In their interpellation to the Minister of Public Administration Janek Mäggi, members of the Riigikogu Enn Meri, Külliki Kübarsepp, Ain Lutsepp, Krista Aru and Andres Herkel asked for an assessment of the implementation of the objectives set out in the Administrative Reform Act now that nearly a year had passed since the entry into force of the Act.
In the interpellation (No 455) submitted on 12 November, the members of the Riigikogu pointed out that Estonian local governments had little fiscal autonomy compared to OECD countries. The interpellators wished to know how a growth in the capability of local governments in providing public services had been achieved, and more uniform development of regions had been ensured.
Minister Janek Mäggi said that there was no reason to doubt that the reform had created preconditions for a growth of local governments. He referred to the experience of other countries who had carried out such reforms, saying that assessments could not be given before the end of the first election period. Mäggi explained that, over the last five years, the majority of local governments had engaged in the development of uniform services and benefits within the boundaries of the whole local governments.
“Larger local governments have better opportunities for developing various services for residents, for example, in the social welfare sector, the home care sector, the social transport service, support persons, replacement care, or architect in the economy and construction sector,” the minister said. Mäggi pointed out that the total number of officials in merged local governments had decreased by more than 300 people, that is, around ten per cent. He specified that the proportion of the management, accountants, and employees providing other support services had decreased, and the number of people organising the services, like child protection officials, lawyers and IT-managers, had increased. “According to the forecast, the volume of the total net gain of local governments will increase to more than 250 million euro as of 2019,” Mäggi said.
During the debate, Jüri Adams (Estonian Free Party) and Andres Herkel (Estonian Free Party) took the floor.
The Minister of Entrepreneurship and Information Technology Rene Tammist replied to the interpellation concerning the developments of the e-state (No 456).
Krista Aru (Estonian Free Party) took the floor during the debate.
During the open microphone, Oudekki Loone took the floor.
At the beginning of today’s sitting, Jüri Saar took the oath of office of the Member of the Riigikogu.
Video recordings of the sittings of the Riigikogu can be viewed at: https://www.youtube.com/riigikogu
(NB! The recording will be uploaded with a delay.)
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