Year 2009 marked beginning of new anti-corruption policy planning period for the next five years. National Corruption Prevention and Combating Strategy and Programme for 2009-2013 were elaborated by KNAB taking into account new realities of corruption. Both documents were adopted by the Government last year.
Last year KNAB initiated introduction of a clearly stipulated obligation to every public official to report on possible conflict of interest situations and other corruptive offences in a respective institution (whistleblowing) and providing adequate legal protection of whistleblowers. In 2009 KNAB also developed several draft legal regulations with the purpose to ensure that information about lobbying activities is publicly disclosed.
Implementing intensive control of financing of political parties from the time KNAB was established up to date nearly 2,4 million lats of illegal funding was discovered from which parties have reimbursed 294 637 LVL including 9 000 lats during the last year. Role of private funding in Latvia is very important as the only public funding provided for political parties is a very short time in public broadcasting companies allocated for pre-election advertisement. In order to reduce impact of private funding KNAB initiated state funding for political parties which would apply to parties having passed threshold of 2 %. Currently amendments in the Law on Financing of Political Parties stipulating introduction of state funding are adopted by the Saeima in the second reading.
From the time KNAB was established until the end of last year 119 criminal cases against 250 persons initiated by KNAB are forwarded to the court and 106 persons are convicted for corruption related offences. Among public officials against whom the Bureau has initiated criminal proceedings there are prosecutors, judges, senior level officials of state institutions and several municipalities including of the Riga city council as well as law enforcement officials.
Substantial amendments were adopted in the Criminal Law regarding provisions on private and public sector bribery, for example, range of subjects of criminal liability for private sector bribery is expanded, acceptance of an offer of undue advantage is criminalized, public sector bribery in favour of third persons is criminalized, etc. Amendments were elaborated in line with the Council of Europe Group of States against Corruption (GRECO) recommendations.