Minister of Healthcare Aurelijus Veryga is in breach of the public and private interest separation in state service law requirements to avoid conflicts of interest and with it arising – to recuse himself.
Aurelijus Veryga
© DELFI / Domantas Pipas

It was found that the minister assigned funding for a Lithuanian Health Sciences University (LSMU) project without completing his "cool down" period. The politician was also found to not have suitably and timely declared his private interests. This ruling was approved unanimously by the Chief Official Ethics Commission (VTEK).

A. Veryga was found to have approved funding for an LSMU project valued at 32,684.20 euro in October 2017, while his work relationship with LSMU ended in November 2016 and VTEK does not have data that A. Veryga would have recused himself despite the law indicating a 12 month period, where links are viewed to remain and could cause a conflict of interests. VTEK also points out that the minister's signature was no insignificant formality in this case and only declared his recusal, when VTEK had already initiated its investigation on his behaviour.

It is notable that this VTEK ruling only evaluates the minister's actions in this situation and does not question the legitimacy of the LSMU project. Furthermore, the commission has found that the minister's declarations of four transactions in his private interests declaration failed to adhere to designated timelines.

The minister himself expresses regret over the situation, with a Ministry of Healthcare press release stating that it was a formal and human mistake involving a period of just several weeks.

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