Auditor General Alar Karis took the oath of office before the Riigikogu.
Then the Minister of Culture Rein Lang replied to the interpellation concerning setting the aims of cultural policy (No 310), submitted by Members of the Riigikogu Priit Toobal, Tarmo Tamm, Aadu Must, Lauri Laasi, Mihhail Stalnuhhin, Aivar Riisalu, Valeri Korb, Vladimir Velman, Enn Eesmaa, Eldar Efendijev, Jüri Ratas and Ester Tuiksoo on 20 February.
The interpellators referred to the report of the National Audit Office which had drawn attention to the fact that the Ministry did not have sufficient information for setting the cultural policy aims and making strategic choices. In its development plans, the Ministry of Culture envisages the creation of conditions for professional as well as hobby activities while at the same time there is no complete overview of the number of creative persons and state assets and the necessary information for deciding on the distribution of investments is lacking. The National Audit Office has found that the lack of information on the existing situation hinders the drafting of new fundamentals of the cultural policy. The interpellators wished to hear the Minister’s explanations concerning these issues.
According to Lang’s explanations, the state has got accurate statistics on the creative persons who belong to artistic associations because artistic associations submit the relevant information once a year upon application for creative activity support. In 2012, there were 4030 creative persons who belonged to creative associations. According to the data of the collection “Creative Industries Indicators” published by Statistics Estonia in 2012, 34,500 persons worked for agencies of creative field. In Lang’s words, the remark of the National Audit Office pertains to freelance creative persons who have not formed any organisation and do not belong to any creative association. As these persons have no obligation to register as a freelance creative person, then the state cannot have such information with a sufficient level of accuracy, the Minister added.
Lang noted that, in 2011, the Estonian Institute of Economic Research had conducted a research on the assessment of the regional economic impact of cultural and sports events, commissioned by the Ministry of Culture. In the course of the research, the impact of a total of 20 cultural and sports events on the economy of regions had been studied. The Estonian Institute of Economic Research analysed the budgets of the events and questioned 939 enterprises and 5508 visitors and participants for that purpose. This is the most extensive research that has ever been carried out in this field in Estonia. “As a result of the research it could be said that every euro contributed to the budget of an event brought back an average of 4 euro into the region,” Lang said.
The drafting of new fundamentals of cultural policy has in large part been based on the proposals from the fields and the development needs identified. Thus it is based on expert assessments in the fields and, consequently, also the statistics of the fields. The state has also got the results of various studies, mappings and statistics. In Lang’s opinion, at the same time, the burden of submitting excessive data should clearly be avoided because this might turn out to be simply an additional bureaucratic obligation for cultural organisations.
The Minister of Culture also replied to the interpellation concerning introduction of folk tradition (No 302), submitted by Members of the Riigikogu Priit Toobal, Ester Tuiksoo, Valeri Korb and Tarmo Tamm on 27 February.
The Minister of Economic Affairs and Communications Juhan Parts replied to two interpellations. They were the following:
the interpellation concerning the price of network services (No 294), submitted by Members of the Riigikogu Lauri Laasi, Viktor Vassiljev, Mihhail Stalnuhhin, Valeri Korb, Kadri Simson, Peeter Võsa, Kalev Kallo and Marika Tuus-Laul on 20 February;
the interpellation concerning the protection of the interests of customers in the open electricity market (No 304), submitted by Members of the Riigikogu Rannar Vassiljev, Jaan Õunapuu, Jevgeni Ossinovski, Kajar Lember, Sven Mikser, Helmen Kütt, Jaak Allik, Eiki Nestor, Kalvi Kõva, Neeme Suur, Rein Randver, Kalev Kotkas, Mart Meri, Marianne Mikko, Karel Rüütli, Heljo Pikhof, Indrek Saar, Lembit Kaljuvee, Rainer Vakra and Deniss Boroditš on 28 February.
The Minister of Internal Affairs Ken-Marti Vaher replied to two interpellations. They were the following:
the interpellation concerning the disclosure of a state secret and embezzlement of the money of a prefecture (No 298), submitted by Members of the Riigikogu Mihhail Stalnuhhin, Valeri Korb, Vladimir Velman, Lauri Laasi, Peeter Võsa, Tarmo Tamm, Priit Toobal, Yana Toom and Aivar Riisalu on 25 February;
the interpellation concerning the deficiency of internal control in the Security Police (No 300), submitted by Member of the Riigikogu Mihhail Stalnuhhin on 26 February.
During the open microphone, Mihhail Stalnuhhin took the floor.
The sitting ended at 5.35 p.m.
The Riigikogu Press Service
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