EUROPAM

European Public Accountability Mechanisms

Estonia

Country score (European Average*)
  • 54(66) Political Financing
  • 75(50) Financial Disclosure
  • 18(40) Conflict of Interest
  • 80(56) Freedom of Information
  • 62(63) Public Procurement

Country Facts

IncomeHigh
GNI per capita (2011 PPP $)26978.00
Population, total1316481.00
Urban population (% of total)67.47
Internet users (per 100 people)87.24
Life expectancy at birth (years)77.13
Mean years of schooling (years)12.5
Global Competitiveness Index4.8
Sources: World Bank, UNDP, WEF.

Political Financing

The Political Parties Act 1994 and the Riikikogu Election Act 2002 were both amended in 2012 and again in 2014 and 2015. Both laws govern the financing of political parties in Estonia.

For regulations on income there were no bans on donations from foreign entities in 2012 but the most recent amendments resulted in donations from foreign entities being banned. There are also comprehensive bans on donations from corporations, trade unions and anonymous donors amongst others. There are also limits on the amount donors may donate.

There are provisions for the public funding of political parties. Donations are allocated based on the share of votes attained in the previous election and based on the representation in the elected body. There appear to be no subsidies for the use of media in the elections but there are tax incentives.  

Vote buying is banned but there are no limits on spending.

Parties are required to submit annual reports on finances to the Political Party Funding Supervision Committee. The reports must reveal expenses in relation to election campaigns, must be made public and must reveal the identity of donors. There are sanctions in the form of fines for parties breaching the provisions.


Quantitative Data

Primary Metric

2012201520162017Trend
Bans and limits on private income58949494
Public funding38383838
Regulations on spending25000
Reporting, oversight and sanctions83838383

Values lie in range between 0 and 100, higher values implying higher legislation comprehensiveness


Qualitative Data

We are frequently reviewing and refining our data, so in case you notice any mistake in our assessment, feel free to send us an email by clicking the button ()

Bans and limits on private income

Bans on donations from foreign interests

Is there a ban on donations from foreign interests to political parties? Yes. (1) For the purposes of this Act ‘donation’ means a financially assessable benefit, including a service, but not voluntary work, voluntarily given by a natural person who is a citizen of the Republic of Estonia or has the Political Parties Act Page 7 / 14 permanent right of residence or the status of a long-term resident in Estonia out of their assets to a political party or a member thereof for the purpose of supporting the activities of the political party. (2) A donation that does not comply with the terms and conditions laid down in subsection (1) of this section is prohibited. Above all, the following is prohibited: 8) donations by aliens, except for donations by persons holding the permanent right of residence or the status of a long-term resident in Estonia. (Political Parties Act (1994, amended 2015), §12.3, section (1) & (2)(8))
Is there a ban on donations from foreign interests to candidates? Yes. (1) For the purposes of this Act ‘donation’ means a financially assessable benefit, including a service, but not voluntary work, voluntarily given by a natural person who is a citizen of the Republic of Estonia or has the Political Parties Act Page 7 / 14 permanent right of residence or the status of a long-term resident in Estonia out of their assets to a political party or a member thereof for the purpose of supporting the activities of the political party. (2) A donation that does not comply with the terms and conditions laid down in subsection (1) of this section is prohibited. Above all, the following is prohibited: 8) donations by aliens, except for donations by persons holding the permanent right of residence or the status of a long-term resident in Estonia. (Political Parties Act (1994, amended 2015), §12.3, section (2)(2))

Bans on corporate donations

Is there a ban on corporate donations to political parties? Yes. (2) A donation that does not comply with the terms and conditions laid down in subsection (1) of this section isvprohibited. Above all, the following is prohibited: 2) donations by legal persons; (Political Parties Act (1994, amended 2015), §12.3, section (1) & (2)(8))
Is there a ban on corporate donations to candidates? Yes. (2) A donation that does not comply with the terms and conditions laid down in subsection (1) of this section isvprohibited. Above all, the following is prohibited: 2) donations by legal persons; (Political Parties Act (1994, amended 2015), §12.3, section (1) & (2)(8))
Is there a ban on donations from corporations with government contracts to political parties? Yes. (2) A donation that does not comply with the terms and conditions laid down in subsection (1) of this section isvprohibited. Above all, the following is prohibited: 2) donations by legal persons; (Political Parties Act (1994, amended 2015), §12.3, section (1) & (2)(8))
Is there a ban on donations from corporations of partial government ownership to political parties? Yes. (2) A donation that does not comply with the terms and conditions laid down in subsection (1) of this section isvprohibited. Above all, the following is prohibited: 2) donations by legal persons; (Political Parties Act (1994, amended 2015), §12.3, section (1) & (2)(8))
Is there a ban on donations from corporations with government contracts to candidates? Yes. (2) A donation that does not comply with the terms and conditions laid down in subsection (1) of this section isvprohibited. Above all, the following is prohibited: 2) donations by legal persons; (Political Parties Act (1994, amended 2015), §12.3, section (1) & (2)(8))
Is there a ban on donations from corporations of partial government ownership to candidates? Yes. (2) A donation that does not comply with the terms and conditions laid down in subsection (1) of this section isvprohibited. Above all, the following is prohibited: 2) donations by legal persons; (Political Parties Act (1994, amended 2015), §12.3, section (1) & (2)(8))

Bans on donations from trade unions

Is there a ban on donations from Trade Unions to political parties? Yes. (2) A donation that does not comply with the terms and conditions laid down in subsection (1) of this section isvprohibited. Above all, the following is prohibited: 2) donations by legal persons; (Political Parties Act (1994, amended 2015), §12.3, section (1) & (2)(8))
Is there a ban on donations from Trade Unions to candidates? Yes. (2) A donation that does not comply with the terms and conditions laid down in subsection (1) of this section isvprohibited. Above all, the following is prohibited: 2) donations by legal persons; (Political Parties Act (1994, amended 2015), §12.3, section (1) & (2)(8))

Bans on anonymous donations

Is there a ban on anonymous donations to political parties? Yes. (2) A donation that does not comply with the terms and conditions laid down in subsection (1) of this section is prohibited. Above all, the following is prohibited: 1) anonymous donations; (Political Parties Act (1994, amended 2015), §12.3, section (1) & (2)(1))
Is there a ban on anonymous donations to candidates? Yes. (2) A donation that does not comply with the terms and conditions laid down in subsection (1) of this section is prohibited. Above all, the following is prohibited: 1) anonymous donations; (Political Parties Act (1994, amended 2015), §12.3, section (1) & (2)(1))

Other bans on donations

Is there a ban on state resources being given to or received by political parties or candidates (excluding regulated public funding)? Yes. (3) A political party is prohibited to use public funds for conducting or organising the election campaign of the political party or a person running in the list of the political party, except for the allocations from the state budget based on this Act. (see below) (Political Parties Act (1994, amended 2015), §12.1, section (3))
Is there a ban on any other form of donation? Yes. (2) A donation that does not comply with the terms and conditions laid down in subsection (1) of this section is prohibited. Above all, the following is prohibited: 3) the transfer or the granting of use of goods, services or proprietary rights to a political party on conditions not available to other persons; 4) release from ordinary binding duties or obligations; 5) waiver of claims against a political party; 6) payment of the expenses of a political party by third parties for the political party or making concessions to the political party, unless the payment of such expenses or the making of such concessions is also available to other persons in ordinary economic activities; 7) donation made via a natural person and at the expense of the assets of a third party. (Political Parties Act (1994, amended 2015), §12.3, section (2)(2))

Donation limits

Is there a limit on the amount a donor can contribute to a political party over a time period (not election specific)? Yes. (3) A political party is allowed to accept cash donations from a natural person to the extent of up to 1200 euros per financial year. Cash donations are immediately registered by a political party as revenue. (Political Parties Act (1994, amended 2015), §12.3, section (3))
Is there a limit on the amount a donor can contribute to a political party in relation to an election? No. Absent from legal framework.
Is there a limit on the amount a donor can contribute to a candidate? Yes. (3) A political party is allowed to accept cash donations from a natural person to the extent of up to 1200 euros per financial year. Cash donations are immediately registered by a political party as revenue. [RT I, 05.02.2014, 1 – entry into force 01.04.2014] (Political Parties Act (1994, amended 2015), §12.3, section (3))

Public funding 

Eligibility criteria for direct public funding to political parties

Eligibility criteria for direct public funding to political parties: Share of votes in previous election Yes. (2) A political party that participated in the elections of the Riigikogu, but did not exceed the election threshold and received at least: 1) 2% but less than 3% of the votes, will receive an annual allocation of 30 000 euros from the state budget; Political Parties Act Page 9 / 14 2) 3% but less than 4% of the votes, will receive an annual allocation of 60 000 euros from the state budget; 3) 4% but less than 5% of the votes, will receive an annual allocation of 100 000 euros from the state budget. [RT I, 05.02.2014, 1 – will enter into force on the day of commencement of the term of office of the XIII composition of the Riigikogu (Political Parties Act (1994, amended 2015), §12.7, section (2))
Eligibility criteria for direct public funding to political parties: Representation in elected body Yes. (1) A political party represented in the Riigikoguhas the right to receive an allocation from the state budget by the fifth date of each calendar month. The size of the monthly allocation is one twelfth of the annual amount. The size of the allocation is proportionate to the number of seats obtained in the elections of the Riigikogu. (Political Parties Act (1994, amended 2015), §12.7, section (1))
Eligibility criteria for direct public funding to political parties: Participation in election No. Absent from legal framework.
Eligibility criteria for direct public funding to political parties: Number of candidates No. Absent from legal framework.
Eligibility criteria for direct public funding to political parties: Share of seats in previous election No. Absent from legal framework.
Eligibility criteria for direct public funding to political parties: Share of votes in next election No. Absent from legal framework.
Eligibility criteria for direct public funding to political parties: Registration as a political party No. Absent from legal framework.
Eligibility criteria for direct public funding to political parties: Share of seats in next election No. Absent from legal framework.
Eligibility criteria for direct public funding to political parties: Number of members No. Absent from legal framework.
Eligibility criteria for direct public funding to political parties: Other No. Absent from legal framework.

Allocation calculations for direct public funding to political parties

Allocation calculations for direct public funding to political parties: Proportional to votes received Yes. (2) A political party that participated in the elections of the Riigikogu, but did not exceed the election threshold and received at least: 1) 2% but less than 3% of the votes, will receive an annual allocation of 30 000 euros from the state budget; Political Parties Act Page 9 / 14 2) 3% but less than 4% of the votes, will receive an annual allocation of 60 000 euros from the state budget; 3) 4% but less than 5% of the votes, will receive an annual allocation of 100 000 euros from the state budget. [RT I, 05.02.2014, 1 – will enter into force on the day of commencement of the term of office of the XIII composition of the Riigikogu (Political Parties Act (1994, amended 2015), §12.7, section (2))
Allocation calculations for direct public funding to political parties: Equal Yes. The size of the allocation is proportionate to the number of seats obtained in the elections of the Riigikogu. (Political Parties Act (1994, amended 2015), §12.7, section (1))
Allocation calculations for direct public funding to political parties: Proportional to seats received Yes. The size of the allocation is proportionate to the number of seats obtained in the elections of the Riigikogu. (Political Parties Act (1994, amended 2015), §12.7, section (1))
Allocation calculations for direct public funding to political parties: Flat rate by votes received No. Absent from legal framework.
Allocation calculations for direct public funding to political parties: Share of expenses reimbursed No. Absent from legal framework.
Allocation calculations for direct public funding to political parties: Proportional to candidates fielded No. Absent from legal framework.
Allocation calculations for direct public funding to political parties: Number of members No. Absent from legal framework.
Allocation calculations for direct public funding to political parties: Other No. Absent from legal framework.

Earmarking provisions for direct public funding to political parties

Earmarking provisions for direct public funding to political parties: Campaign spending No. Absent from legal framework.
Earmarking provisions for direct public funding to political parties: Ongoing party activities No. Absent from legal framework.
Earmarking provisions for direct public funding to political parties: Intra-party institution No. Absent from legal framework.
Earmarking provisions for direct public funding to political parties: Other No. Absent from legal framework.

Allocation criteria for free or subsidized access to media for political parties

Allocation criteria for free or subsidized access to media for political parties: Equal No. Absent from legal framework.
Allocation criteria for free or subsidized access to media for political parties: Number of candidates No. Absent from legal framework.
Allocation criteria for free or subsidized access to media for political parties: Share of seats No. Absent from legal framework.
Allocation criteria for free or subsidized access to media for political parties: Share of votes in preceding election No. Absent from legal framework.
Allocation criteria for free or subsidized access to media for political parties: Other No. Absent from legal framework.
Are there provisions for free or subsidized access to media for candidates? No. Absent from legal framework.

Are there provisions for any other form of indirect public funding?

Provisions for any other form of indirect public funding: Premises for campaign meetings No. Absent from legal framework.
Provisions for any other form of indirect public funding: Space for campaign materials No. Absent from legal framework.
Provisions for any other form of indirect public funding: Tax relief Yes. Notices and advertisements relating to election campaigns of political parties, election coalitions and independent candidates are exempt from advertisement tax (Local Taxes Act (1994, amended in 2013), Article 10 (3))
Provisions for any other form of indirect public funding: Free or subsidised transport No. Absent from legal framework.
Provisions for any other form of indirect public funding: Free or subsidised postage cost No. Absent from legal framework.
Provisions for any other form of indirect public funding: Other No. Absent from legal framework.
Is the provision of direct public funding to political parties related to gender equality among candidates? No. Absent from legal framework.
Are there provisions for other financial advantages to encourage gender equality in political parties? No. Absent from legal framework.

Regulations on spending 

Is there a ban on vote buying? No. Absent from legal framework.
Are there bans on state resources being used in favour or against a political party or candidate? No. Absent from legal framework.
Are there limits on the amount a political party can spend? No. Absent from legal framework.
Are there limits on the amount a candidate can spend? No. Absent from legal framework.

Reporting, oversight and sanctions 

Reporting standards

Do political parties have to report regularly on their finances? Yes. A political party will submit an annual report along with the opinion of a certified auditor, provided that auditing is mandatory, by June 30 to the registration department who will publish the report in the online query system of non-profit associations and foundations (Political Parties Act (1994, amended 2015), §12.9, section (1) & (2))
Do political parties have to report on their finances in relation to election campaigns? Yes. (1) Political parties, election coalitions and single candidates submit to the political party funding supervision committee a report on the expenses of the Riigikogu, European Parliament or local authority council election campaign (Political Parties Act (1994, amended 2015), §12.8, section (1))
Do candidates have to report on their campaign finances? Yes. (1) Political parties, election coalitions and single candidates submit to the political party funding supervision committee a report on the expenses of the Riigikogu, European Parliament or local authority council election campaign (Political Parties Act (1994, amended 2015), §12.8, section (1))
Is information in reports from political parties and/​or candidates to be made public? Yes. The election campaign report is published on the website of the political party funding supervision committee. (Political Parties Act (1994, amended 2015), §12.7, section (1))
Must reports from political parties and/​or candidates reveal the identity of donors? Yes. (7) An election coalition specifies in the report the type of the source of revenue specified in subsection 121 (2) of this Act, which has been used for the election campaign, as well as the loans received, the name and personal identification code or registry code of the person who provided the funds, the value of the funds, and the date of accrual of the funds. (Political Parties Act (1994, amended 2015), §12.8, section (7))
Institutions receiving financial reports from political parties and/​or candidates
Institutions receiving financial reports from political parties and/​or candidates: Electoral Management Board No. Absent from legal framework.
Institutions receiving financial reports from political parties and/​or candidates: Auditing agency No. Absent from legal framework.
Institutions receiving financial reports from political parties and/​or candidates: Ministry No. Absent from legal framework.
Institutions receiving financial reports from political parties and/​or candidates: Special institution No. Absent from legal framework.
Institutions receiving financial reports from political parties and/​or candidates: Court No. Absent from legal framework.
Institutions receiving financial reports from political parties and/​or candidates: Other Yes. The report is submitted to the political party funding supervision committee in the required form within one month from the election day. (Political Parties Act (1994, amended 2015), §12.8, section (1))

Political finance oversight

Is it specified that a particular institution(s) is responsible for examining financial reports and/​or investigating violations?
Institution responsible for examining financial reports and/or investigating violations: Court No. Absent from legal framework.
Institution responsible for examining financial reports and/or investigating violations: Ministry No. Absent from legal framework.
Institution responsible for examining financial reports and/or investigating violations: Auditing agency No. Absent from legal framework.
Institution responsible for examining financial reports and/or investigating violations: Electoral Management Body No. Absent from legal framework.
Institution responsible for examining financial reports and/or investigating violations: Institution for this purpose No. Absent from legal framework.
Institution responsible for examining financial reports and/or investigating violations: Other Yes. (1) The political party funding supervision committee verifies whether political parties, election coalitions and single candidates adhere to the requirements provided for in this Act (Political Parties Act (1994, amended 2015), §12.10, section (1))
Other institutions with a formal role in political finance oversight
Institutions with a formal role in political finance oversight: Court No. Absent from legal framework.
Institutions with a formal role in political finance oversight: Ministry No. Absent from legal framework.
Institutions with a formal role in political finance oversight: Auditing agency No. Absent from legal framework.
Institutions with a formal role in political finance oversight: EMB No. Absent from legal framework.
Institutions with a formal role in political finance oversight: Institution for this purpose No. Absent from legal framework.
Institutions with a formal role in political finance oversight: Other No. Absent from legal framework.
Sanctions for political finance infractions
Sanctions for political finance infractions: Fines Yes. Numerous fines are set out in Chapter 2 of the Act. For example: § 12.14 (1) The penalty for failure to inform the political party funding supervision committee of a current account of a political party is a fine of up to 300 fine units. (Political Parties Act (1994, amended 2015), Chapter 2.2, §12.14 to §12.19)
Sanctions for political finance infractions: Loss of public funding No. Absent from legal framework.
Sanctions for political finance infractions: Penal/Criminal No. Absent from legal framework.
Sanctions for political finance infractions: Forfeiture No. Absent from legal framework.
Sanctions for political finance infractions: Deregistration of party No. Absent from legal framework.
Sanctions for political finance infractions: Loss of elected office No. Absent from legal framework.
Sanctions for political finance infractions: Suspension of political party No. Absent from legal framework.
Sanctions for political finance infractions: Loss of nomination of candidate No. Absent from legal framework.
Sanctions for political finance infractions: Loss of political rights No. Absent from legal framework.
Sanctions for political finance infractions: Other No. Absent from legal framework.

Qualitative data for 2017


Legislation

Political Parties Act (1994, amended 2015) (Estonian)pdf
Local Taxes Act (1994, amended in 2013) (English)pdf

Financial Disclosure

Estonia’s Anti-Corruption Act (1999, last amended in 2016) sets down the same financial disclosure laws for all public officials, including Head of State, Ministers, Members of Parliament, and Civil Servants. Public officials declare real estate, movable assets, cash, debts, and income from outside employment. They must also include any securities or shares in private or public companies. Furthermore, partnership or management positions in companies must be disclosed given that they are connected to an income. In the case of having to make decisions that affect private interests, public officials must inform a superior person or body to alleviate the situation. Spouses and children are to be included in all asset statements.

All officials make their declarations upon taking and leaving office, while updates are to be submitted annually. While late filling or non-filling leads to a fine of up to 200 fine units, knowingly making false disclosure may trigger a fine of up to 300 fine units. A common register functions as depository body for all officials. A selected committee is then responsible for verifying submissions and enforcing legislation on financial disclosure. All the while, the Estonian Parliament exercises supervision over the disclosure process and publishes an annual report on the accuracy of disclosure statements.


Quantitative Data

Primary Metric

2012201520162017Trend
Disclosure items81757576
Filing frequency75757575
Sanctions100100100100
Monitoring and Oversight1006969100
Public access to declarations50252525

Alternative Metric

2012201520162017Trend
Head of State81707076
Ministers81707075
Members of Parliament81707075
Civil servants81656575

Values lie in range between 0 and 100, higher values implying higher legislation comprehensiveness


Qualitative Data

We are frequently reviewing and refining our data, so in case you notice any mistake in our assessment, feel free to send us an email by clicking the button ()

Head of State

Disclosure items

Spouses and children included in disclosure Yes. The President must declare economic interests jointly shared with their spouses and children. (Articles 3 and 7 of the Anti-Corruption Act (adopted 2012, amended 2016))
Income and Assets
Real estate Yes. Immovable property ownership and limited rights are included in the declaration. (Article 13.1 and 14.1 (1) of the Anti Corruption Act (adopted 2012, amended 2016))
Movable assets Yes. Vehicles entered in the state register are included in the deslaration (Article 13.1 and 14.1 (2) of the Anti Corruption Act (adopted 2012, amended 2016))
Cash No. Absent from legal framework.
Loans and Debts Yes. The declaration includes proprietary obligations to other persons (names of creditors and the basis of the obligation) once it exceeds four times the Estonian minimun wage. (Article 14.1 (5) of the Anti Corruption Act (adopted 2012, amended 2016))
Income from outside employment/assets Yes. The president must declare income received the previous year in Estonia and abroad. (Article 14.3 of the Anti Corruption Act (adopted 2012, amended 2016))
Incompatibilities
Gifts received as a public official No. Absent from legal framework.
Private firm ownership and/or stock holdings Yes. Securities (share certificates in investment funds, bonds, convertible bonds, privatisation vouchers, certificates proving the right or obligation of purchase or sale (option), etc.), and shares must be disclosed. Rights and obligations in joint ownerships shall also be declared. (Article 14.1 (3) and 14.8 of the Anti Corruption Act (adopted 2012, amended 2016))
Ownership of state-owned enterprises (SOEs) Yes. Securities (share certificates in investment funds, bonds, convertible bonds, privatisation vouchers, certificates proving the right or obligation of purchase or sale (option), etc.), and shares must be disclosed. Rights and obligations in joint ownerships shall also be declared. (Article 14.1 (3) and 14.8 of the Anti Corruption Act (adopted 2012, amended 2016))
Holding government contracts Yes. An official is prohibited from carrying out an activity or making a decision, if it concerns a person connected to them; and if they have economic interest in it; and if the official is aware of a risk of corruption (Article 11 of the Anti Corruption Act (adopted 2012, amended 2016))
Board member, advisor, or company officer of private firm Yes. Public officials must disclose activities concerning general partnership or limited partnership or a member of the management outside their official duties if it involves receipt of income. (Article 14 .7 (1) of the Anti Corruption Act (adopted 2012, amended 2016))
Post-employment No. Absent from legal framework.
Simultaneously holding policy-making position and policy-executing position No. Absent from legal framework.
Participating in official decision-making processes that affect private interests Yes. An official is prohibited from carrying out an activity or making a decision, if it concerns a person connected to them; and if they have economic interest in it; and if the official is aware of a risk of corruption (Article 11 of the Anti Corruption Act (adopted 2012, amended 2016))
Concurrent employment of family members in public sector No. Absent from legal framework.

Filing frequency

Filing required upon taking office Yes. Declaration within four months from assuming an office. (Articel 12.2 of the Anti Corruption Act (adopted 2012, amended 2016))
Filing required upon leaving office Yes. Declaration in the calendar year following the year when he or she leaves office. (Articel 12.3 of the Anti Corruption Act (adopted 2012, amended 2016))
Filing required annually Yes. Declaration each year, but the official shall not submit more than one declaration during a calendar year. (Articel 12.2 of the Anti Corruption Act (adopted 2012, amended 2016))
Ad hoc filing required upon change in assets or conflicts of interest No. Absent from legal framework.

Sanctions

Sanctions stipulated for late filing (fines, administrative, and/or criminal) Yes. Fines in the amount of up to 200 fine units. Illness of the official is a reason to excuse the delay of submission (Article 12.4 and Article 18 of the Anti Corruption Act (adopted 2012, amended 2016))
Sanctions stipulated for non-filing (fines, administrative, and/or criminal) Yes. Fines in the amount of up to 200 fine units. (Article 18 of the Anti Corruption Act (adopted 2012, amended 2016))
Sanctions stipulated for false disclosure (fines, administrative, and/or criminal) Yes. Knowingly submitting false information to an administrative authority is punishable by a fine up to 300 units or by imprisonment. (Article 280.1 Criminal Code (adopted 2001, amended 2015))

Monitoring and Oversight

Depository body explicitly identified Yes. The government establishes a register for declarations, to which they are submitted (Article 13.2 and 13.4 of the Anti Corruption Act (adopted 2012, amended 2016))
Enforcement body explicitly identified Yes. The Riigikogu (Parliament of Estonia) exercises supervision over compliance with the restrictions and publishes once a year a report of the supervision activities and the results. (Article 9 of the Anti Corruption Act (adopted 2012, amended 2016))
Some agency assigned responsibility for verifying submission Yes. A selected committee has exclusive right to verify the declarations submitted by the official. (Article 15.1 of the Anti Corruption Act (adopted 2012, amended 2016))
Some agency assigned responsibility for verifying accuracy Yes. A selected committee has exclusive right to verify the declarations submitted by the official. (Article 15.1 of the Anti Corruption Act (adopted 2012, amended 2016))

Public access to declarations

Public availability Yes. The declarations of the officials are disclosed in a register. To access a person needs to identify him/herself and the respective official has a right to information who had access to his/her declaration. (Article 16.1 of the Anti Corruption Act (adopted 2012, amended 2016))
Timing of information release specified No. Absent from legal framework.
Location(s) of access specified No. Absent from legal framework.
Cost of access specified No. Absent from legal framework.

Ministers

Disclosure items

Spouses and children included in disclosure Yes. The ministers must declare economic interests jointly shared with their spouses and children. (Articles 3 and 7 of the Anti-Corruption Act (adopted 2012, amended 2016))
Income and Assets
Real estate Yes. Immovable property ownership and limited rights are included in the declaration. (Article 13.1 and 14.1 (1) of the Anti Corruption Act (adopted 2012, amended 2016))
Movable assets Yes. Vehicles entered in the state register are included in the deslaration (Article 13.1 and 14.1 (2) of the Anti Corruption Act (adopted 2012, amended 2016))
Cash No. Absent from legal framework.
Loans and Debts Yes. The declaration includes proprietary obligations to other persons (names of creditors and the basis of the obligation) once it exceeds four times the Estonian minimun wage. (Article 14.1 (5) of the Anti Corruption Act (adopted 2012, amended 2016))
Income from outside employment/assets Yes. The ministers must declare income received the previous year in Estonia and abroad. (Article 14.3 of the Anti Corruption Act (adopted 2012, amended 2016))
Incompatibilities
Gifts received as a public official No. Absent from legal framework.
Private firm ownership and/or stock holdings Yes. Securities (share certificates in investment funds, bonds, convertible bonds, privatisation vouchers, certificates proving the right or obligation of purchase or sale (option), etc.), and shares must be disclosed. Rights and obligations in joint ownerships shall also be declared. (Article 14.1 (3) and 14.8 of the Anti Corruption Act (adopted 2012, amended 2016))
Ownership of state-owned enterprises (SOEs) Yes. Securities (share certificates in investment funds, bonds, convertible bonds, privatisation vouchers, certificates proving the right or obligation of purchase or sale (option), etc.), and shares must be disclosed. Rights and obligations in joint ownerships shall also be declared. (Article 14.1 (3) and 14.8 of the Anti Corruption Act (adopted 2012, amended 2016))
Holding government contracts No. Absent from legal framework.
Board member, advisor, or company officer of private firm Yes. Public officials must disclose activities concerning general partnership or limited partnership or a member of the management outside their official duties if it involves receipt of income. (Article 14 .7 (1) of the Anti Corruption Act (adopted 2012, amended 2016))
Post-employment No. Absent from legal framework.
Simultaneously holding policy-making position and policy-executing position No. Absent from legal framework.
Participating in official decision-making processes that affect private interests Yes. Prohibition of making a decision in private interest and forced disclosure to inform superior person or body with the right of appoint the official. (Articel 11 (2) of the Anti Corruption Act, 2012, amended 2016)
Concurrent employment of family members in public sector No. Absent from legal framework.

Filing frequency

Filing required upon taking office Yes. Declaration within four months from assuming an office. (Articel 12.2 of the Anti Corruption Act (adopted 2012, amended 2016))
Filing required upon leaving office Yes. Declaration in the calendar year following the year when he or she leaves office. (Articel 12.3 of the Anti Corruption Act (adopted 2012, amended 2016))
Filing required annually Yes. Declaration each year, but the official shall not submit more than one declaration during a calendar year. (Articel 12.2 of the Anti Corruption Act (adopted 2012, amended 2016))
Ad hoc filing required upon change in assets or conflicts of interest No. Absent from legal framework.

Sanctions

Sanctions stipulated for late filing (fines, administrative, and/or criminal) Yes. Fines in the amount of up to 200 fine units. Illness of the official is a reason to excuse the delay of submission (Article 12.4 and Article 18 of the Anti Corruption Act (adopted 2012, amended 2016))
Sanctions stipulated for non-filing (fines, administrative, and/or criminal) Yes. Fines in the amount of up to 200 fine units. (Article 18 of the Anti Corruption Act (adopted 2012, amended 2016))
Sanctions stipulated for false disclosure (fines, administrative, and/or criminal) Yes. Knowingly submitting false information to an administrative authority is punishable by a fine up to 300 units or by imprisonment. (Article 280.1 Criminal Code (adopted 2001, amended 2015))

Monitoring and Oversight

Depository body explicitly identified Yes. The government establishes a register for declarations, to which they are submitted (Article 13.2 and 13.4 of the Anti Corruption Act (adopted 2012, amended 2016))
Enforcement body explicitly identified Yes. The Riigikogu (Parliament of Estonia) exercises supervision over compliance with the restrictions and publishes once a year a report of the supervision activities and the results. (Article 9 of the Anti Corruption Act (adopted 2012, amended 2016))
Some agency assigned responsibility for verifying submission Yes. A selected committee has exclusive right to verify the declarations submitted by the official. (Article 15.1 of the Anti Corruption Act (adopted 2012, amended 2016))
Some agency assigned responsibility for verifying accuracy Yes. A selected committee has exclusive right to verify the declarations submitted by the official. (Article 15.1 of the Anti Corruption Act (adopted 2012, amended 2016))

Public access to declarations

Public availability Yes. The declarations of the officials are disclosed in a register. To access a person needs to identify him/herself and the respective official has a right to information who had access to his/her declaration. (Article 16.1 of the Anti Corruption Act (adopted 2012, amended 2016))
Timing of information release specified No. Absent from legal framework.
Location(s) of access specified No. Absent from legal framework.
Cost of access specified No. Absent from legal framework.

Members of Parliament

Disclosure items

Spouses and children included in disclosure Yes. The Members of Parliament must declare economic interests jointly shared with their spouses and children. (Articles 3 and 7 of the Anti-Corruption Act (adopted 2012, amended 2016))
Income and Assets
Real estate Yes. Immovable property ownership and limited rights are included in the declaration. (Article 13.1 and 14.1 (1) of the Anti Corruption Act (adopted 2012, amended 2016))
Movable assets Yes. Vehicles entered in the state register are included in the deslaration (Article 13.1 and 14.1 (2) of the Anti Corruption Act (adopted 2012, amended 2016))
Cash No. Absent from legal framework.
Loans and Debts Yes. The declaration includes proprietary obligations to other persons (names of creditors and the basis of the obligation) once it exceeds four times the Estonian minimun wage. (Article 14.1 (5) of the Anti Corruption Act (adopted 2012, amended 2016))
Income from outside employment/assets Yes. The Members of Parliament must declare income received the previous year in Estonia and abroad. (Article 14.3 of the Anti Corruption Act (adopted 2012, amended 2016))
Incompatibilities
Gifts received as a public official No. Absent from legal framework.
Private firm ownership and/or stock holdings Yes. Securities (share certificates in investment funds, bonds, convertible bonds, privatisation vouchers, certificates proving the right or obligation of purchase or sale (option), etc.), and shares must be disclosed. Rights and obligations in joint ownerships shall also be declared. (Article 14.1 (3) and 14.8 of the Anti Corruption Act (adopted 2012, amended 2016))
Ownership of state-owned enterprises (SOEs) Yes. Securities (share certificates in investment funds, bonds, convertible bonds, privatisation vouchers, certificates proving the right or obligation of purchase or sale (option), etc.), and shares must be disclosed. Rights and obligations in joint ownerships shall also be declared. (Article 14.1 (3) and 14.8 of the Anti Corruption Act (adopted 2012, amended 2016))
Holding government contracts No. Absent from legal framework.
Board member, advisor, or company officer of private firm Yes. Public officials must disclose activities concerning general partnership or limited partnership or a member of the management outside their official duties if it involves receipt of income. (Article 14 .7 (1) of the Anti Corruption Act (adopted 2012, amended 2016))
Post-employment No. Absent from legal framework.
Simultaneously holding policy-making position and policy-executing position No. Absent from legal framework.
Participating in official decision-making processes that affect private interests Yes. Prohibition of making a decision in private interest and forced disclosure to inform superior person or body with the right of appoint the official. (Articel 11 (2) of the Anti Corruption Act, 2012, amended 2016)
Concurrent employment of family members in public sector No. Absent from legal framework.

Filing frequency

Filing required upon taking office Yes. Declaration within four months from assuming an office. (Articel 12.2 of the Anti Corruption Act (adopted 2012, amended 2016))
Filing required upon leaving office Yes. Declaration in the calendar year following the year when he or she leaves office. (Articel 12.3 of the Anti Corruption Act (adopted 2012, amended 2016))
Filing required annually Yes. Declaration each year, but the official shall not submit more than one declaration during a calendar year. (Articel 12.2 of the Anti Corruption Act (adopted 2012, amended 2016))
Ad hoc filing required upon change in assets or conflicts of interest No. Absent from legal framework.

Sanctions

Sanctions stipulated for late filing (fines, administrative, and/or criminal) Yes. Fines in the amount of up to 200 fine units. Illness of the official is a reason to excuse the delay of submission (Article 12.4 and Article 18 of the Anti Corruption Act (adopted 2012, amended 2016))
Sanctions stipulated for non-filing (fines, administrative, and/or criminal) Yes. Fines in the amount of up to 200 fine units. (Article 18 of the Anti Corruption Act (adopted 2012, amended 2016))
Sanctions stipulated for false disclosure (fines, administrative, and/or criminal) Yes. Knowingly submitting false information to an administrative authority is punishable by a fine up to 300 units or by imprisonment. (Article 280.1 Criminal Code (adopted 2001, amended 2015))

Monitoring and Oversight

Depository body explicitly identified Yes. The government establishes a register for declarations, to which they are submitted (Article 13.2 and 13.4 of the Anti Corruption Act (adopted 2012, amended 2016))
Enforcement body explicitly identified Yes. The Riigikogu (Parliament of Estonia) exercises supervision over compliance with the restrictions and publishes once a year a report of the supervision activities and the results. (Article 9 of the Anti Corruption Act (adopted 2012, amended 2016))
Some agency assigned responsibility for verifying submission Yes. A selected committee has exclusive right to verify the declarations submitted by the official. (Article 15.1 of the Anti Corruption Act (adopted 2012, amended 2016))
Some agency assigned responsibility for verifying accuracy Yes. A selected committee has exclusive right to verify the declarations submitted by the official. (Article 15.1 of the Anti Corruption Act (adopted 2012, amended 2016))

Public access to declarations

Public availability Yes. The declarations of the officials are disclosed in a register. To access a person needs to identify him/herself and the respective official has a right to information who had access to his/her declaration. (Article 16.1 of the Anti Corruption Act (adopted 2012, amended 2016))
Timing of information release specified No. Absent from legal framework.
Location(s) of access specified No. Absent from legal framework.
Cost of access specified No. Absent from legal framework.

Civil servants

Disclosure items

Spouses and children included in disclosure Yes. The civil servants must declare economic interests jointly shared with their spouses and children. (Articles 3 and 7 of the Anti-Corruption Act (adopted 2012, amended 2016))
Income and Assets
Real estate Yes. Immovable property ownership and limited rights are included in the declaration. (Article 13.1 and 14.1 (1) of the Anti Corruption Act (adopted 2012, amended 2016))
Movable assets Yes. Vehicles entered in the state register are included in the deslaration (Article 13.1 and 14.1 (2) of the Anti Corruption Act (adopted 2012, amended 2016))
Cash No. Absent from legal framework.
Loans and Debts Yes. The declaration includes proprietary obligations to other persons (names of creditors and the basis of the obligation) once it exceeds four times the Estonian minimun wage. (Article 14.1 (5) of the Anti Corruption Act (adopted 2012, amended 2016))
Income from outside employment/assets Yes. The civil servants must declare income received the previous year in Estonia and abroad. (Article 14.3 of the Anti Corruption Act (adopted 2012, amended 2016))
Incompatibilities
Gifts received as a public official No. Absent from legal framework.
Private firm ownership and/or stock holdings Yes. Securities (share certificates in investment funds, bonds, convertible bonds, privatisation vouchers, certificates proving the right or obligation of purchase or sale (option), etc.), and shares must be disclosed. Rights and obligations in joint ownerships shall also be declared. (Article 14.1 (3) and 14.8 of the Anti Corruption Act (adopted 2012, amended 2016))
Ownership of state-owned enterprises (SOEs) Yes. Securities (share certificates in investment funds, bonds, convertible bonds, privatisation vouchers, certificates proving the right or obligation of purchase or sale (option), etc.), and shares must be disclosed. Rights and obligations in joint ownerships shall also be declared. (Article 14.1 (3) and 14.8 of the Anti Corruption Act (adopted 2012, amended 2016))
Holding government contracts No. Absent from legal framework.
Board member, advisor, or company officer of private firm Yes. Public officials must disclose activities concerning general partnership or limited partnership or a member of the management outside their official duties if it involves receipt of income. (Article 14 .7 (1) of the Anti Corruption Act (adopted 2012, amended 2016))
Post-employment No. Absent from legal framework.
Simultaneously holding policy-making position and policy-executing position No. Absent from legal framework.
Participating in official decision-making processes that affect private interests Yes. Prohibition of making a decision in private interest and forced disclosure to inform superior person or body with the right of appoint the official. (Articel 11 (2) of the Anti Corruption Act, 2012, amended 2016)
Concurrent employment of family members in public sector No. Absent from legal framework.

Filing frequency

Filing required upon taking office Yes. Declaration within four months from assuming an office. (Articel 12.2 of the Anti Corruption Act (adopted 2012, amended 2016))
Filing required upon leaving office Yes. Declaration in the calendar year following the year when he or she leaves office. (Articel 12.3 of the Anti Corruption Act (adopted 2012, amended 2016))
Filing required annually Yes. Declaration each year, but the official shall not submit more than one declaration during a calendar year. (Articel 12.2 of the Anti Corruption Act (adopted 2012, amended 2016))
Ad hoc filing required upon change in assets or conflicts of interest No. Absent from legal framework.

Sanctions

Sanctions stipulated for late filing (fines, administrative, and/or criminal) Yes. Fines in the amount of up to 200 fine units. Illness of the official is a reason to excuse the delay of submission (Article 12.4 and Article 18 of the Anti Corruption Act (adopted 2012, amended 2016))
Sanctions stipulated for non-filing (fines, administrative, and/or criminal) Yes. Fines in the amount of up to 200 fine units. (Article 18 of the Anti Corruption Act (adopted 2012, amended 2016))
Sanctions stipulated for false disclosure (fines, administrative, and/or criminal) Yes. Knowingly submitting false information to an administrative authority is punishable by a fine up to 300 units or by imprisonment. (Article 280.1 Criminal Code (adopted 2001, amended 2015))

Monitoring and Oversight

Depository body explicitly identified Yes. The government establishes a register for declarations, to which they are submitted (Article 13.2 and 13.4 of the Anti Corruption Act (adopted 2012, amended 2016))
Enforcement body explicitly identified Yes. The Riigikogu (Parliament of Estonia) exercises supervision over compliance with the restrictions and publishes once a year a report of the supervision activities and the results. (Article 9 of the Anti Corruption Act (adopted 2012, amended 2016))
Some agency assigned responsibility for verifying submission Yes. A selected committee has exclusive right to verify the declarations submitted by the official. The person establishing the obligation civil servants to submit declarations or an official authorised by them shall also have the right to verify declarations. (Article 15.1 and 15.3 of the Anti Corruption Act (adopted 2012, amended 2016))
Some agency assigned responsibility for verifying accuracy Yes. A selected committee has exclusive right to verify the declarations submitted by the official. The person establishing the obligation civil servants to submit declarations or an official authorised by them shall also have the right to verify declarations. (Article 15.1 and 15.3 of the Anti Corruption Act (adopted 2012, amended 2016))

Public access to declarations

Public availability Yes. The declarations of the officials are disclosed in a register. To access a person needs to identify him/herself and the respective official has a right to information who had access to his/her declaration. (Article 16.1 of the Anti Corruption Act (adopted 2012, amended 2016))
Timing of information release specified No. Absent from legal framework.
Location(s) of access specified No. Absent from legal framework.
Cost of access specified No. Absent from legal framework.

Qualitative data for 2017


Legislation

Anti Corruption Act, 2012, amended 2016 (English)pdf
Criminal Code, 2001, amended 2015 (English)pdf

Conflict of Interest

The Estonian Anti-Corruption Act (2012, amended 2016) makes a general restriction for all public officials to partake in an act or decision which affects private or personal economic interests. It also states that Head of State, Ministers, MPs and Civil Servants may not accept gifts or participate in decisions which constitute a conflict of interests. In addition, the Constitution (1992, amended 2015) prevents Ministers and Members of Parliament from holding advisory or managerial positions in private companies. More additional restrictions are specified for Civil Servants. These include engaging in a private or public enterprise, acquiring assets, or holding government contracts. Additionally, a cooling-off period of three years is imposed on Civil Servants who wish to work for an employer they supervised during their tenure.

All the while, no sanctions are specified for any public official who violates regulations on conflicts of interests. There are also no monitoring or enforcement bodies in place, which would be able to track conflicts of interest law or provide public officials with guidance.


Quantitative Data

Primary Metric

2012201520162017Trend
Restrictions43555755
Sanctions33000
Monitoring and Oversight50000

Alternative Metric

2012201520162017Trend
Head of State38131313
Ministers41171717
Members of Parliament41171717
Civil servants48273027

Values lie in range between 0 and 100, higher values implying higher legislation comprehensiveness


Qualitative Data

We are frequently reviewing and refining our data, so in case you notice any mistake in our assessment, feel free to send us an email by clicking the button ()

Head of State

Restrictions

General restriction on conflict of interest Yes. An official is prohibited from performing an act or making a decision, if: 1) the decision is made or the act is performed with respect to the official or a person connected to him or her; 2) the official is aware of an economic or other interest of that official or a person connected to him or her and which may have an impact on the act or decision. (Article 11 of the Anti Corruption Act, 2012 (amended 2016))
Accepting gifts Yes. Income derived from corrupt practices is the proprietary or other benefits offered to the official or any third person due to his or her official duties or demanded by the official, and benefits received by violation of the obligations of the official. Benefits, which cannot be associated with official duties or which are unambiguously understood as common courtesy, shall not be deemed to be corruptive. An official shall immediately give notification to his or her agency or the person or body who has the right to appoint him or her of accepting benefits which can be associated with official duties. An official shall refuse to accept a benefit defined as income derived from corrupt practices or, if this is impossible, deliver the benefit immediately to his or her agency or the person or body who has the right to appoint him or her. If delivery of the benefit is impossible, the official shall pay the market value of the benefit instead of this. The delivered benefit or the value thereof in money shall be transferred into state ownership or returned, if so provided by law. (Article 4 of the Anti Corruption Act, 2012 (amended 2016))
Private firm ownership and/or stock holdings No. Absent from legal framework.
Ownership of state-owned enterprises (SOEs) No. Absent from legal framework.
Holding government contracts No. Absent from legal framework.
Board member, advisor, or company officer of private firm No. Absent from legal framework.
Post-employment No. Absent from legal framework.
Simultaneously holding policy-making position and policy-executing position Yes. During the time that the Speaker of the Riigikogu performs the duties of the President, his or her authority as a member of the Riigikogu is suspended. (Article 83 of the Consitution (1992, last amended 2015))
Participating in official decision-making processes that affect private interests Yes. In case of conflict of interest, an official is prohibited from assigning the task of performing the act or making the decision instead of the official to his or her subordinates. An official shall immediately inform his or her immediate superior or the person or body who has the right to appoint the official of the circumstances and the latter shall perform the act or make the decision or assign this task to another official. (Article 11 of the Anti Corruption Act, 2012 (amended 2016))
Assisting family or friends in obtaining employment in public sector No. Absent from legal framework.

Sanctions

Fines are stipulated for violations of COI regulations restricting behavior No. Absent from legal framework.
Administrative sanctions are stipulated for violations of COI regulations restricting behavior No. Absent from legal framework.
Penal sanctions are stipulated for violations of COI regulations restricting behavior No. Absent from legal framework.

Monitoring and Oversight

Monitoring body specified (guidance, training, data tracking) No. Absent from legal framework.
Enforcement body specified (sanctions, hearings) No. Absent from legal framework.

Ministers

Restrictions

General restriction on conflict of interest Yes. An official is prohibited from performing an act or making a decision, if: 1) the decision is made or the act is performed with respect to the official or a person connected to him or her; 2) the official is aware of an economic or other interest of that official or a person connected to him or her and which may have an impact on the act or decision. (Article 11 of the Anti Corruption Act, 2012 (amended 2016))
Accepting gifts Yes. Income derived from corrupt practices is the proprietary or other benefits offered to the official or any third person due to his or her official duties or demanded by the official, and benefits received by violation of the obligations of the official. Benefits, which cannot be associated with official duties or which are unambiguously understood as common courtesy, shall not be deemed to be corruptive. An official shall immediately give notification to his or her agency or the person or body who has the right to appoint him or her of accepting benefits which can be associated with official duties. An official shall refuse to accept a benefit defined as income derived from corrupt practices or, if this is impossible, deliver the benefit immediately to his or her agency or the person or body who has the right to appoint him or her. If delivery of the benefit is impossible, the official shall pay the market value of the benefit instead of this. The delivered benefit or the value thereof in money shall be transferred into state ownership or returned, if so provided by law. (Article 4 of the Anti Corruption Act, 2012 (amended 2016))
Private firm ownership and/or stock holdings No. Absent from legal framework.
Ownership of state-owned enterprises (SOEs) No. Absent from legal framework.
Holding government contracts No. Absent from legal framework.
Board member, advisor, or company officer of private firm Yes. Members of the Government of the Republic may not hold any other governmental office, or belong to the management board or supervisory board of a commercial enterprise. A member of the Government of the Republic shall not be in any elected or appointed office outside his or her official duties or act based on a contract of employment or contract for provision of services, except research or teaching. A member of the Government of the Republic shall immediately inform the Government of the Republic in writing if he or she acts or intends to act outside his or her official duties as an undertaking or a general partner in a general partnership or limited partnership or as a member of a management or controlling body of a legal person. (Article 99 of the Consitution (1992, last amended 2015) Article 4(3) of the Government of the Republic Act, 1995, amended 2016)
Post-employment No. Absent from legal framework.
Simultaneously holding policy-making position and policy-executing position Yes. Members of the Government of the Republic may not hold any other governmental office, or belong to the management board or supervisory board of a commercial enterprise. The President of the Republic may, on the proposal of the Prime Minister, appoint a minister to direct two ministries. (Article 99 of the Consitution (1992, last amended 2015) Article 4 of the Government of the Republic Act, 1995, amended 2016)
Participating in official decision-making processes that affect private interests Yes. In case of conflict of interest, an official is prohibited from assigning the task of performing the act or making the decision instead of the official to his or her subordinates. An official shall immediately inform his or her immediate superior or the person or body who has the right to appoint the official of the circumstances and the latter shall perform the act or make the decision or assign this task to another official. (Article 11 of the Anti Corruption Act, 2012 (amended 2016))
Assisting family or friends in obtaining employment in public sector No. Absent from legal framework.

Sanctions

Fines are stipulated for violations of COI regulations restricting behavior No. Absent from legal framework.
Administrative sanctions are stipulated for violations of COI regulations restricting behavior No. Absent from legal framework.
Penal sanctions are stipulated for violations of COI regulations restricting behavior No. Absent from legal framework.

Monitoring and Oversight

Monitoring body specified (guidance, training, data tracking) No. Absent from legal framework.
Enforcement body specified (sanctions, hearings) No. Absent from legal framework.

Members of Parliament

Restrictions

General restriction on conflict of interest Yes. An official is prohibited from performing an act or making a decision, if: 1) the decision is made or the act is performed with respect to the official or a person connected to him or her; 2) the official is aware of an economic or other interest of that official or a person connected to him or her and which may have an impact on the act or decision. (Article 11 of the Anti Corruption Act, 2012 (amended 2016))
Accepting gifts Yes. Members of the Riigikogu shall not accept gifts or services related to their work and beyond the limits of common courtesy and not based on the universally accepted customs of diplomacy or international relations, and not permitted as donations under the law. Income derived from corrupt practices is the proprietary or other benefits offered to the official or any third person due to his or her official duties or demanded by the official, and benefits received by violation of the obligations of the official. Benefits, which cannot be associated with official duties or which are unambiguously understood as common courtesy, shall not be deemed to be corruptive. An official shall immediately give notification to his or her agency or the person or body who has the right to appoint him or her of accepting benefits which can be associated with official duties. An official shall refuse to accept a benefit defined as income derived from corrupt practices or, if this is impossible, deliver the benefit immediately to his or her agency or the person or body who has the right to appoint him or her. If delivery of the benefit is impossible, the official shall pay the market value of the benefit instead of this. The delivered benefit or the value thereof in money shall be transferred into state ownership or returned, if so provided by law. (Good Practice of Members of the Riigikogu (2014) Article 4 of the Anti Corruption Act, 2012 (amended 2016))
Private firm ownership and/or stock holdings No. Absent from legal framework.
Ownership of state-owned enterprises (SOEs) No. Absent from legal framework.
Holding government contracts No. Absent from legal framework.
Board member, advisor, or company officer of private firm Yes. Members of the Government of the Republic may not hold any other governmental office, or belong to the management board or supervisory board of a commercial enterprise. (Article 99 of the Consitution (1992, last amended 2015))
Post-employment No. Absent from legal framework.
Simultaneously holding policy-making position and policy-executing position Yes. Members of the Government of the Republic may not hold any other governmental office, or belong to the management board or supervisory board of a commercial enterprise. A member of the Riigikogu can not or during its mandate to be a public law legal person referred to as the Council of the Government, a minister or other executive head of the agency. A member of the Riigikogu may not be in its mandate, the Chairman of the Bank of Estonia. A member of the Riigikogu can not or during its mandate to be a legal person in public law or a board member. (Article 99 of the Consitution (1992, last amended 2015) Article 26(1) and 26(3) of the Status of Member of Riigikogu Act (2007))
Participating in official decision-making processes that affect private interests Yes. In case of conflict of interest, an official is prohibited from assigning the task of performing the act or making the decision instead of the official to his or her subordinates. An official shall immediately inform his or her immediate superior or the person or body who has the right to appoint the official of the circumstances and the latter shall perform the act or make the decision or assign this task to another official. (Article 11 of the Anti Corruption Act, 2012 (amended 2016))
Assisting family or friends in obtaining employment in public sector No. Absent from legal framework.

Sanctions

Fines are stipulated for violations of COI regulations restricting behavior No. Absent from legal framework.
Administrative sanctions are stipulated for violations of COI regulations restricting behavior No. Absent from legal framework.
Penal sanctions are stipulated for violations of COI regulations restricting behavior No. Absent from legal framework.

Monitoring and Oversight

Monitoring body specified (guidance, training, data tracking) No. Absent from legal framework.
Enforcement body specified (sanctions, hearings) No. Absent from legal framework.

Civil servants

Restrictions

General restriction on conflict of interest Yes. An official is prohibited from performing an act or making a decision, if: 1) the decision is made or the act is performed with respect to the official or a person connected to him or her; 2) the official is aware of an economic or other interest of that official or a person connected to him or her and which may have an impact on the act or decision. (Article 11 of the Anti Corruption Act, 2012 (amended 2016))
Accepting gifts Yes. Income derived from corrupt practices is the proprietary or other benefits offered to the official or any third person due to his or her official duties or demanded by the official, and benefits received by violation of the obligations of the official. Benefits, which cannot be associated with official duties or which are unambiguously understood as common courtesy, shall not be deemed to be corruptive. An official shall immediately give notification to his or her agency or the person or body who has the right to appoint him or her of accepting benefits which can be associated with official duties. An official shall refuse to accept a benefit defined as income derived from corrupt practices or, if this is impossible, deliver the benefit immediately to his or her agency or the person or body who has the right to appoint him or her. If delivery of the benefit is impossible, the official shall pay the market value of the benefit instead of this. The delivered benefit or the value thereof in money shall be transferred into state ownership or returned, if so provided by law. (Article 4 of the Anti Corruption Act, 2012 (amended 2016))
Private firm ownership and/or stock holdings Yes. A state official may engage in enterprise only with the permission of the person or administrative agency who has appointed him or her to office if the enterprise does not hinder the performance of his or her functions or damage the reputation of his or her position. An official shall not exercise supervision over his or her own enterprise in performing his or her functions. (Article 72 of the Public Servants Act (1995, last amended in 2016))
Ownership of state-owned enterprises (SOEs) Yes. A state official may engage in enterprise only with the permission of the person or administrative agency who has appointed him or her to office if the enterprise does not hinder the performance of his or her functions or damage the reputation of his or her position. An official shall not exercise supervision over his or her own enterprise in performing his or her functions. (Article 72 of the Public Servants Act (1995, last amended in 2016))
Holding government contracts Yes. A public servant is prohibited from: 1) acquiring assets which are entrusted to him or her for concluding a transaction and belong to a person with whom he or she is in employment or service relationship; 2) concluding, as a person entitled to represent a state agency in transactions, transactions with the state through the administrative agency concerned, or concluding, as a person entitled to represent a local government agency in transactions, transactions with a local government through the administrative agency concerned (Article 76 of the Public Servants Act (1995, last amended in 2016))
Board member, advisor, or company officer of private firm Yes. A state official shall not belong to the permanent directing body or permanent control or audit body of a commercial association, except as a representative of the state to the directing or supervisory body of an enterprise with participation of the state or a person in public law.A state official shall not be paid additional remuneration for belonging to the directing or supervisory body of an enterprise with state participation. (Article 69 of the Public Servants Act (1995, last amended in 2016))
Post-employment Yes. A state official released from office shall not, within three years after the date of release from office, enter into the service of an employer over whom, or join a commercial association over which, he or she exercised supervision regularly within the last three years. He or she shall also not receive income from such employer or commercial association within three years after the date of release from office. (Article 74 of the Public Servants Act (1995, last amended in 2016))
Simultaneously holding policy-making position and policy-executing position No. Absent from legal framework.
Participating in official decision-making processes that affect private interests Yes. In case of conflict of interest, an official is prohibited from assigning the task of performing the act or making the decision instead of the official to his or her subordinates. An official shall immediately inform his or her immediate superior or the person or body who has the right to appoint the official of the circumstances and the latter shall perform the act or make the decision or assign this task to another official. (Article 11 of the Anti Corruption Act, 2012 (amended 2016))
Assisting family or friends in obtaining employment in public sector No. Absent from legal framework.

Sanctions

Fines are stipulated for violations of COI regulations restricting behavior No. Absent from legal framework.
Administrative sanctions are stipulated for violations of COI regulations restricting behavior No. Absent from legal framework.
Penal sanctions are stipulated for violations of COI regulations restricting behavior No. Absent from legal framework.

Monitoring and Oversight

Monitoring body specified (guidance, training, data tracking) No. Absent from legal framework.
Enforcement body specified (sanctions, hearings) No. Absent from legal framework.

Qualitative data for 2017


Legislation

Anti Corruption Act, 2012, amended 2016 (English )pdf
Constitution, 1992, amended 2015 (English )pdf
Good Practice of Members of the Riigikogu, 2014 (English )pdf
Government of the Republic Act, 1995, amended 2016 (English )pdf
Civil Service Act, 2012, amended 2016 (English)pdf
Status of Member of Riigikogu Act, 2007, amended 2015 (English )pdf

Freedom of Information

Estonia's 1992 Constitution provides for the right to access government information, and the Public Information Act (2000, amended 2016) establishes the procedural mechanisms for such access. This law applies to state and local government agencies, legal persons in public law, undertakings which have a dominant position in the market or special or exclusive rights, organizations funded by state or local budgets, and organizations performing public duties pursuant to law.

Specific exemptions to disclosure are outlined in the aforementioned FOI law, the State Secrets Act (2008), and the Personal Data Protection Act (2008). The head of an agency may grant access to information classified as internal if the interests of the state or a local government are not harmed.

Appeals may be filed with public authorities and with the courts. There is no appeals process through an independent non-judicial mechanism, such as an information commissioner.

The Data Protection Inspectorate is responsible for applying sanctions (fines) and conducting public awareness. The Data Protection Inspectorate, the superior body or agency and the Estonian Information System's Authority have the authority and responsibility for ensuring implementation of statutes.


Quantitative Data

Primary Metric

2012201520162017Trend
Scope and Coverage100100100100
Information access and release100100100100
Exceptions and Overrides83838383
Sanctions for non-compliance33333333
Monitoring and Oversight83838383

Values lie in range between 0 and 100, higher values implying higher legislation comprehensiveness


Qualitative Data

We are frequently reviewing and refining our data, so in case you notice any mistake in our assessment, feel free to send us an email by clicking the button ()

Scope and Coverage

Scope of disclosure

Existence of legal right to access Yes. (1) Everyone has the right to freely obtain information disseminated for public use (Article 44, Constitution of Estonia, 1992, amended 2015)
"Information" or "Documents" is defined Yes. (1) Public information (hereinafter information) is information which is recorded and documented in any manner and on any medium and which is obtained or created upon performance of public duties provided by law or legislation issued on the basis thereof. (Article 3 of the Public Information Act, 2000, amended 2016)
Proactive disclosure is specified Yes. (1) The holders of information specified in § 31 of this Act shall disclose the information specified in subsection 28 (1) of this Act on a website, or shall add a link to a webpage through which the information can be accessed. (Article 29 of the Public Information Act, 2000, amended 2016)

Coverage of public and private sectors

Executive branch Yes. (1) The following are holders of information: 1) state and local government agencies; 2) legal persons in public law; (Article 5 of the Public Information Act, 2000, amended 2016)
Legislative branch Yes. (1) The following are holders of information: 1) state and local government agencies; 2) legal persons in public law; (Article 5 of the Public Information Act, 2000, amended 2016)
Judicial branch Yes. (1) The following are holders of information: 1) state and local government agencies; 2) legal persons in public law; (Article 5 of the Public Information Act, 2000, amended 2016)
Other public bodies Yes. (3) The following are deemed to be equal to holders of information: 1) undertakings which have a dominant position in the market or special or exclusive rights or which are natural monopolies – with regard to information concerning the conditions and prices of the supply of goods and services and changes thereto; 2) sole proprietors, nonprofit associations, foundations and companies – with regard to information concerning the use of funds allocated from the state or a local government budget for the performance of public duties or as support. (Article 5 of the Public Information Act, 2000, amended 2016)
Private sector Yes. 3) legal persons in private law and natural persons under the conditions provided for in subsection (2) of this section. (2) The obligations of holders of information extend to legal persons in private law and natural persons if the persons perform public duties pursuant to law, administrative legislation or contracts, including the provision of educational, health care, social or other public services, – with regard to information concerning the performance of their duties. (Article 5 of the Public Information Act, 2000, amended 2016)

Access to specific documents (subject to reactive and/or proactive disclosure)

Draft legal instruments Yes. Holder of information is required to disclose draft legal instruments (laws, decrees, regulations, and subsidiary legislation). (Article 28 of the Public Information Act, 2000, amended 2016)
Enacted legal instruments Yes. 2) legislation prepared and signed in the agency, on the date of signature thereof or the working day after such date; (Articles 11, 12 and 28 of the Public Information Act, 2000, amended 2016)
Annual budgets Yes. Disclosure of information on budgets of the state agencies, local governments and local government agencies is required. (Article 28, part 1 of the Public Information Act, 2000, amended 2016 )
Annual chart of accounts (actual expenditures) Yes. Disclosure of information on budgets of the state agencies, local governments and local government agencies is required. (Article 28, part 1 of the Public Information Act, 2000, amended 2016 )
Annual reports of public entities and programs Yes. Disclosure of information on budgets of the state agencies, local governments and local government agencies is required. (Article 28, part 1 of the Public Information Act, 2000, amended 2016 )

Information access and release

Procedural access

Universal access (agencies, citizens and non-citizens) Yes. Each person who submits a request for information to a holder of information pursuant to the procedure provided for in this Act is a person making a request for information. (Article 7 of the Public Information Act, 2000, amended 2016)
Type of request is specified (written, electronic, oral) Yes. (1) A request for information shall set out the following information orally or in writing: 1) the given name and surname of the person making the request for information; 2) the name of the legal person or agency in the case of a request for information made on behalf of an agency or legal person; 3) the contact details of the person making the request for information (postal or electronic mail address, or fax or telephone number), through which the holder of information could release the information or contact the person making the request for information; 4) the content of the information or the type, name and content of the document requested, or the requisite information on the document known to the person making the request for information; 5) the manner of complying with the request for information. (Article 14(1) of the Public Information Act, 2000, amended 2016)
Assistance to requesters must be provided by law (includes barriers due to language differences, illiteracy, complexity of requests, etc.) Yes. § 15. Obligation of holders of information to assist persons making requests for information (1) Holders of information are required to clearly explain the procedure for and the conditions and methods of access to information to persons making requests for information. (2) Officials or employees of holders of information are required to assist persons making requests for information in every way during the making of requests for information and the identification of the information necessary for the persons making requests for information, the location of the information and the most suitable methods of access thereto. (3) An official or employee of a holder of information who is not competent to comply with a request for information is required promptly to send the person making the request for information to an official or employee who has the corresponding competence, or promptly to communicate the request for information in writing to the specified official or employee. (4) If a request for information does not indicate the method or the information which the person making the request for information is requesting, the holder of information shall promptly contact the person making the request for information in order to specify the request for information. (Articles 9 and 15 of the Public Information Act, 2000, amended 2016)
Cost of access is specified (free, request fees, photocopying costs, other administrative costs) Yes. (4) Access to information shall be granted without charge unless payment for the direct expenses relating to the release of the information is prescribed by law. (4-1) A holder of information must publish the conditions for accessing the information and the amount to be charged for access and, if a person making a request for information so requires, provide explanations concerning the cost orientation of the charges. (Articles 4 and 25-27 of the Public Information Act, 2000, last amended 2016)

Deadlines for release of information

20-day response deadline Yes. Answer to inquiry is provided within 5 days. If request cannot be complied with due to insufficiency of information submitted by the person making the request he/she should be notified within 5 days. If the entity to whom the request has been made does not possess the requested information, within 5 days the request is forwarded to appropriate holder of information and the requesting person is notified. (Article 18 and 21 of the Public Information Act, 2000, amended 2016)
Agency granted right to extend response time Yes. Response time to information request can be extended for up to fifteen days by notifying the person making the request of the extension and reasons for it within five working days. Response time to information request can be extended for up to fifteen days by notifying the person making the request of the extension and reasons for it within five working days. (Article 19 of the Public Information Act, 2000, amended 2016)
Maximum total response time of no more than 40 days Yes. Response time to information request can be extended for up to fifteen days by notifying the person making the request of the extension and reasons for it within five working days. (Article 19 of the Public Information Act, 2000, amended 2016)

Exceptions and Overrides

Exemptions to disclosure

Existence of secrecy/states secrets law Yes. Access to state secrets is restricted to only certain individuals. (Article 26 of the State Secrets Act, 2008, amended 2016)
Existence of personal privacy/data law Yes. Individuals may have access to data pertaining to them, as well as other information about how such information has been used. (Article 19 of the Personal Data Protection Act, 2008, amended 2016)
Specific exemptions to disclosure Yes. The following types of information are exempt from disclosure requirements: preliminary information collected in legal proceedings; information collected in the course of state supervision, administrative supervision and supervisory control proceedings until the entry into force of a decision made thereon; preliminary information collected during state supervision proceedings; information that may damage foreign relations; sensitive military and security information; sensitive information on certain endangered objects, animals, or animals; and draft legislation and accompanying documents. The following types of information are exempt from disclosure requirements: recent public opinion polls; statistical surveys; economic forecasts; environmental notices; information damaging to officials’ reputations; public nonprofits; and information on certain public-to-private transfers of funds. (Article 35, 36, 38 of the Public Information Act, 2000, amended 2016 )
Public Interest test: Specified exemptions to disclosure may be overridden in cases where disclosure of information benefits the public interest.

Appeals

Appeals allowed within public entities Yes. There is a formal appeals mechanism through supervisory body or administrative court. (Article 46 of the Public Information Act, 2000, amended 2016)
Independent, non-judicial appeals mechanism, e.g., information commissioner. Does not include Ombudsman unless appeals decisions are binding. No. Absent from legal framework.
Judicial appeals mechanism Yes. There is a formal appeals mechanism through supervisory body or administrative court. (Article 46 of the Public Information Act, 2000, amended 2016)

Sanctions for non-compliance

Administrative sanctions are specified for violations of disclosure requirements No. Absent from legal framework.
Fines are specified for violations of disclosure requirements Yes. Knowing release of incorrect public information or knowing disclosure or release of information intended for internal use or failure to comply with a precept of the Data Protection Inspectorate is punishable by a fine of up to 300 fine units. (Article 54 of the Public Information Act, 2000, amended 2015)
Criminal sanctions are specified for violations of disclosure requirements No. Absent from legal framework.

Monitoring and Oversight

Information officers must be appointed in public agencies Yes. The head of the holder of information is responsible for the organization of access to information, unless it is assigned to another person by legislation. (Article 10 of the Public Information Act, 2000, amended 2015)
Public body that is responsible for applying sanctions Yes. Data Protection Inspectorate (Articles 53 and 54 of the Public Information Act, 2000, amended 2016)
Public body that is responsible for public outreach (raising public awareness) Yes. Data Protection Inspectorate (Statutes and Composition of Data Protection Inspectorate, 2007, last amended 2016)
Nodal agency for RTI (implementation support/compliance within public sector). Does not include Ombudsman. Yes. The Data Protection Inspectorate, the superior body or agency, and the Estonian Information System's Authority. have the authority and responsibility for ensuring implementation of statutes. (Articles 44 and 45 of the Public Information Act, 2000, amended 2016)
Ombudsman involvement in implementation is specified by law No. Data Protection Inspectorate functions as ombudsman. ( )
Reporting of data and/or implementation is required Yes. Pursuant to the Personal Data Protection Act and the Public Information Act the inspectorate shall submit its activity reports to the Constitutional Committee of the Riigikogu [Parliament] and the Chancellor of Justice. (Article 3, Statutes and Composition of Data Protection Inspectorate, 2007, last amended 2016)

Qualitative data for 2017


Legislation

Constitution of Estonia, 1992, amended 2015 (English)pdf
Public Information Act, 2000, amended 2015 (English)pdf
State Secrets Act, 2008, amended 2016 (English)pdf
Personal Data Protection Act, 2008, amended 2016 (English)pdf
Statutes and Composition of Data Protection Inspectorate, 2007, last amended 2015 (Estonian)pdf

Public Procurement

The Estonian public procurement system is regulated by the Public Procurement Act, and supplemented by several additional regulations of the Government. The public procurement body is the Public procurement and state aid department that is part of the Ministry of Finance.

The lowest minimum thresholds for conducting a public procurement tender are:

▪         EUR 40,000 for goods

▪         EUR 250,000 for works

▪         EUR 40,000 for services

The minimum number of bidders is 5 for restricted procedures and 3 for negotiated procedures and competitive dialogue. The minimum submission period is 52 days for open procedures, 40 days for restricted procedures and 37 for negotiated procedures from dispatch date. The final beneficial owners do not have to be disclosed when placing a bid.

There is no preferential treatment, however environmental considerations can alter decisions. Furthermore, there are several options for bid exclusion: criminal considerations, bankruptcy, open procedures compulsory liquidation, outstanding tax or social insurance liabilities, joint bidding for the same lot, false information. Furthermore, extremely low bid prices can be excluded as well.

In the bid evaluation phase, there are conflict of interest restrictions on the composition of the evaluation committee. However, no form of independence of  the contracting authority is mandated for the evaluation committee.

There is a payable fee in case of an arbitration procedure that is set in a separate State Fees Act. Decisions are publicly released.


Quantitative Data

Primary Metric

2012201520162017Trend
Scope878689
Information availability212121
Evaluation818181
Open competition818181
Institutional arrangements363636

Values lie in range between 0 and 100, higher values implying higher legislation comprehensiveness


Qualitative Data

We are frequently reviewing and refining our data, so in case you notice any mistake in our assessment, feel free to send us an email by clicking the button ()

Scope

Threshold - lowest PP

What is the minimum contract value above which the public procurement law is applied? (Product type GOODS) EUR 10000. Threshold for organising a simplified procurement procedure. Regarding EU requirements, §15(2) of the Public Procurement Act defines the international threshold which is established periodically by the European Commission and the Act refers to it in subsequent provisions. (Public Procurement Act, 2007, amended 2013, §15(2) and (3))
What is the minimum contract value above which the public procurement law is applied? (Product type WORKS) EUR 30000. Threshold for organising a simplified procurement procedure. Regarding EU requirements, §15(2) of the Public Procurement Act defines the international threshold which is established periodically by the European Commission and the Act refers to it in subsequent provisions. (Public Procurement Act, 2007, amended 2013, §15(2) and (3))
What is the minimum contract value above which the public procurement law is applied? (Product type SERVICES) EUR 10000. Threshold for organising a simplified procurement procedure. Regarding EU requirements, §15(2) of the Public Procurement Act defines the international threshold which is established periodically by the European Commission and the Act refers to it in subsequent provisions. (Public Procurement Act, 2007, amended 2013, §15(2) and (3))

Threshold - by PP type

What are the minimum application thresholds for the procurement type? (Entity: PUBLIC SECTOR) EUR 40000. EUR 40 000 for a public supply contract, a public service contract and a design contest, and EUR 250 000 for a public works contract and a public works concession. Regarding EU requirements, §15(2) of the Public Procurement Act defines the international threshold which is established periodically by the European Commission and the Act refers to it in subsequent provisions. (Public Procurement Act, 2007, amended 2013, §15(1) and (2))
What are the minimum application thresholds for the procurement type? (Entity: UTILITIES) EUR 40000. EUR 40 000 for goods and services and EUR 250 000 for works. According to §82 of the Public Procurement Act, the provisions on procurement procedure apply to the organisation of procurement procedures in utilities sectors on the basis of §15 of this Act, unless provided otherwise. Regarding EU requirements, §15(2) defines the international threshold which is established periodically by the European Commission and the Act refers to it in subsequent provisions. (Public Procurement Act, 2007, amended 2013, §15(1),(2) and §82)
What are the minimum application thresholds for the procurement type? (Entity: DEFENCE) EUR 40000. The Public Procurement Act does not stipulate an explicit public procurement threshold in the fields of defence and security; instead it refers to European Commission which shall establish the respective threshold periodically. However, for a simplified procurement, the Act foresees a threshold of EUR 40 000 for a public supply contract and a public service contract, and a threshold of EUR 250 000 for a public works contract. (Public Procurement Act, 2007, amended 2013, §15(2ą) and (3))

Threshold - by product type

What are the minimum application thresholds for the procurement type? (Product type GOODS) EUR 40000. Full application of the Law. Regarding EU requirements, §15(2) of the Public Procurement Act defines the international threshold which is established periodically by the European Commission and the Act refers to it in subsequent provisions. (Public Procurement Act, 2007, amended 2013, §15(1) and (2))
What are the minimum application thresholds for the procurement type? (Product type WORKS) EUR 250000. Full application of the Law. Regarding EU requirements, §15(2) of the Public Procurement Act defines the international threshold which is established periodically by the European Commission and the Act refers to it in subsequent provisions. (Public Procurement Act, 2007, amended 2013, §15(1) and (2))
What are the minimum application thresholds for the procurement type? (Product type SERVICES) EUR 40000. Full application of the Law. Regarding EU requirements, §15(2) of the Public Procurement Act defines the international threshold which is established periodically by the European Commission and the Act refers to it in subsequent provisions. (Public Procurement Act, 2007, amended 2013, §15(1) and (2))

Information availability

Publishing and record keeping

Is there a requirement that tender documents must be published in full? No. However, the contracting authority must allow interested parties to access the contract documents free of charge. The contracting authority will allow for accessing the contract documents at its seat or on its website. The contracting authority may charge a fee for the delivery of contract documents on paper, but such fee must not exceed the photocopying and delivery costs of the contract documents. (Public Procurement Act, 2007, amended 2013, §31(10))
Are any of these documents published online at a central place? Yes. The state public procurement register is a state database maintained for processing the data of public procurement and it registers the following: 1) information about notices in the field of public procurement; 2) information about the results of review proceedings; 3) information about pursuing public procurement proceedings; 4) electronic documents concerning the information specified in clauses 1) and 2) of this subsection; 5) other data and electronic documents specified in the Public Procurement Act. Available at: https://riigihanked.riik.ee/lr1/web/guest/index (Public Procurement Act, 2007, amended 2013, §105(1),(2))
Is it mandatory to keep all of these records? -Public notices of bidding opportunities, -Bidding documents and addenda, -Bid opening records, -Bid evaluation reports, -Formal appeals by bidders and outcomes, -Final signed contract documents and addenda and amendments, -Claims and dispute resolutions, -Final payments, -Disbursement data (as required by the country’s financial management system) No.
Are contracts awarded within a framework agreement published (ie mini contracts)? No.

Sub-contracting

Is it mandatory to publish information on subcontractors (ie names) in some cases? No.
If yes, what is the threshold for publication (i.e. the % of total contract value subcontracted)? For example, if the threshold is 75%, and you have subcontracted out only 40% of your contract, no disclosure is required. Consultant will insert 75% in the short answer column. 0%.

Evaluation

Preferential treatment

Is there a ban on mentioning specific companies or brands in tender specification/call for tender? Yes. Technical specifications must not refer to a specific purchase source, process, trademark, patent, type, origin or manner of production, which may give certain tenderers or products advantages over others or preclude their participation. (Public Procurement Act, 2007, amended 2013, §33(7))
Is there a preferential treatment for small-to-medium enterprises (SMEs)? No.
Is there a preferential treatment for local/national companies? (companies from other EU MS are considered foreign companies) No. All persons whose place of residence or seat is in Estonia, in another EU Member State, in another contracting party to the EEA Agreement or in a state that has joined the Government Procurement Agreement (GPA) of the WTO must be treated equally and without discrimination by the contracting authority and the contracting authority must make certain that all restrictions and criteria established for the persons are proportional, relevant and justified in relation to the purpose of the public procurement. (Public Procurement Act, 2007, amended 2013, §3(3))
Is there a specific set of rules for green/sustainable procurement? Yes. If possible, the contracting authority will prefer green solutions. Moreover, if the object of a public contract is road vehicles, the contract document must contain terms that take into account the energy and environmental impact covering the entire service life of the vehicle. Technical requirements may involve, among other things, environmental protection requirements. What is more, the contracting authority may request in a contract notice the submission of the list of environmental management measures applied. In that case, the contracting authority will refer to the EU Eco Management and Audit Scheme (EMAS) or to the EU legislation based on the relevant European or international standards regulating certification or to the environmental management standards based on the relevant European or international standards certified by the relevant authorities. (Public Procurement Act, 2007, amended 2013, §3(6), §31(2ą), §32(2), §41(10))

Bid evaluation

Are there restrictions on allowable grounds for tenderer exclusion? Yes. The contracting authority will not award a public contract to a person and will exclude from a procurement procedure a tenderer or candidate: 1) who or whose legal representative has been convicted of organising a criminal group or belonging thereto or violating the requirements of public procurement or fraud or committing offences relating to professional misconduct or money laundering or tax offences in criminal or misdemeanour proceedings; 2) who is bankrupt or under liquidation; 3) against whom a compulsory liquidation procedure or another similar procedure has been initiated; 4) who has arrears of state taxes, local taxes or social insurance contributions; 5) who has submitted a joint tender in the same public procurement or concerning the same lot; 6) who has given false information. The contracting authority may exclude from the procurement procedure a tenderer or candidate: 1) who or whose representative has been found guilty of grave professional misconduct; 2) who has not submitted the data or documents requested by the contracting authority regarding the absence of the grounds for exclusion of the tenderer or candidate from the procurement procedure; 3) who failed to inform the contracting authority of a significant change of the circumstances; 4) whose tender has been drawn up with the participation of a person who has participated in drawing up the contract documents of the same public procurement or who is in another way related to the contracting authority and the information known to that person gives them advantage over other tenderers. (Public Procurement Act, 2007, amended 2013, §38(1) and (2))
Are some bids automatically excluded? e.g., lowest/highest price; unusually low price, etc. No. §48 of the Public Procurement Act does not foresee that bids can be automatically excluded, even if abnormally low price is suspected. If the contracting authority finds that the value of a tender is abnormally low, it will ask for a written explanation from the tenderer. If the contracting authority still finds that the value of the tender is abnormally low or if the tenderer submits no required explanation to the contracting authority, the contracting authority may reject the tender on the basis of a reasoned written decision. (Public Procurement Act, 2007, amended 2013, §48)
Is scoring criteria published? Yes. The contracting authority will specify in contract documents whether it awards the public contract on the basis of the most economically advantageous tender or solely on the basis of the lowest price, unless it has been specified in the contract notice. If the contracting authority awards a public contract on the basis of the most economically advantageous tender, the contracting authority will also specify the award criteria enabling objective evaluation relating to the object of the public contract, including above all, quality, price, technical value, aesthetical and functional properties, properties influencing the environment, operating expenses, feasibility, post-sales maintenance and technical assistance and the cost thereof, specific proven skills or experience of the persons directly responsible for the provision of services or performance of public works, on which the quality of the works performed or services provided directly depends, and the term of performance of the public contract. (Public Procurement Act, 2007, amended 2013, §31(3) and (4))
Are decisions always made by a committee? No. The Public Procurement Act stipulates such a pocedure only for design contests. In case of a design contest, there is a jury appointed by the contracting authority which evaluates the submitted conceptual designs. This jury is composed of several members that are natural persons independent of the participants. (Public Procurement Act, 2007, amended 2013, §9(1) and §81)
Are there regulations on evaluation committee composition to prevent conflict of interest? Yes. The contracting authority must avoid a conflict of interests distorting the competition. In particular, the jury of the design contest must be independent in its decisions and opinions and proceed only from the criteria provided for in the invitation to design contest. (Public Procurement Act, 2007, amended 2013, §3(5) and §81(4))
Is some part of evaluation committee mandatorily independent of contracting authority? No. However, if the contracting authority has established requirements for professional qualifications of the participants of the design contest, at least one-third of the members of the jury of the design contest must have equivalent professional qualifications. (Public Procurement Act, 2007, amended 2013, §81(3))
Are scoring results publicly available? No.
Does the law specify under which conditions the tender can be cancelled? Yes. (1) Rejection of tenders due to no tender being admissible; (2) rejection on grounds of §49 (all abnormally low price or as result of discrimination set in the tender notice); (3) exclusion or disqualification of all tenderers or candidates from the procedure; (4) failure to submit tenders or requests to participate in a procurement procedure; (5) declaration of procurement invalid by a decision of Ministry of Finance; (6) termination of term of validity if no tenderer agrees to extend term of validity of tender. (Public Procurement Act, 2007, amended 2013, §29(3))

Open competition

CFT publication

Does the law specify the location for publicizing open calls for tenders? Yes. TED and State Public Procurement Register through the website of the chief processor of the public procurement register (i.e. the Ministry of Finance), available at: https://riigihanked.riik.ee/register/HankedOtsing.html (Public Procurement Act, 2007, amended 2013, §29(1) and §105)
Does the law specify the location for publicizing restricted calls for tenders? Yes. TED and State Public Procurement Register through the website of the chief processor of the public procurement register (i.e. the Ministry of Finance), available at: https://riigihanked.riik.ee/register/HankedOtsing.html (Public Procurement Act, 2007, amended 2013, §29(1) and §105)
Does the law specify the location for publicizing negotiated calls for tenders? Yes. TED and State Public Procurement Register through the website of the chief processor of the public procurement register (i.e. the Ministry of Finance), available at: https://riigihanked.riik.ee/register/HankedOtsing.html (Public Procurement Act, 2007, amended 2013, §29(1) and §105)

Minimum # of bidders

What is the minimum number of bidders for restricted procedures? 5. (Public Procurement Act, 2007, amended 2013, §59(2))
What is the minimum number of bidders for negotiated procedures? 3. (Public Procurement Act, 2007, amended 2013, §65(2))
What is the minimum number of bidders for competitive dialogue procedures? 3. (Public Procurement Act, 2007, amended 2013, §62(2))

Bidding period length

What are the minimum number of days for open procedures? 52. (Public Procurement Act, 2007, amended 2013, §35(2))
What are the minimum number of days for restricted procedures? 40. (Public Procurement Act, 2007, amended 2013, §35(4))
What are the minimum number of days  for competitive negotiated procedures? 24. In the event of a negotiated procedure with prior publication of a contract notice and competitive dialogue the time limit for submission of tenders may be established by agreement between the contracting authority and the candidates selected by the contracting authority, provided that all selected candidates have equal time for submitting tenders. If no agreement is reached, the contracting authority will establish a time limit for submission of tenders, which must not be shorter than 24 days from submitting the invitation to tender. (Public Procurement Act, 2007, amended 2013, §35(5))

Institutional arrangements

Institutions and regulations

Does the law specify the main EXCEPTIONS preventing the application of the public procurement law for tenders/organisations? Yes. The contracting authority is not required to follow the rules provided for in the Public Procurement Act if: 1) the main aim is offering or operating electronic communications networks or providing an electronic communications service; 2) contract to be awarded or a design contest to be organised involves a state secret or classified information; 3) supplies are purchased or public works are contracted for or a works concession is awarded in accordance with the rules of an international agreement; 4) a contract is awarded or a design contest is organised on the basis of an international agreement relating to the location of military units; 5) a contract is awarded or a design contest is organised on the basis of a special procedure of an international organisation; 6) a contract is awarded for the acquisition, lease or rental of immovables or the related rights; 7) a public service contract is awarded for the acquisition, development, production or co-production of programme material by media service providers and upon concluding contracts relating to transmission time; 8) arbitration or conciliation services; 9) a financial service relating to the issue, purchase, sale or assignment of securities or other financial instruments; 10) a contract of employment is concluded; 11) research and development services; 12) services are contracted for from another contracting authority or from an association of contracting authorities to which the exclusive right to provide the service has been granted. (Public Procurement Act, 2007, amended 2013, §14(1))
Does the law specify the main types of institutions that must apply the public procurement law? Yes. The following persons, authorities, entities and agencies (contracting authority) must follow the procedure provided for in the Public Procurement Act: the state or state authorities; local authorities; other legal persons and agencies governed by public law; foundations governed by public law; non-profit associations if more than half of the members are legal persons governed by public law; other legal persons governed by private law and having characteristics specified in §10(2). (Public Procurement Act, 2007, amended 2013, §10(1))
Does the law specify the main procedure types or procurement methods permitted? Yes. Open, competitive dialogue, negotiated (with or without prior publication of contract notice), restricted or simplified procedures (Public Procurement Act, 2007, amended 2013, §18˛, §25, §26, §27 and §28)
Is there a procurement arbitration court dedicated to public procurement cases? Yes. The Public Procurement Review Committee (Public Procurement Act, 2007, amended 2013, §117(1))
Is there a procurement regulatory body dedicated to public procurement? Yes. The Ministry of Finance (Public Procurement and State Aid Department): 1) exercises state supervision over organisation of public procurement and extrajudicial proceedings of misdemeanours in accordance with the procedure and to the extent provided by law; 2) gives advice in matters concerning implementation of the Public Procurement Act and organises training in public procurement; 3) publishes relevant information about public procurement on its website. (Public Procurement Act, 2007, amended 2013, §104(1))
Does the law specify procurement advisors' profession (i.e. degree to be obtained, official list of members of the professional association) and its role in the tendering process (e.g. right to draft tender documentations, conduct market research identifying bidders)? No. The only relevant provision on this matter is that in case of design contests, at least one-third of the members of the jury shall have the particular professional qualification that is required from participants of the contest or an equivalent qualification. (Public Procurement Act, 2007, amended 2013, §81(3))
Is disclosure of final, beneficial owners required for placing a bid? No.

Complaints

Is there a fee for arbitration procedure? Yes. A state fee is paid in the event of submission of a request for review and an application for compensation of loss to the Review Committee in accordance with the procedure provided for in the State Fees Act. Accordingly, a state fee in the following amounts shall be paid upon the submission of a public procurement appeal: 1) 640 euros if the estimated value of a public procurement is below the international threshold; 2) 1280 euros if the estimated value of a public procurement equals or exceeds the international threshold. (Public Procurement Act, 2007, amended 2013, §118; State Fees Act, 2014, amended 2015, §258(1))
Is there a ban on contract signature until arbitration court decision (first instance court)? No. However, the Review Committee may make a decision on the suspension of the procurement procedure, design contest or award of a public works concession at any stage of the review proceedings on the basis of a founded request, taking into account the potential consequences arising from the suspension to all interests that might be harmed. (Public Procurement Act, 2007, amended 2013, §123(3))
What is the maximum number of days until arbitration court decision from filing a complaint in the case of awarded contracts? 10. 10 working days (written procedure) / 17 working days (with a hearing). This depends on the decision-making procedure. The Review Committee will review a request either on the basis of documents submitted in the written procedure or organise the review of the request at a public oral hearing within seven working days from the receipt of the request. A decision of the Review Committee by which a request is decided substantively will be made public in the office of the Review Committee within ten working days from the termination of the reviewing of the request at the hearing. If the Review Committee reviews a request in the written procedure, a decision by which the request is decided substantively will be announced within ten working days from the receipt of the request. However, if the Review Committee has involved an expert in reviewing a request or addressed the Court of Justice of the EU for obtaining a preliminary ruling in the case and thus a decision cannot be made within the time limit specified above, the decision of the Review Committee by which the request is decided substantively will be disclosed within ten working days from the receipt of the expert opinion or preliminary ruling. (Public Procurement Act, 2007, amended 2013, §125(2), §127(1), (2) and (3))
Is there a requirement to publicly release arbitration court decisions? Yes. The state public procurement register makes the information about the results of review proceedings available to the public. (Public Procurement Act, 2007, amended 2013, §105(2) and (4))

Qualitative data for 2017


Legislation

Public Procurement Act, 2007, amended 2013 (English)pdf
State Fees Act 2007, amended 2014 (English)pdf