Media are reporting that the GLAS Party Chairwoman and former Construction Minister had appointed herself the head of the ministry's committee for state qualifying exams, for which there is financial compensation. The omission was reported to the Conflict of Interest Commission last December, which is reviewing the complaint.
According to local the leader of the opposition party GLAS, Anka Mrak-Taritaš, failed to report €5,200 in compensation that she received for sitting on an exam committee during her tenure as Construction Minister from 2012 to 2016. A position she allegedly appointed herself to.
Senior GLAS party official Goran Beus Richenberg told reporters on Tuesday that nothing illegal had taken place. "Nothing has been concealed nor has anything been embezzled. Not one Kuna or Lipa is hidden away anywhere. Quite the contrary, this is a regular and completely legal income that was not cited separately as a so-called second income from the same employer. That is an oversight and for that Mrs. Mrak Taritaš will bear the consequences. But it is interesting that this come to the fore right now, when the Amsterdam coalition's market value is rising, even though, as I said, no one was hurt by this oversight."
Mrak Taritaš issued her apology via social media on Tuesday, claiming the omission was merely an oversight. "Due to the fact that these were funds paid out by the ministry which at the time also paid out my salary, I made an oversight and did not treat them as a second source of income, and obviously for this reason failed to report them on my financial disclosure statement. I want to say that this was in no way my intention, but rather an oversight resulting from unfortunate circumstances. (...) I am sorry that those who noticed this oversight didn't react immediately, but rather waited a full three years after the end of my mandate and are now using this for personal disqualification."
The chairwoman of the Conflict of Interest Commission Nataša Novaković said that the commission would be looking into the case. "What the commission will definitely look into is the fact or circumstance, that the individual in question allegedly appointed herself to the committee for which there is financial compensation. The second fact that we also have to establish is whether or not she received these funds, and based on her own statement she did, and whether or not she listed these compensation in her financial statement."
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