Defense Minister suspicious of predecessor's procurement

Take note – story published 1 year ago

Defence Minister Ināra Mūrniece (National Alliance) has grown suspicious of a procurement for the National Armed Forces that took place during the office of former minister Artis Pabriks (Development/For!), Mūrniece said in an interview to Latvian Radio on February 22.

Latvian Television reported last week that a relatively small company has acquired the right to provide logistical services for food supplies to NBS over the next five years. Some are concerned that the process has been unfair. The Minister for Defense has requested clarification on the €220 million procurement, which was won by Zītari ZL. 

Mūrniece told Latvian Radio Tuesday that she had received a “rather unpleasant legacy” from her predecessor, Pabriks. The procurement for the provision of food supplies for logistics services in the NBS was launched and also completed during the previous ministerial term.

"And here is one very atypical situation for the public administration and for the procurements ordered by the ministries. Delegation of a member of the Minister's political office to the procurement commission. Whether or not this procurement is politically organized, it is still speculated, but if we see that a political office employee is in a procurement commission, there are extremely valid concerns about what has happened in this procurement," the Minister for Defense said. She didn't mention the name of that employee.

Mūrniece said she had encouraged the launch of a “very thorough” audit of this procurement to assess both the amounts and the principles of forming a procurement commission and the ability of members of the procurement commission to cope with such purchases and other factors to “understand how to proceed and what to do”.

When asked if only this procurement of NBS is on the radar, the Minister said:

"At the moment, there is one procurement on the table that we have to deal with before the system is reviewed. The system needs to be reviewed, but the first very unpleasant signals came about this exact procurement," the minister said.


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