Latvia Not Stopping Corruption, New Report Shows

Latvia is falling behind in efforts to prevent corruption in government agencies and courts, according to a report published Monday by the Group of States Against Corruption, a Council of Europe organization.

Latvian Judicial Commission to Parliament (Ernests Dinka and Saeimas Kanceleja CC BY 2.0)Latvian Judicial Commission to Parliament (Ernests Dinka and Saeimas Kanceleja CC BY 2.0)

The group found Latvian efforts “are quite disappointing as no tangible results have occurred,” despite recommendations for improvement made in 2012.

Parliament and the judiciary have failed to act on five of 14 anti-corruption recommendations, according to the Compliance Report. The group found that Latvia has not weeded out parliamentary conflicts of interests or cleared murky relationships between lobbyists and members of parliament.

While Saeima, Latvia’s Judicial Commission to Parliament, has drafted changes to make consultations between members of parliament and lobbyists more transparent, the group said that was not enough progress in seven years.

As for conflicts of interests, Parliament is discussing changes to current laws, but no action is expected for months, according to the report. One such change includes requiring members of parliament to disclose instances where their private interests conflict with issues before Parliament.

The report did applaud Latvia's progress in requiring prosecutors to complete state-funded training on “corruption prevention, ethics and integrity.”

Latvia has until the end of the year to report to the group about progress on all the recommendations.