of the Internal Security Department.

The Finance Ministry previously said that the amendments were necessary for efficient implementation of the Revenue Service's tasks, reducing the risks of corruption, and optimization of the Revenue Service's structure.

At the moment, there are two investigative departments at the Revenue Service - the Finance Police and the Customs Police.

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