Riga mayor breaking law by withholding Rigas Satiksme audit report


Riga Mayor Nils Usakovs is breaking the law by withholding the audit report on Rigas Satiksme municipal transport company from the ministry, Environmental Protection and Regional Development Minister Juris Puce (For Development/For) believes, citing LETA.

The minister told LETA that the Environmental Protection and Regional Development Ministry is entitled to receive the audit report on the financial situation in Rigas Satiksme because the ministry is the local authority’s supervisor and the refusal to provide the requested information restrict this function.

Puce repeatedly stressed that he had sent the request for the audit report not to Rigas Satiksme but directly to Riga Mayor Usakovs as the holder of the municipal company’s shares. “I am calling on the local authority to respect the law, otherwise the ministry will complain to the respective law enforcement authority over public officials’ omissions… Another criminal procedure should be the last thing the mayor wants,” Puce said.

The minister regards the city council’s arguments against releasing the audit report to the Environmental Protection and Regional Development Ministry as a refusal to cooperate.

As reported, Anrijs Matiss on Tuesday resigned as Rigas Satiksme acting CEO and was replaced with Ernests Saulitis, the head of the city council’s property department.

Usakovs said that he learned about Matiss’ decision to resign from mass media on Tuesday morning. According to Usakovs, Matiss’ decision is emotional, therefore he will not comment on it.

Rigas Satiksme operations and problem solving will be continued according to the plan coordinated with Matiss earlier.

The Riga City Council property department this week will announce an open tender to find a company who will have to select the new board and council for Rigas Satiksme, said Usakovs.

Matiss announced on Tuesday that he has decided to step down as the acting head of Rigas Satiksme municipal public transport company. Matiss in an interview with the Latvian public radio explained this decision with lack of support for changes in the company on the part of Rigas Satiksme shareholders, namely Riga Mayor and Harmony’s leader Nils Usakovs.

Initially the support of the Riga City Council to the changes at Rigas Satiksme was huge, but as Usakovs decided to run for the European Parliament elections, this support has been lost, said Matiss.

Many issues are not for Rigas Satiksme to decide,” said Matiss. He also said that the problems uncovered by auditors should be tackled, but the shareholder threw back the auditors’ report and said that we should work on proposals on our own. “We have no support in reducing costs, revising contracts, and these are issues the company may not solve by itself,” said Matiss.

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