Riga ex-Mayor’s business trip declared as compliant with regulations

The business trips the now ex-Mayor of Riga Mārtiņš Staķis took during his term were compliant with regulations, as concluded in the internal investigation performed in Riga City Council.
“According to Section 17 of the Municipal Law, the chairman of the council is the highest political official in the municipality, and accordingly he does not have a higher official who could perform the functions of the employer referred to in the Cabinet of Ministers Regulations No. 969, in accordance with which the chairman of the Riga City Council himself decides on going on business trips,” the report mentions.

The investigation revealed that Riga mayor’s business trips were compliant with regulations that were in force at the time.

Employees of municipal institutions and structural units that prepared and coordinated documents pertaining to those business trips acted in accordance with their duties and regulations.
As for the 16 business trips approved by Staķis himself, it was concluded that in accordance with the legal framework, the Chairman of Riga City Council is not obligated to submit an application and a business trip report. It is after international business trip that the official’s office informs the municipal administration on the progress of respective business trips and provides its assessment.
At the same time, in some cases reports on business trips were prepared by one of the workers who had gone on a business trip together with the mayor, reflecting the mayor’s activities and the business trip as a whole.

The report on the business trip to Tampere during the World Ice Hockey Championship on the 27th and 29th of May was prepared by Staķis himself.

The ten-page report mentions that the Riga’s mayor, in accordance with the Municipal Law, represents the municipality at the local and international level, so business trips are related to the performance of his duties.
The Municipal Law also provides Riga as the capital of Latvia with the task of participating in the organization of international and national events and strengthening the international image of the capital, as well as the municipality may cooperate with municipalities of other countries, as noted in the report.
Cabinet of Ministers regulations, too, state that

Staķis was authorised to go on the indicated business trips to represent the municipality, Riga and its interests both nationally and internationally.

The investigation of the now ex-mayor’s business trips was performed based on the resolution from Riga City CEO Jānis Lange.
Previously Riga City Council ordered Lange to organise an investigation of Staķis’ business trips. The proposal came from opposition deputy Viesturs Zeps.
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