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The Minister of Finance Sven Sester replied to the interpellation concerning the redundancy of posts in the area of administration of the Ministry of Finance (No. 99), submitted by members of the Riigikogu Tarmo Tamm, Dmitri Dmitrijev, Andrei Novikov, Vladimir Velman, Mihhail Stalnuhhin, Märt Sults, Mailis Reps, Kadri Simson, Toomas Vitsut, Peeter Ernits, Viktor Vassiljev, Aadu Must, Erki Savisaar and Jüri Ratas on 11 November.

The interpellators wished to know which positions would be made redundant in the area of administration of the Ministry of Finance, and asked to bring out the positions, agencies and the number of persons.

Sester said that the cuts in the area of administration of the Ministry of Finance in the first year have been set at 41 employees in total. The exact number of the employees to be made redundant is still being specified. “The aim is to find practical solutions for the cuts in cooperation with the directing bodies of the agencies of the area of government, including county governments and foundations established by them, the State Shared Service Centre, Statistics Estonia, the Environmental Investment Centre, State Real Estate Ltd, etc.,” Sester said. He added that the reduction of the number of employees cannot be done mechanically. The organisation of work of the agencies, including the provision of support services and IT solutions, will have to be reviewed on a wider scale.

Sester said that the change in the staff of the Tax and Customs Board has already been approved by a directive of the Minister of Finance, and according to it the staff of the Board will be reduced by 168 positions as of 1 January 2016. 75 of them are not filled, and 93 persons will be actually made redundant. The staff of the Tax and Customs Board will comprise 1512 positions in the future.

Sester explained that the aim of the changes undertaken in the Tax and Customs Board had not been to mechanically reduce the number of employees but the personnel changes had been necessitated by practical reorganisation of work. “In connection with that, the effectiveness of the work of the Tax and Customs Board has improved with time and not deteriorated,” the Minister of Finance noted. He said that a new strategy is being created in the Tax and Customs Board at present, the aim of which is to support the activities and development of enterprises. Its content is, among other things, that tax authority will be engaged even more in the technological development which will allow to manage with less labour force, including with a smaller number of managers, in some segments of work.

The development of the new e-Tax Board and e-Customs which will make communication with the Tax and Customs Board even more efficient has also been started. The aim is, in the course of simplification and updating of services, to reduce the need to communicate with the Board so that activities would be automatised and the e-Tax and Customs Board would work “in the background”. This also means that the amendment will enable the Board to motivate its staff more to develop the IT-solutions of the new e-Tax Board and to be more ready for cooperation with entrepreneurs, Sester explained.

During the open microphone, Viktor Vassiljev, Marika Tuus-Laul, Jüri Adams, Märt Sults and Peeter Ernits took the floor.

Verbatim record of the sitting (in Estonian): http://stenogrammid.riigikogu.ee/et/201512141500

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]