Health Minister suspected of conflict of interest again

The Corruption Prevention Bureau once again turned to Saeima seeking permission to hold Health Minister Guntis Belevics (Greens/Farmers) responsible for his possible involvement in a conflict of interest, reported LETA newswire Friday.

Saeima Mandate, Ethics and Submissions Committee will discuss the matter on Wednesday, February 17, as the committee's head Vitalijs Orlovs (Harmony) told LETA. After that, lifting Belevics' immunity will be decided at a Saeima plenary.

The Corruption Prevention Bureau emphasizes in the letter to Saeima that, according to the law, members of Saeima, ministers and a number of other officials may not be shareholders, stockholders and partners of commercial companies or individual merchants that receive orders for procurement for state and local government needs, state financial resources, state-guaranteed credits.

However, according to the Register of Enterprises' data, Belevics has 166 shares, worth EUR 1,494, in the company Genera.

Latvian Biomedical Research and Study Center said last September that Genera had participated in, and won a tender organized by the center to buy ferments and other materials and reagents. The center signed contract with Genera, and has paid the company EUR 15,871 so far.

Genera has also participated in, and won, several tenders organized by the University of Latvia, signing two contracts with the university. Likewise, Genera was selected by Riga Stradins University in several procurement tenders, which signed several contracts with Genera, worth EUR 9,099 in total.

Therefore Health Minister Belevics, in being a Genera shareholder, has violated the law. According to the Administrative Violations Code, the applicable fine is EUR 70 to EUR 350, and the given official may be banned from working in public administration.

The Corruption Prevention Bureau opened several administrative cases against Belevics last year. The bureau eventually ordered Belevics to pay a fine of EUR 210 for his decision to open a disciplinary case against now-former Director of the State Agency of Medicines Inguna Adovica, and EUR 170 for appointing his son Arturs Belevics to the Pharmaceutical Consultative Council. Belevics has appealed both decisions to court.

Last October, Saeima decided to hold Belevics responsible for omitting information about a EUR 1 million loan in his income declaration.

Seen a mistake?

Select text and press Ctrl+Enter to send a suggested correction to the editor

Select text and press Report a mistake to send a suggested correction to the editor

Society
Society