Energy, Estonia, Legislation

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Audit Office head accuses Estonian economy minister of being aware of state procurement law violation

Juhan Tere, BC, Tallinn, 04.12.2012.Print version
Estonian economy and communications minister Juhan Parts knew of the violation of the state procurements law in connection with the contract of building the first block of the new power station in Narva, Auditor General Mihkel Oviir claimed in the parliament on Monday; Parts refutes all such claims, LETA/Public Broadcasting reports.

"If you ask if the economy and communications minister knew or didn’t know about the violation of the state procurements law than the answer is yes, he knew. The board of Eesti Energia confirmed to the State Audit Office that the minister was informed of all the risks before the agreement was concluded," Oviir said.


Oviir said that when choosing the successful bid, the state procurements law was violated most likely in two aspects – first the offer of Alstom that was declared acceptable didn’t correspond to the conditions of the procurement in every aspect, as Alstom wanted different payment and fine conditions than the procurement offered and second, negotiations were started with the winner to change the procurement conditions that were not negotiable and that could not have been changed, Oviir said.


Oviir admitted that the Security Police (KaPo) did not initiate a criminal case in the issue although the prosecutor's office made such an application and the finance ministry hasn’t initiated any proceedings either.


Economy minister Juhan Parts said that he was not aware of possible law violations. He repeated on Monday that Oviir's claims that he knew about the possible law violations are a lie. "I couldn't have known that when the contract was concluded and don’t know it now. Eesti Energia, which is responsible for the legality of the procurement, has told the ministry that no violations regarding content have occurred at the Auvere new electricity station procurement which would have given advantages to some bidder or caused damages," said Parts, adding that KaPo reached the same conclusion and thus rejected the application for starting a criminal case.


Public television revealed in October that the major investment of Eesti Energia was forced thorough with the help of inadequate data in 2011. Allegedly economy and communications minister Juhan Parts withheld true information from the government when it decided to okay the decision that global company Alstom would build the new two new production blocs of Eesti Energia's Narva Power Plants for nearly a billion euro price.

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