At the beginning of today’s sitting of the Riigikogu, 41 members of the Riigikogu opposition submitted a motion to express no confidence in Prime Minister Taavi Rõivas.
Pursuant to § 97 of the Constitution, an expression of no confidence may not be decided earlier than on the second day after its initiation, unless the Government requires a more expeditious decision.
At the sitting of the Riigikogu, Prime Minister Taavi Rõivas replied to the interpellation concerning problems in state enterprises and public procurements (No. 251), submitted by members of the Riigikogu Jaanus Karilaid, Kersti Sarapuu, Kadri Simson, Mihhail Stalnuhhin, Vladimir Velman, Enn Eesmaa, Dmitri Dmitrijev, Tarmo Tamm, Erki Savisaar, Jüri Ratas, Anneli Ott, Aadu Must, Viktor Vassiljev, Siret Kotka, Peeter Ernits, Mihhail Korb and Märt Sults on 22 September 2016.
The interpellators referred to several important cases in state enterprises, saying that the Government had no willingness, competence or skills to manage the taxpayer’s money reasonably and with care. They also drew attention to the problems in the public procurement contracts concluded. The interpellators asked the Prime Minister to give an overview of the number of transactions made without open tendering by ministries and divisions thereof and companies in a year.
Rõivas said that all government authorities and companies who are required to organise public procurements must make their purchases by way of public procurement, except in exceptional cases provided for in the Public Procurement Act or other legislation. All reports of planned supervision are publicly available by year on the home page of the public procurement register. “On the basis of the results of a follow-up audit, the Ministry of Finance holds a position that purchases are mostly made by way of public procurement. In the course of a supervision audit carried out in 2015, it was established that, in 20 cases out of the 632 procurements included in the sample, a required public procurement had not been organised,” Rõivas explained. In his opinion, the failures to organise public procurements had as a general rule been due to ignorance or inexperience of the contracting authorities.
“If we look at the whole picture, more than 10,600 public procurements – more specifically, 10,623 public procurements – with a total cost of nearly 2.5 billion euro were organised last year. This does not include procurements that remain below the simplified procurement threshold,” the Prime Minister noted. He added that there is also division of public procurements by type of proceedings, but it is a very extensive table.
The Prime Minister also explained the problems relating to the bankruptcy of “Estonian Air” and the procurement for ferries.
The Minister of Economic Affairs and Infrastructure Kristen Michal replied to the interpellation concerning agricultural vehicles moving on public highways (No. 252).
The Minister of Education and Research Maris Lauri replied to the interpellation concerning the implementation of the decisions of the “Report on the network and policies of Estonian universities, research institutions and institutions of professional higher education” by the Research and Development Council (No. 253).
The Minister of Public Administration Arto Aas replied to the interpellation concerning Patarei Sea Fortress Prison complex in the ownership of the State Real Estate Ltd (No. 249) and the interpellation concerning the current activities and development of the State Shared Service Centre in connection with the aims set out in “A State Tasks Analysis” (No. 259).
The Minister of Entrepreneurship Liisa Oviir replied to the interpellation concerning the working group for payment arrears of apartment associations (No. 250) and the interpellation concerning the activities of Enterprise Estonia (No. 267).
The sitting ended at 7 p.m.
Video recordings of the sittings of the Riigikogu can be viewed at https://www.youtube.com/riigikogu
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