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The Bill on Amendments to the Anti-corruption Act (143 SE), initiated by the Constitutional Committee on 18 November, passed the first reading in the Riigikogu.

The Bill will amend the provisions relating to declaration of interests by officials. According to the amendments, information concerning ancillary activities of the official during the year when the declaration is submitted and the year before the submission of the declaration will be submitted in the declaration. Under the current Act, the respective information concerning only the year before the submission of the declaration is submitted. EUR 4000 will be set as the minimum of the values of the benefits received or granted that are subject to declaration. The obligation of officials to declare the voluntary funded pension units will be eliminated. The obligation of a declarant to declare the income subject to social tax received by the declarant in his or her office during the previous year will be repealed. Under the Civil Service Act, the basic salary and variable pay of an official, and other income arising from his or her functions are published in the total amount on the central web page of the civil service. Therefore there is no need to resubmit this information in the declaration of interests of officials.

Under the Bill, the information concerning the proprietary and other benefits granted by a declarant will be classified as intended only for internal use. The explanation notes that information on donations made by a declarant may be necessary for the body exercising control or supervision over declarations for more effective performance of its duties, but the interest of the public in donations made does not outweigh the right of a declarant to the inviolability of private and family life and to make donations to persons or organisations privately on the basis of his or her world view or religious beliefs.

Peeter Ernits, Valdo Randpere and Andres Anvelt took the floor during the debate.

The Riigikogu concluded the first reading of the Bill and set 11 February as the deadline for submission of motions to amend.

The sitting ended at 1.44 p.m.

Verbatim record of the sitting (in Estonian): http://stenogrammid.riigikogu.ee/et/201601281000

Video recordings of the sittings of the Riigikogu can be viewed at https://www.youtube.com/riigikogu

(NB! The recording will be uploaded with a delay.)

Riigikogu Press Service

Gunnar Paal, 6316351, 51902837

[email protected]