Government names new tax chief

On Tuesday Latvia's government appointed former insurance executive Ilze Cīrule to head the country's internal revenue service - the State Revenue Service (VID).

The move follows five months of unsuccessful attempts to find someone to lead VID following the resignation of previous director Ināra Pētersone. Cīrule has expressed readiness to start at the post on November 14.

Cīrule told the government she's ready to discuss VID operations and problems with the previous chief, with Finance Minister Dana Reizniece-Ozola saying Pētersone, who resigned in late May this year, is open to meet with the new director of the tax service.

The new tax chief has worked in the insurance industry. She said previously that her main task at VID will be creating a motivated workforce within the tax service and pushing for more active cooperation with social partners. 

The Finance Ministry has tasked VID to cut staff numbers by 500. Cīrule said that this will not happen immediately and will require preparation, including the improvement of services available online.

On May 30 this year Ināra Pētersone, who had been serving as the director general of the State Revenue Service since October 2013, tendered her resignation effective as of June 27.

She stepped down saying that the main reason for her resignation was a belief that despite lots of talk and countless policy documents, she felt her effort to actually reform public administration was futile.

Previously the Finance Minister pushed for the candidacy of current State Environmental Service head Inga Koļegova to become the country's tax chief, however Koļegova ultimately refused citing unwanted public scrutiny.

Cīrule will face the task of reviving the reputation of an organization which is sometimes regarded as little more than a politically-influenced racket by many Latvians.

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