STT: almost fifth of municipal staff in Lithuania are relatives
Almost a fifth of staff at Lithuanian municipalities are relatives, a new analysis carried out by the country's Special Investigation Service (STT) has revealed.
It shows 18 percent of municipal administration staff are relatives, spouses or relatives of spouses. The level of nepotism, however, varies in different municipalities, the STT said.
The analytical anticorruption intelligence analysis, carried out in late May, revealed that the largest number (35 percent) of related staff was in Pagėgiai, western Lithuania, followed by Varėna District, southern Lithuania, with 29 percent, Šalčininkai District, eastern Lithuania, with 28 percent and Zarasai District, northeastern Lithuania, with 27 percent.
The lowest rates were in Rokiškis District, northeastern Lithuania, with 3 percent, followed by Vilnius, Alytus and Palanga City Municipalities with 7 percent each.
"Family ties at institutions, on their own, are not a problem. But the higher level of nepotism is, the higher is the likelihood of attempts to make use of official positions to protect and seek benefit for one's family members or relatives," Jovitas Raškevičius, first deputy director of the STT, said in a statement.
"Sufficient attention should be paid to nepotism control as impartiality and transparency of decision-making depends on it, as well as public trust in local state institutions," he added.
2,332 relatives worked at Lithuanian municipal administrations during the time of the research. The STT plans carrying out regular nepotism assessment.