Council of Latvian State Forests steps down amid massive scandal

On Thursday, the 2nd of March, LTV programme Panorāma reported all of the members of the council of Latvian State Forests (LVM) made the decision to step down.
All members, including the council’s chairman Edmunds Beļskis, have submitted their resignations. The first to submit his resignation was council member Kaspars Ozoliņš. The public announcement regarding his resignation mentioned that

it is no longer possible for him to continue performing his duties as an independent member of the council.

In the first half of the week resignations were submitted by Aivars Tauriņš and Rinalds Muciņš. On Thursday, the 2nd of March, the chairman of the council – Edmunds Beļskis – submitted his resignation as well. On Wednesday, the 1st of March, explaining the decision made by other council members to leave the company,

Beļskis was still full of confidence to remain working in the company, as reported by Panorāma.

The company’s shareholder will soon have to decide on approving an interim council.
As previously reported, Latvia’s PM Krišjānis Kariņš ordered the Ministry of Agriculture to evaluate the report from KPMG Baltics audit company on the compliance of member selection process organised by LVM to select members for the board and council of the company to good management principles. The ministry was ordered to decide on appropriate action. The report mentioned that in the personnel selection processes there were deviations from PKC guidelines that affected the outcome of the process.
At the same time, LVM council chairman Beļskis said he is satisfied that the aforementioned report detailed that the company’s chosen procedure for selection of its board members was legal and compliant with regulations without violations of requirements that govern the nomination process.
As for guidelines from the Cross-Sectoral Coordination Centre, which are recommendations, LVM council believes it is necessary to unify the understanding of them to make sure these guidelines are applied the same way in different institutions with no room for interpretations.
Last year LVM operated with turnover of EUR 566.577 million, which is 39.8% higher than the year prior. The company’s profits before taxes reached EUR 258.485 million, according to LVM’s unaudited financial indexes for 2022.
Latvian state is the sole owner of LVM. The Ministry of Agriculture serves as shareholder. The company’s turnover was EUR 405.291 million and profits reached EUR 111.53 million in 2021.
Also read: Latvian State Forests looks into contracts criticised by the prosecution office