Juris Pūce
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Donations from the Field’s Companies to the Association Chaired by the Wife

In November 2013 it was disclosed that several companies supervised by the Ministry of Economics (EM) have donated to the association Ascendum that is chaired by Zaiga Pūce, wife of the Ministry’s State Secretary Juris Pūce. The association has been formed only at the end of 2011, and already within a year has received donations worth 273 thousand lats. Gaming establishment Alfor (donated 80 000 lats), Rietumu banka operating with residence permits (60 000 lats), fast loans company 4finance, construction company RE&RE (29.5 thousand lats), road construction firm Binders (20 000 lats), Anzāģe Ltd. (14 000 lats), and construction company Arčers – (10 000 lats) were among the biggest donors. Within the last years restricting reforms almost in all of the economic sectors under the Ministry of Economics have been developed; and they have met active opposition from the companies. The new Construction Law, proposals on the changes to the residence permits policy as well as stricter rules regarding the operation of fast loans companies have been developed under the management of the EM. 

After Ascendum published the list of its donors, J.Pūce denied the existence of the conflict of interest, explaining that he as an official has never made any decisions regarding his wife, the association chaired by her or financial supporters of it. However, he resigned from the office just few days later. Resignation occurred after portal published insider information regarding the donation of 14 thousand lats made by the relatively unknown construction company Anzāģe Ltd. Its owner Ēriks Lebedoks did not conceal that no representatives of the association turned to him with the request for donations, and it was part of the business deal. Conversation with the management of Anzāģe about the necessity to donate was carried out by a person connected to the company Biogas Nord. The company has built several biogas stations with Anzāģe as one of the contractors carrying out the construction work. Anzāģe has been involved in the 2nd leg of the construction of Lestene biogas cogeneration station. First leg of the construction has been carried out by company Velve and Moduls Rīga that has also been mentioned among the supporters of the Ascendum on its web site. The business of biogas stations is directly dependant on the decisions of the EM considering allocation of the compulsory procurement quota.

Although J.Pūce resigned from the office, he still insisted upon zero influenced by construction companies and told that he was honest in fulfilling his obligations. On the same day the Minister of Economics Daniels Pavļuts (Reform Party) informed that even before the announcement of J.Pūce the Ministry has prepared a decree about the discharge of the State Secretary for the duration of investigation.

J.Pūce personally addressed the Corruption Prevention and Combating Bureau (KNAB), requesting to examine whether he was in the situation of the conflict of interest due to the donations received by the association chaired by his wife. KNAB continues the investigation.

Ekonomikas ministrijas valsts sekretāra ģimene netieši pārtiek no būvnieku, tostarp "Re&Re" ziedojumiem. 25.11.2013
Pūču ģimene no "savas" biedrības ar vienu roku devuši, ar otru ņēmuši; ziedotāju sarakstā atrodas arī Andris Ameriks. 28.11.2013
No amata atkāpjas EM valsts sekretārs Juris Pūce 27.11.2013

Has Not Observed Principles of Good Governance

In May 2013 the Minister of Economics Daniels Pavļuts (Reform Party) took disciplinary proceedings against the actions of J.Pūce, who has granted merchants rights to the compulsory electricity procurement. The investigation drew to the conclusion that, while organising the procurement for the independent audit about the decisions regarding rights to the compulsory electricity procurement, the State Secretary has acted against principles of good governance and has not performed the task given by the Minister in the necessary quality. Additionally, it was established that J.Pūce has not adequately assessed the risks of the conflict of interest and objectivity, because he has delegated the procurement of the audit and harmonisation of methodology to the EM’s department while the decisions made by the officials of the same department would have been the object of the audit. However, considering that his actions did not entail unfavourable consequences or jeopardise the rights of other individuals, moreover, the tenderer chosen during the procurement procedure has carried out the audit in a good standard, J.Pūce received only an oral reprimand and the disciplinary proceedings were dismissed.

Spalvēns, R. Pūces rīcībā konstatē pārkāpumu, taču disciplinārlietu izbeidz. Leta. 16.08.2013

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Last changes 29.09.2018

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