LATVIA BACKGROUND CHECK

General Information

GDP USD31.921bn (World ranking 100, World Bank 2014)
Population 1.99 million (World ranking 147, World Bank 2014)
Form of state Parliamentary Republic
Head of government Laimdota STRAUJUMA
Next elections 2018, Legistlative

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(Adopted on 21 Sep1995; amended on 18 March 1999)

Chapter I General Provisions

Section 1. Purpose of the Law

The purpose of this Law is:

1) to ensure openness regarding actions of public officials;[1]

2) to prevent public officials from getting into circumstances of unlawful influence;[2] and

3) to prohibit public officials from exercising authority in conflict of interest situations.[3]

Section 2.Concept of Corruption[4]

Within the meaning of this law, corruption is unlawful taking advantage of the official position of a public official for the purpose of obtaining benefit of a material or other nature.

Section 3. Circumstances of Unlawful Influence and Conflict of Interest Situations[5]

(1) Circumstances of unlawful influence are such circumstances as where a public official violates the restrictions set out in this law.[6]

(2) A conflict of interest situation is such situation as where a public official is required to exercise their powers of office on questions in which, along with their interests as a public official, there are concurrently also material or other personal interests of the official or their relatives.[7]

Section 4. Application of the Law[8]

(1) This Law applies to public officials, as well as — in cases specified in this Law — to their relatives and to former public officials.

(2) If a person belongs concurrently to several categories of public officials as mentioned in Section 5 of this Law, all restrictions prescribed regarding such categories of public officials also apply to such person.

Section 5. Public Officials[9]

(1) Within the meaning of this Law, public officials are:

1) the President;

2) members of the Saeima;

3) the Prime Minister, Deputy Prime Ministers, Ministers, State Ministers and Parliamentary Secretaries;[10]

4) advisors to the President, Prime Minister, Deputy Prime Ministers, Ministers or State Ministers;[11]

5) the Governor of the Bank of Latvia, their deputy and members of the Board of Governors of the Bank of Latvia;

6) the Auditor-General, members of the Council of the State Audit Office, and members of Collegia of the Audit Departments of the State Audit Office;

7) the Chairperson of the Central Electoral Commission, their deputy and the Secretary of the Central Electoral Commission;

8) the Director of the Constitutional Protection Bureau and their deputy, and the Director of the National Human Rights Office and their deputy;

9) members of the National Radio and Television Council;

10) heads of State institutions or local government institutions and their deputies;

11) the Director-General and the Director of Administration of the State Revenue Service;[12]

12) civil servants and Civil Service candidates;

13) chairpersons of local government city councils (parish or district councils) and their deputies, executive directors of local governments and their deputies;

14) members of city and parish councils;

15) heads of State or local government enterprises and their deputies, as well as heads and deputies of such companies in which the shares of the State or local government, separately or combined, exceed 50 per cent;

16) judges, prosecutors or notaries public;

17) police officers, border guards or employees of State fire-fighting and rescue services; and

18) officers, instructors and career soldiers of the active military (combat) service of the National Armed Forces.

(2) Within the meaning of this law, public officials are also other persons who have been appointed, elected or confirmed in office or who perform work in State or local government institutions and enterprises (companies), as well as in other authorities created by them if the relevant persons, in fulfilling duties of office or work, have the right, pursuant to regulatory enactments, to adopt the decisions provided for in Section 6, Paragraph four of this Law, as well as to perform supervision, control, inquiry or punitive functions with respect to persons who are not directly or indirectly subject to them, or to act with regard to State or local government property or financial resources.

(3) Within the meaning of this Law, acting with regard to property or financial resources is manifested by a public official adopting decisions regarding the acquisition of property or transferring of such into ownership or for use, or alienation of such to other persons, as well as by the utilisation, distribution and redistribution of financial resources.[13]

(4) The list of public officials, to whom the provisions of Paragraph two of this Section apply, shall be approved by heads of State or local government institutions and enterprises (companies), and other authorities created by them. Such lists shall be submitted to the State Revenue Service. When new offices or work are determined, changes in the list of officials shall be made within a period of one month after determination of such offices or work.[14]

Chapter II Restrictions with respect to Public Officials[15]

Section 6. Restrictions on Adopting of Decisions[16]

(1) It is prohibited for a public official to prepare or adopt decisions with respect to:

1) themselves and their relatives; [17]

2) questions, the deciding of which affects or may affect the material or other personal interests of the relevant official or their relatives;[18]

3) those natural or legal persons from whom the relevant official or their relatives obtain income of any kind, except income from capital in companies, if the share of capital does not exceed one per cent of the capital of the relevant company; [19] or

4) those enterprises (companies) where the relevant official or their relatives are members of the administration or audit institutions, or where the official or their relatives own more than one per cent of the capital.[20]

(2) A public official may adopt decisions only in cases and in accordance with procedures set out in laws, regulations of the Cabinet, by-laws and other regulatory enactments, as well as in binding regulations adopted by local government city councils (parish or district councils) and other regulatory enactments adopted by local government city councils (parish or district councils).[21]

(3) Within the meaning of this Law, relatives are persons who are married to a public official or are related in the first degree, as well as brothers and sisters.[22]

(4) Within the meaning of this Law, a decision is an act of an individual nature which applies legal norms, which concerns particular natural or legal persons which are not directly or indirectly subject to the adopter of the decision, and which decision is adopted, within the limits of their competence, by a public official or a collegial decision-making authority of which the relevant official is a member.[23]

(5) If a conflict of interest situation as mentioned in Paragraph one of this Section arises, the public official has the obligation to transfer the performance of the relevant functions to another competent public official in accordance with the procedures set out in law. If it is not possible to transfer the performance of the relevant functions to another public official, the procedure for their performance shall be decided by a higher public official or collegial decision-making authority.

(6) The restrictions on adopting decisions set out in this Section do not apply to members of the Saeima and to Cabinet members who participate in adopting decisions in accordance with provisions of the Rules of Order of the Saeima and of Sections 14 and 15 of the Law on the Structure of the Cabinet.[24]

Section 7. Prohibition to Influence Adopting of Decisions, as well as Performing of Supervision, Control, Inquiry and Punitive Functions[25]

Public officials are prohibited from influencing other public officials in any manner when they prepare or adopt decisions or perform supervision, control, inquiry or punitive functions with respect to:

1) such official or their relatives;[26]

2) questions, the deciding of which affects or may affect the material or other personal interests of the relevant official or their relatives;[27]

3) those natural or legal persons from whom the relevant official or their relatives obtain income of any kind, except income from capital in companies, if such capital share does not exceed one per cent of the capital of the relevant company;

4) those enterprises (companies) where the relevant official or their relatives are members of the administration or other bodies, or where the official or their relatives own more than one per cent of the capital.

Section 8. Limits of Supervision, Control, Inquiry or Penalty Functions[28]

(1) A public official who, in accordance with laws, regulations of the Cabinet or other regulatory enactments, has the duty to perform supervision, control or inquiry, impose punishment or arbitrate disputes is not entitled to perform such with respect to:

1) themself, and their relatives;[29]

2) questions, the deciding of which affects or may affect the material or other personal interests of the relevant official or their relatives;[30]

3) those natural or legal persons from whom the relevant official or their relatives obtain income of any kind, except income from capital in companies, if such capital share does not exceed one per cent of the capital of the relevant company;[31] or

4) those enterprises (companies) where the relevant official or their relatives are members of the administrative or audit bodies, or where the official or their relatives own more than one per cent of the capital.[32]

(2) If a conflict of interest situation as mentioned in Paragraph one of this Section arises, a public official has the duty to delegate the performance of the relevant functions to another competent public official in accordance with the procedures set out in law. If it is not possible to delegate the performance of the relevant functions to another public official, the procedure for their performance shall be decided by a higher public official or collegial decision-making body.[33]

Section 9. Prohibition to be a Representative[34]

(1) A public official may not be a representative of a State or local government body:[35]

1) if the official or their relatives have material or other personal interests in the matter to be examined or if the interests of the official or their relatives are contrary to the interests of the State or local government body which the official represents;[36]

2) in relations with such natural or legal persons as the relevant official or their relatives obtain income of any kind from, except income from capital in companies, if such capital share does not exceed one per cent of the capital of the relevant company;[37] or

3) in relations with enterprises (companies) in which the official or their relatives own more than one per cent of the capital.[38]

(2) The President, members of the Saeima, the Prime Minister, Deputy Prime Minister(s), Ministers, State Ministers and Parliamentary Secretaries, the Governor of the Bank of Latvia, their deputy, members of the Board of Governors of the Bank of Latvia, the Auditor-General, members of the Council of the State Audit Office, members of the Collegia of Audit Departments of the State Audit Office, the Chairperson of the Central Electoral Commission, their deputy and the Secretary of the Central Electoral Commission, the Director of the Constitutional Protection Bureau and their deputy, the Director-General and directors of administration of the State Revenue Service, judges, prosecutors, notaries public, police staff, border guards, and officers, instructors and career soldiers of the active military (combat) service of the National Armed Forces may not become authorised representatives who are appointed by a holder of capital shares of the State or a local government for the fulfilment of the rights and duties of stockholders or shareholders in a company. [39]

Section 10. Prohibition to Utilise Official Information

A public official is prohibited from utilising, for material or other personal interests of themself or other persons, information which, in accordance with laws or Cabinet regulations, is considered to be not publicly accessible.

Section 11. Restrictions on Entering into Contracts[40]

A public official may not prepare, or, in the name of a State or local government authority, enter into contracts in which the official or their relatives have material or other personal interests, except in cases when a contract is entered into as a result of a public tendering procedure or competition and the official has, in accordance with the procedures set out in this Law, reported their interest.

Section 12. Restriction on Acting with regard to State and Local Government Property and Financial Resources[41]

A public official may act with regard to State and local government property and financial resources only in cases and in accordance with procedures set out in laws, regulations of the Cabinet or other regulatory enactments, or binding regulations adopted by local government city councils (parish or district councils) or other regulatory enactments adopted by local government city councils (parish or district councils).

Section 12.1. Prohibition to Utilise State and Local Government Property for Personal Needs[42]

A public official may not utilise State or local government property for personal needs, or transfer such to another person to utilise for personal needs, unless it is permitted by law, regulations of the Cabinet or other regulatory enactments.

Section 13.Restrictions on Accepting Gifts[43]

(1) In fulfilling the duties of office, a public official is prohibited from accepting any gifts or other material benefits, except in cases provided for in Paragraph two of this Section.

(2) In fulfilling the duties of office, a public official is permitted to accept only diplomatic gifts and gifts which are presented to the official:

1) during official or work visits abroad;

2) on national holidays of the Republic of Latvia and on days of commemoration;

3) on the anniversary of the State or local government authority or enterprise (company) in which the official works; or

4) on other occasions provided for in laws or determined by the Cabinet.[44]

(3) Within the meaning of this Law, diplomatic gifts are gifts that foreign officials present to the President, the Chairperson of the Saeima, the Prime Minister, the Minister for Foreign Affairs and officials of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, as mentioned in Section 5, Paragraph one, Clause 12 and in Paragraph two of this Law, during State, official or work visits in accordance with protocol.[45]

(4) The gifts mentioned in Paragraph two of this Section are State property. Diplomatic gifts shall be registered in the Unified State Protocol Register of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and the Minister for Foreign Affairs shall decide as to their utilisation. The head of the State or local government authority or enterprise (company), in which the recipient of a gift is an official, shall decide, in accordance with the procedures provided for in regulations of the Cabinet, in respect of the utilisation of other gifts. If the gift is an item for individual use, the recipient of the gift may pre-emptively purchase it. Regulations for pre-emptive purchase regarding gifts shall be determined by the Cabinet.

(5) Public officials, outside of performing the duties of office, are permitted to accept gifts from relatives, as well as from natural and legal persons with respect to which the public official has not, within a period of one year prior to receiving the gift, adopted a decision, performed supervision, control, inquiry or imposed punishment. If a public official, outside of performing the duties of office, has accepted gifts from natural or legal persons, such official is not entitled to adopt a decision, or perform supervision, control or inquiry, or impose sanctions in respect of the giver of the gift.

Section 14. Prohibition to Receive Supplementary Remuneration

(1) A public official who, in performing the duties of office, is required to offer free services or adopt decisions, is prohibited from accepting payment for performing such duties.

(2) A public official who, in performing the duties of office, is required to offer services or adopt a decision for a fee set by the State or local government, is prohibited from accepting additional payment for performing such duties.

(3) Within the meaning of this Law, payment is:

1) the transfer, without consideration, of money or other financial resources, or movable or immovable property into the ownership of the relevant public official;

2) the transfer, without payment or for reduced payment, of movable or immovable property for the use of the relevant public official; or

3) the provision, without payment or for reduced payment, of services to the relevant public official.

Section 15.Restrictions on Advertising

(1) A public official is prohibited from working with any kind of advertising or from utilising their name for advertising, except in cases when such is included in the duties of the work or office of the public official.

(2) Within the meaning of this Law, advertising is the public expression of any kind of personal evaluation regarding a specific enterprise (company), or the goods produced or services provided by it, if the official has received remuneration for such.[46]

Section 16. Restrictions Required to be Observed by Public Officials after Terminating the Performance of the Duties of Office[47]

Section 17. Procedures for Observing Restrictions on Combining Offices and Performance of Work

(1) A public official who has been appointed, elected or confirmed to any of the offices (work) mentioned in Section 5 of this Law and concurrently holds a prohibited office or performs prohibited work, has the duty, within a period of three working days after the appointment, election or confirmation to office (work), to notify in writing:

1) the highest public official or collegial decision-making authority that they hold a prohibited office or perform prohibited work; and

2) the authority in which they hold a prohibited office or perform prohibited work, regarding their wish to be released from the relevant office (work).

(2) An authority, which has received a notice from a public official as provided for in Paragraph one, Clause 2 of this Section, has the duty to adopt a decision, within a period of one month, regarding the release of such official from the prohibited office (work) and to send this decision to the relevant public official.

(3) If within a period of one month the public official, due to reasons not dependent on them, is not released from the prohibited office (work) and does not receive the decision provided for in Paragraph two of this Section, such official has the duty, not later than three working days after expiry of the term specified in Paragraph two of this Section:

1) to provide written notice of such to the highest public official or collegial decision-making authority, as well as the State Revenue Service;

2) to terminate the performance of all duties related to the prohibited office (work); and

3) to terminate the receipt of remuneration for the prohibited office (work).

(4) If the authority, in which the public official holds a prohibited office or performs prohibited work, does not fulfil the provisions of Paragraph two of this Section, the relevant official shall be considered to be released from the prohibited office (work) as of the last day of the term determined in Paragraph two of this Section.

Section 18. Obligation to Terminate a Conflict of Interest Situation[48]

If, in the course of exercising their authority, a public official comes into a conflict of interest situation, it is their duty:

1) to immediately terminate the conflict of interest situation; and

2) to notify in writing the highest public official or collegial decision-making authority regarding the conflict of interest situation.

Section 19. Restrictions on Combining Offices and Performance of Work[49]

(1) The President is permitted to combine their office as public official only with offices which they hold in accordance with the Constitution of the Republic of Latvia.

(2) Members of the Saeima, the Prime Minister, the Deputy Prime Minister(s), Ministers, State Ministers and Parliamentary Secretaries are permitted to combine their office as public official only with:

1) offices which they hold in conformity with laws or international agreements ratified by the Saeima;

2) offices in voluntary, political or religious organisations or trade unions;[50]
3) the work of a teacher, scientist, or doctor, or creative work; or

4) other offices or work in the Saeima or the Cabinet, if such is specified in decisions of the Saeima and its bodies, or regulations or orders of the Cabinet.

(3) The Governor of the Bank of Latvia, their deputy, members of the Board of Governors of the Bank of Latvia, the Auditor-General, members of the Council of the State Audit Office and of the Collegia of Audit Departments of the State Audit Office, the Chairperson of the Central Electoral Commission, their deputy and the Secretary of the Central Electoral Commission, Director of the Constitutional Protection Bureau and their deputy, the Director of the National Human Rights Office and their deputy, members of the National Radio and Television Council, the Director-General and directors of administration of the State Revenue Service, judges, prosecutors, notaries public, police staff, border guards, staff of the State Fire-fighting and Rescue Service, and officers, instructors and career soldiers of the active military (combat) service of the National Armed Forces are permitted to combine their office as public official only with:

1) offices which they hold in accordance with laws, or international agreements ratified by the Saeima; or

2) the work of a teacher or scientist, or creative work.

(4) Chairpersons of local government city councils (parish of district councils), deputy chairpersons of republic city councils, executive directors of local governments and their deputies, heads of State and local government institutions and enterprises (companies) and their deputies, civil servants (Civil Service candidates), and public officials mentioned in Section 5, Paragraph two of this Law are permitted to combine their office as public official only with:

1) offices which such persons hold in accordance with laws or Cabinet regulations and orders;

2) offices in public, political and religious organisations and trade unions;

3) the work of a teacher, scientist or doctor, or creative work; or

4) another office or other work in a State or local government authority, if a decision regarding such has been adopted by the head of the relevant authority or the collegial decision-making authority.

(5) The restrictions mentioned in Paragraph three of this Section apply only to those officers, instructors and career soldiers of the active military (combat) service of the National Armed Forces who are entitled to adopt the decisions provided for in Section 6, Paragraph four of this Law, as well as to carry out supervision, control, inquiry or punitive functions with respect to persons who are not directly or indirectly subject to them, or to act regarding State or local government property or financial resources. A list of such officials shall be approved by the Cabinet. Other officers. instructors and career soldiers of the active military (combat) service of the National Armed Forces are permitted to combine their office as public official with another office or other work if written permission has been received from the commander.

(6) The restrictions mentioned in Paragraph three of this Section shall apply only to those police officers and border guards, and State Fire-fighting and Rescue Service employees who are included in the list of officials approved by the Cabinet. Other police officers and border guards, and State Fire-fighting and Emergency Service officers are permitted to combine their office as public official with another office or work if written permission has been received from a higher official.

(7) The restrictions mentioned in Paragraph four of this Section apply only to those civil servants (Civil Service candidates) who are entitled to adopt the decisions provided for in Section 6, Paragraph four of this Law, as well as to perform supervision, inquiry or punitive functions with respect to persons who not directly or indirectly subject to them, or to act regarding State or local government property or financial resources. A list of such officials shall be approved by the Cabinet. Other civil servants (Civil Service candidates) are permitted to combine their office as public official with another office or work if written permission has been received from a higher public official.

(8) Within the meaning of this Law, creative work is work for which an author’s fee or honorarium is received in relation to journalistic, literary or artistic activities.[51]

(9)Public officials who own a farm or a fishing enterprise, registered in accordance with procedures set out in regulatory enactments, are permitted to combine their office as public official with offices in a farm or fishing enterprise which they own and the income of which is derived only from agricultural production, forestry or fisheries, commerce in agricultural produce and rural tourism.

Section 19.1. Restrictions on Receiving Remuneration[52]

(1) A public official is permitted to concurrently receive remuneration for performing their duties as a public official and remuneration also for performing the duties of such office and carrying out such work as is not prohibited by this Law and other laws.

(2) If the performing of the duties of office of a member of the Saeima is combined with those of the office of Prime Minister, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister, State Minister or Parliamentary Secretary, receipt of remuneration is permitted only for one office.

Section 20. Provisions Regarding Enterprise Activities and Obtaining of Income[53]

(1) The President, members of the Saeima, the Prime Minister, Deputy Prime Minister(s), Ministers, State Ministers, Parliamentary Secretaries, State secretaries and their deputies, the Governor of the Bank of Latvia, their deputy, members of the Board of Governors of the Bank of Latvia, and relatives of these public officials may not own enterprises (companies) or shares of capital (that exceed one per cent) in enterprises (companies) which receive State procurement contracts, State financial resources, State-guaranteed loans or State privatisation fund resources, except in cases when such are awarded as a result of a public tendering procedure or open competition.

(2) The President, representatives to the Saeima, the Prime Minister, Deputy Prime Minister(s), Ministers, State Ministers, Parliamentary Secretaries, State secretaries and their deputies, the Governor of the Bank of Latvia, their deputy, members of the Board of Governors of the Bank of Latvia, and relatives of these public officials may not receive income of any kind from enterprises (companies) which receive State procurement contracts, State financial resources, State-guaranteed loans or State privatisation fund resources, except in cases when such are awarded as a result of a public tendering procedure or open competition. These restrictions do not apply to income which a public official and their relatives receive from capital, which does not exceed one per cent of the capital of the relevant enterprise (company), as well as to income from payment for work or remuneration for office in enterprises (companies) in which the State or local government share of the fixed capital, separately or in total, exceeds 50 per cent.

(3) The provisions in Paragraphs one and two of this Section shall also be observed by relevant public officials and their relatives for two years after they have ceased to perform the duties of the relevant office.

(4) Heads of State and local government enterprises (companies) and their deputies may not obtain income of any kind from enterprises (companies) which receive procurement contracts from such State or local government enterprise (company) as is headed by the relevant public official, except in cases where the procurement is awarded as a result of a public tendering procedure or an open competition. These restrictions do not apply to income which the public official obtains from capital that does not exceed one per cent of the capital of the relevant enterprise (company), as well as to income from payment for work or remuneration regarding an office in enterprises (companies) in which the State or local government share of the fixed capital exceeds 50 per cent, separately or in total.

(5) Chairpersons, their deputies and members of local government councils (parish or district councils), as well as executive directors of local governments may not own enterprises (companies) or shares of capital (that exceed one per cent) in enterprises (companies) which receive procurement contracts, financial resources, local government guaranteed credits or privatisation fund resources, from the relevant local government, except in cases when such are awarded as a result of a public tendering procedure or open competition.

(6) Chairpersons), their deputies and members of local government councils (parish or district councils, as well as executive directors of local governments may not obtain income of any kind from enterprises (companies) which receive procurement contracts, financial resources, local government guaranteed credits or privatisation fund resources from the relevant local government, except in cases where they are awarded as a result of a public tendering procedure or open competition. These restrictions do not apply to income which a public official obtains from capital that does not exceed one per cent of the capital of the relevant enterprise (company), as well as to income from payment for work or remuneration regarding an office in enterprises (companies) in which the State or local government share of the fixed assets does exceeds 50 per cent, separately or in total.

(7) Chairpersons of republic city councils and district councils, and executive directors of these local governments, shall also observe the provisions of Paragraphs five and six of this Section for one year after they have ceased to perform the duties of the relevant office.

(8) The exceptions mentioned in Paragraphs one, two, four, five and six of this Section shall not be permitted if the relevant public official is head of a State or local government body which has announced a public tendering procedure or open competition, or the official has appointed to office any member of the competition or tendering procedure commission, or if a member of a competition or tendering procedure commission is directly or indirectly subject to them.

Section 21. Special Provisions with Respect to Adopting of Decisions

Chapter III Declarations of Public Officials[54]

Section 22. Types of Declarations for Public Officials

(1) In order to be able to control how public officials observe the provisions of this Law, relevant officials have the duty, within the terms specified in this Law, to submit the following declarations to the State Revenue Service:[55]

1) declaration of a public official, which shall be submitted upon assuming office;

2) annual declaration of a public official;

3) declaration of a public official, which shall be submitted upon terminating the performance of duties of offic

(Adopted on 5 July 2001)

Chapter I General Provisions

Section 1. Terms Used in this Law

The following terms are used in this Law:

1) procurement – purchases, services received, or construction performed for the needs of the contracting authority;

2) candidate – person or group of persons invited to participate in a restricted competition or a negotiated procedure;

3) contracting authority:

a) State or local government institution or local government;

b) a merchant (except a public services undertaking) who receives credit the guarantor of which with respect to repayment and utilisation is the State or a local government;

c) a commercial company in the equity capital of which the State or local government share is more than 25 per cent, or which the State budget or a local government budget finances;

d) a concessionaire (with respect to construction work) if the concession is entered into regarding use of the structure but payment for the concession is construction work;

e) a person carrying out a project which is financed also from the State budget or a local government budget with respect to acquisitions for the project;

f) a non-profit-making organisation established by the State or a local government and which the State budget or a local government budget finances;

g) a commercial company in the equity capital of which the State or local government share is more than 25 per cent and which manages the immovable property of the State or a local government and performs civil legal transactions with respect to such property on behalf of a State institution or a local government;

h) a State or local government agency; or

i) a contracting authority within the meaning of this Law is not a public services undertaking within the meaning of the Law On Construction Work, Supply, Leasing and Services for the Needs of Public Services Undertakings;

4) tenderer – a person or group of persons who have submitted a tender to participate in the selection of a candidate in a restricted competition, or a tender to sell goods, provide services or perform construction work in accordance with the requirements of the contracting authority;

5) tender of abnormally low cost – tender of a tenderer to sell goods, provide services or perform construction work for a price substantially lower than that tendered by other tenderers if:

a) the contracting authority upon checking the price calculations has found errors there that were the reason for specifying such a low price,

b) the tenderer is unable to prove that it has access to special technology or market conditions that would allow such a low price to be specified; or

c) the tenderer has not observed the technical conditions;

51) significantly lower price – the price tendered by a tenderer, which is the lowest tendered price, moreover it differs by than 10 per cent from the next lowest price, which has been tendered regarding the purchase of goods or receipt of services;

6) goods – any tangible or intangible property that satisfies some need and for which a value may be specified when purchasing or selling it on the market;

7) services – transport operations; design work, also construction design; drafting; technology development; research; training; provision of consultations; testing; diagnostics; monitoring of structures and constructions; work and process management, also construction project management, and lease, including the lease of immovable property; and other work that is not construction work or supply of goods.

8) construction work – work which is performed in a building or at a construction site (on a parcel of land) during construction, reconstruction, renovation, restoration, demolition and territory development with the use of construction materials and construction equipment;

9) economically most advantageous tender – the tender selected taking into account various criteria: regular payments, rentability, quality offered, aesthetic and functional characteristics, technical maintenance possibilities, technical assistance, and price;

10) tender security – sum of money as provided for by the competition regulations, or a guarantee of such sum, which is submitted to the contracting authority by a tenderer together with the tender as security for the validity of the tender; and

11) security for a contract (obligation) – reinforcement of obligations provided for in a contract entered into by the contracting authority and the tenderer who has won the competition or the selected candidate.

Section 2. Purpose of this Law

The purpose of this Law is to ensure:

1) transparency of the procurement process;

2) free competition for sellers of goods, providers of services and performers of construction work, as well as equal and fair treatment of such; and

3) effective utilisation of State or local government resources by maximally reducing the risk of contracting authorities.

Section 3. Basic Procurement Regulations

(1) Exchange of information between a contracting authority and a tenderer shall take place in writing, except for the negotiated procedure.

(2) A tenderer shall sign his or her tender and submit it for the competition in writing, and shall ensure that the information contained in the tender is not accessible until the moment of opening of the tender. When the term for submission of tenders has expired, a tenderer may no longer correct or supplement his or her tender.

(3) A procurement contract shall be concluded in a written form. If the value of a procurement does not exceed 1000 lati, an accounting corroborative document on the basis of which the contracting authority shall pay money for the supply of goods or the provision of services in accordance with the Law On Accounting may serve as a written contract.

(4) A contracting authority may divide procurement into parts (lots) in order to enable several tenderers to participate in the procurement or to submit a tender for separate parts (lots) of the procurement. Several procurement subject-matters may be combined into a single procurement if there is technical justification therefor.

(5) A contracting authority may not set any requirements for tenderers or candidates that provide more advantageous conditions for a particular tenderer or candidate than for the others, or which otherwise restrict competition.

(6) In the case of construction, a separate competition shall be organised for design and construction, except for the cases provided for in Section 5 of this Law.

Section 4. Exceptions for the Application of this Law.

(1) A contracting authority shall not apply this Law if a contract is being entered for:

1) the services of an arbitration board;

2) financial services for the realisation of monetary policy, currency exchange policy, management of the State debt, reserves, and other financial management policies that include transactions with securities and other financial instruments, as well as for the services of the Bank of Latvia and the State Treasury and with the non-material services associated with the referred to financial services;

3) services of natural persons in accordance with employment contracts;

4) official travel expenditures in accordance with Cabinet regulations;

5) provision of services or supply of goods from public services undertakings for the provision or supply of which such undertakings have exclusive rights in accordance with the Law On Construction Work, Supply, Leasing and Services for the Needs of Public Services Undertakings;

6) services by such institutions as have been established to ensure the functions of the contracting authority and which fully observe the requirements of this Law;

7) research services, except those services as are fully paid for by the contracting authority and are utilised for its own needs only;

8) procurement of goods and services of a military nature utilising the NATO procurement system if for each particular case the Cabinet has taken a decision regarding it;

9) common procurement of goods and services of a military nature for all three Baltic States if for the procedures to be applied in each particular case the Cabinet has taken a decision;

10) procurement of goods and services of a military nature from foreign armed forces if for the procedures to be applied in each particular case the Cabinet has taken a decision;

11) procurement of goods and services of a military nature, which is not conducted according to the procedures specified in Clauses 8, 9 and 10 of this Paragraph, as well as procurements that in accordance with laws and other regulatory enactments are classified as official secret objects if for the procedures to be applied in each particular case the Cabinet has taken a decision;

12) utilisation of the works of authors if the author has exclusive rights in accordance with the Copyright Law;

13) procurement of official secrets objects for the needs of State security institutions;

14) procurement of immovable property utilising right of first refusal or right of pre-emption; and

15) lease of land if the existing buildings (structures) of the contracting authority are located on land belonging to another owner.

(2) A contracting authority shall apply the provisions of Chapters I and II and Section 35, but need not apply the provisions of Chapters III, IV, V, and VI, and Section 34 if a procurement contract is being entered into for:

1) a procurement for which the estimated contract price is less than 1000 lati;

2) design work, research, consultation, management, and drafting services the estimated contract price is from 1000 lati to 10 000 lati;

3) procurement in the case where, as a result of unforeseen circumstances (fire, natural disaster, war, epidemic, accident or other emergency circumstances which the contracting authority could not have foreseen), an emergency situation has arisen and it is necessary to rectify it in order to restore or ensure the activities of the contracting authority, and the estimated price of the contract does not exceed 50 000 lati; or

4) procurement or lease of immovable property for the needs of police, border guards and customs if for each particular case the Cabinet has taken a decision regarding it.

Section 5. Cases when Other Procurement Procedures may be Applied

If a procurement is financed by an international financial institution in the amount of more than 50 per cent or the procurement is a program financed by foreign technical assistance or the European Commission and a condition for the granting of such financing is the application of such procurement procedure that differs from the procedures referred to in this Law, the contracting authority may utilise the procedure referred to in the conditions for the granting of the financing.

Chapter II Determination of Estimated Procurement Contract Price

Section 6. Estimated Contract Price

(1) The estimated contract price is the sum of money, economically substantiated, that the contracting authority has made provision for regarding the purchase or lease of goods or services, or construction work, including all taxes.

(2) The estimated contract price shall be determined in order to select the method of procurement.

(3) It is not permitted to divide the estimated contract price into parts in order to avoid the application of the appropriate procurement method for the contract price. If the total amount of a procurement is divided into parts in accordance with Section 3, Paragraph four of this Law and it is provided that separate procurement contracts will be entered into for each part, the estimated contract price shall be determined by taking into account the total value of all the parts.

Section 7. Estimated Contract Price for Goods

(1) The estimated contract price for goods shall be determined by considering the planned sum for the purchase of specific goods.

(2) If the expected purchase of one type of goods is of a regular procurement nature, and is expressed in such form that for equivalent contract subject-matter several procurement contracts shall be entered into, the estimated contract price shall be determined by summing the estimated contract prices of all such procurement contracts within a time period that is not shorter than one quarter.

Section 8. Estimated Contract Price for Leases

(1) If goods are leased with right of pre-emption, the estimated contract price shall be determined:

1) as the total lease payment, adding all the lease payments and the possible pre-emption payment, which shall be expressed as the sum of the lease payments and pre-emption payment if the procurement contract is entered into for an unspecified time period, which is not longer than 48 months; or

2) adding the monthly lease payments and multiplying the sum by 48 if the procurement contract is entered into for a specified time period, which is longer than 48 months, or for an unspecified time period.

(2) If goods are leased without right of pre-emption, the estimated contract price shall be determined:

1) as the total lease payment if the procurement contract is entered into for a specified time period, which is not longer than 48 months; or

2) as the monthly lease payment multiplied by 48 if the procurement contract is entered into for s specified time period that is longer than 48 months, or for an unspecified time period.

(3) If immovable property is leased without right of pre-emption, the expected contract price shall determined as the total lease payments up to the end of the time period of the contract.

Section 9. Estimated Contract Price for Services

(1) The estimated contract price for services, except for leases, shall be determined by taking into account all payments that will be received by the provider of services, as well as the conditions referred to in this Section.

(2) The estimated contract price for insurance shall be determined by taking into account the amount of insurance premiums to be paid.

(3) The estimated contract price for bank services and other financial services shall be determined by taking into account payments for the services, as well as commissions and interest payments received by the provider of services.

(4) The estimated contract price for design, also for construction design, shall be determined by taking into account the total payment that the provider of services will receive.

(5) If the services are regular and a contract price is determined for such services, the estimated total contract price shall be determined based on the payment for services provided in one month, multiplied by:

1) the number of months in the time period for which the procurement contract will be entered into if such time period does not exceed 48 months; or

2) by 48 if the procurement contract will be entered into for an unspecified period of time, or a specified time longer than 48 months.

Section 10. Estimated Contract Price for Construction Work

(1) The estimated contract price for construction work shall be the estimated contract price for the construction or a stage thereof that is to be put into service.

(2) The estimated contract price for construction work shall include the contract price of all goods, lease or services thereof, except construction design that is necessary in order to perform the relevant construction work, as well as the contract price for such goods or services as will be supplied or provided to the performer of construction work by the contracting authority.

Section 11. Estimated Contract Price for Mixed Contracts

(1) If a procurement contract refers to the purchase or lease of specific goods, specific services or parts thereof, specific construction work or parts thereof, then the total estimated contract price of the goods, services and construction work shall be taken into account.

(2) If a contract provides for the purchase or lease of both goods and services, such contract shall be considered either as a purchase of goods contract or a provision of services contract depending on what constitutes the larger part of the estimated contract price. These conditions shall not apply to construction work.

Chapter III Description of Work and Technical Specifications

Section 12. Description of Work

(1) The description of work is a document prepared by the contracting authority, in which the set requirements for the necessary services, the purpose of such services and, if necessary, the methods and resources to be utilised are specified, as well as the final result. The description of work in the case of construction design is a description of design work.

(2) The description of work and amounts list shall be clear and unambiguous in order that without additional preparation and unjustified risk the price of the service or construction may be calculated, but the contracting authority – may compare tenders.

(3) In the case of construction work design, the description of design work shall be drawn up so that the tenderer to the construction work procurement may specify the position costs referred to in the amounts list included as an integral part of the design work prepared by the designer in relation to the works to be performed, construction products and construction equipment.

(4) A description of work shall be drawn up as a separate document and included in the competition regulations. In the case of requests for a price quotation and negotiated procedures it shall be included in the invitation to tender.

(5) The description of work may not mention specific materials or processes, nor indicate trademarks, patents and specific origin of goods unless such conditions are crucial for the existence of the subject-matter of the procurement. In such case, the specific references shall be used together with the words “vai ekvivalents” [or equivalent].

(6) The description of work is a mandatory document for the procurement of services, except for leases.

Section 13. Technical Specifications

(1) Technical specifications are:

1) description of goods that includes requirements with respect to quality, quantity, operation, safety, guarantees, dimensions, terminology, symbols, tests, methods of testing, packaging, marking, labels and other substantiated and objective requirements so that the goods conform to the procurement purpose; and

2) a description (list) of standards and quality requirements specified for the intended work and constructions in the construction project.

(2) By means of technical specifications, the contracting authority shall specify the level of requirements that the goods or construction work have to conform to. The technical specifications shall be included in the procurement procedure regulations and the contract. The contracting authority shall give priority to those technical specifications that focus on the result of the operation (function) of the procurement object. If the contracting authority considers that such technical specifications do not conform to the purpose of the contract, the contracting authority may also develop such technical specifications characterising the appearance of the procurement subject-matter.

(3) The technical specifications may not mention specific materials or processes, nor indicate trade marks, patents and specific origin of goods unless such conditions are crucial for the existence of the procurement subject-matter. In such case, the specific references shall be used together with the words “vai ekvivalents” [or equivalent].

(4) If the procurement object conforms to the relevant standards, the technical specifications shall be prepared in accordance with:

1) adapted European standards with the status of Latvian national standards;

2) Latvian national standards; and

3) other standards of international or regional standardisation organisations.

(5) Paragraph four of this Section shall not apply to cases when:

1) it is technically not possible to achieve conformity of goods to the standards mentioned therein; or

2) to incorporate the standards mentioned therein the contracting authority would have to acquire goods which are incompatible with the goods at their disposal and which the contracting authority is expecting to use together with the goods to be acquired.

(6) The technical specifications shall be drawn up as a separate document and included in the competition regulations. In the case of requests for a price quotation and negotiated procedures it shall be included in the invitation to tender.

(7) The technical specifications are a mandatory document for the purchase of goods, leases and construction works.

Chapter IV Requirements to be Met by the Tenderers

Section 14. Selection of Tenderers

The contracting authority shall examine tenders submitted by tenderers, which conform to the requirements stipulated in this Chapter and which have been selected in accordance with the procedures indicated in this Law.

Section 15. Provision of Equal Opportunity for Tenderers

(1) The contracting authority shall provide for all tenderers an equal opportunity to acquire rights to enter into a procurement contract.

(2) Tenderers may join together in groups irrespective of their type of commercial activity and submit a single joint tender if such is provided for in the competition regulations. If the contracting authority has selected such a group and a type of commercial activity has been specified as desired to fulfil a procurement contract, the contracting authority may require the tendering group to form a partnership.

(3) Transparency shall be observed throughout the procurement procedure. If the contracting authority provides additional information, such information shall be sent to all the tenderers as well as to all who have received the competition regulations or the regulations for selection of qualifications in a restricted competition.

(4) Participation of a tenderer in the procurement procedure may not be hindered.

(5) It is prohibited for persons, who themselves or their representatives have participated in the preparation of the competition regulations, requests for a price quotation or negotiated procedures, to participate in the relevant competition, negotiated procedure or request for a price quotation.

(6) From the time of submission of tenders to the opening thereof, the contracting authority is prohibited from providing information on the existence of other tenders. During the period of the evaluation of the tenders up to the notification of the results, the contracting authority may not provide information regarding the process of evaluating tenders.

(7) The contracting authority may not request payment for the competition regulations and for participation in the procurement procedure.

Section 16. Conditions for Excluding Tenderers

(1) A contracting authority shall not examine a tender and shall exclude the tenderer from future participation at any stage of tender evaluations if:

1) a tenderer is declared insolvent, is in the process of liquidation, its business activity has been suspended or interrupted, or legal proceedings have been initiated with respect to termination of the activities of the tenderer, insolvency or bankruptcy;

2) a tenderer has tax debts or debts with respect to mandatory payments of State social insurance in Latvia or another State in which the tenderer is registered;

3) violations of the professional activities of the tenderer within a period of the last three years from the day of the opening of tenders have been determined in accordance with procedures prescribed by law;

4) the tenderer is not registered in cases prescribed by law and in accordance with procedures prescribed by law;

5) the tenderer does not have a certificate of origin of goods, nor a licence for the sale of goods specified in the certificate nor for the provision of services or performance of construction work if such certificates or licences are necessary in accordance with other regulatory enactments;

6) the tenderer, in accordance with Paragraph two of this Section, in providing the information required has provided false information or no information at all;

7) the tenderer is included in the special list of the Procurement Monitoring Bureau, and which list the Bureau has placed on the Internet. The Internet address shall be published in the newspaper “Latvijas Vēstnesis” [official Gazette of the Government of Latvia]. The procedure for establishing the special list shall be regulated by the Cabinet.

(2) In order to evaluate a tenderer in accordance with Paragraph one of this Section, the contracting authority may request:

1) a declaration by the tenderer that no violations by the tenderer in its professional activities have been determined in accordance with procedures prescribed by law;

2) a statement issued, not earlier than one month prior to the submission of the tender, by the State Revenue Service or other tax administration institution in Latvia or an equivalent tax administration institution in another state in which the tenderer is registered, certifying that the tenderer does not have tax debts or debts with respect to mandatory payments of State social insurance;

3) a copy of the registration certificate or a statement which certifies that the tenderer is registered in accordance with procedures prescribed by law, has not been declared insolvent, is not in the process of liquidation, or the tenderer’s economic activity has not been suspended or terminated;

4) a licence or certificate for the sale or lease of particular goods, for the provision of services or performance of construction work if such certificate or licence is necessary in accordance with other regulatory enactments; and

5) information in accordance with Section 19, Paragraph two of this Law.

Section 17. Information regarding the Economic and Financial Standing of a Tenderer

(1) If an open or restricted competition or negotiated procedure is provided for, the contracting authority shall determine the level of requirements or the minimal requirements with respect to the economic and financial standing of tenderers and may, in order to evaluate such standing, require the tenderer to present or submit one or more of the following documents:

1) the annual accounts of the tenderer or a certified excerpt from the annual accounts regarding that part of the commercial activity of the tenderer which relates to the expected procurement, but for not more than the previous three years;

2) a statement regarding the tenderer’s total financial turnover or financial turnover in respect of the relevant procurement, but for not more than the previous three years; and

3) information regarding State social insurance payments from the income of the employer and the average number of employees, but not more than for the last three years.

(2) If in the case of a particular procurement the information referred to in Paragraph one of this Section does not characterise the economic and financial standing of the tenderer, the contracting authority may request other information for characterising such standing.

Section 18. Information on a Tenderer’s Capabilities

(1) In the regulations for an open competition or regulations for selection of candidates in a restricted competition the contracting authority shall indicate how the tenderer will have to confirm their capability to sell or lease goods, provide services or perform construction work.

(2) The contracting authority, or a competent authority in the name of the contracting authority in the state where the tenderer is registered, may carry out an examination in order to determine the tenderer’s production capabilities and measures to ensure quality control.

(3) If the expected contract is related to the purchase or lease of goods, the contracting authority may request the tenderer to present or submit one or more of the following supporting documents:

1) a list of relevant or similar goods sold where the quantity of goods sold is mentioned, the recipient and the date, and to which copies of approved waybills or equivalent documents or references are attached, but for not more than the previous three years;

2) a description of technical equipment owned by the tenderer and a document that confirms the tenderer’s capability to ensure the quality of the goods;

3) information regarding personnel involved in the sale or lease of goods, especially personnel responsible for quality control;

4) samples, descriptions or photographs of the goods to be sold;

5) copy of a certificate, issued by an official quality control institution or other competent body, which certifies the conformity of the goods to standards; or

6) documents, which confirm the right of the tenderer in the expected procurement period in the territory of Latvia to sell goods and to perform the guarantee service thereof.

(4) If the expected contract relates to the provision of services, the contracting authority may, taking into consideration the specifics of the services, request the tenderer to present or submit one or more of the following supporting documents:

1) information regarding the qualifications of the tenderer or of the education and qualification of the person who is the actual provider of the services;

2) a list of services provided, approved by the recipient of the services or the provider of the services, which indicates the amount of services, the recipient and the date of provision of the services, or references from the recipient of such services, but for not more than the previous three years;

3) information regarding personnel involved in the provision of services, especially personnel responsible for quality control;

4) information regarding the tools necessary for the provision of services, production equipment, and premises owned by or accessible to the tenderer;

5) a description of the measures to ensure the quality of the services to be provided; or

6) a statement regarding which parts of the contract the tenderer plans to give to subcontractors in accordance with a subcontract.

(5) If the expected contract relates to the performance of construction work, the contracting authority may request the tenderer to present or submit one or more of the following supporting documents:

1) information regarding the education and professional qualifications of the persons responsible for the performance of construction work;

2) information regarding construction work performed, supplemented with statements and references regarding performance of the more significant work in the internal market, but for not more than the previous five years. Such statements shall include information regarding the amount of the relevant construction work, the types of constructions, the time period for performance and location, whether all work has been completed, as well as the name, location, amount and expected date of completion of unfinished objects shall be indicated;

3) information regarding the technology and production equipment necessary to perform the construction work and which is owned by or is accessible to the tenderer; or

4) information regarding the technical personnel which the tenderer will utilise for the construction work.

(6) If the tenderer indicates that subcontractors will be involved, information shall be requested also regarding such subcontractors.

(7) The contracting authority is entitled to specify from the total volume of work the maximum volume of work, which may be performed by a subcontractor. Such volume shall be determined as a percentage of the expected contract amount and shall be indicated in the procurement procedure by

Chapter I General Provisions

Section 1. Terms Used in this Law

The following terms are used in this Law:

1) office – work or service within the scope of specified authorisation in a State or local government institution, public, political or religious organisation, as well as in a commercial company;

2) work-performance contract – a contract governed by civil law by which a public official undertakes to perform work of a specified amount for the benefit of another person for certain remuneration;

3) authorisation – a set of rights which has been granted to a public official by another person in order that the public official shall act in the name and interests of the authorising person;

4) counterparty – a natural or legal person or an association of natural or legal persons established on the basis of a contract, which in accordance with the provisions of this Law is in declarable business relations with a public official;

5) conflict of interests – a situation where in performing the duties of office of the public official, the public official must take a decision or participate in taking of a decision or perform other activities related to the office of the public official which affect or may affect the personal or financial interests of this public official, his or her relatives or counterparties;

6) relative – father, mother, grandmother, grandfather, child, grandchild, adoptee, adopter, brother, sister, half-sister, half-brother, spouse;

7) creative work – journalistic, literary or artistic work for which royalties or fees are received;

8) State or local government authority – a State or local government institution (a unit thereof) or capital company (a branch thereof);

9) head of a State or local government authority – the head of a State or local government institution (in a Ministry – State Secretary) or the executive board of a capital company.

Section 2. Purpose of the Law

The purpose of this Law is to ensure that the actions of public officials are in the public interest, prevent the influence of a personal or financial interest of any public official, his or her relatives or counterparties upon the actions of the public official, to promote openness regarding the actions of the public officials and their liability to the public, as well as public confidence regarding the actions of public officials.

Section 3. Scope of Application of this Law

This Law provides for:

1) restrictions and prohibitions upon public officials;

2) prevention of conflict of interest in actions of public officials; and

3) declaration of the financial status of public officials and a mechanism for the verification of the declarations of public officials.

Section 4. Public Officials

(1) Public officials are:

1) the President;

2) members of the Saeima;

3) the Prime Minister, Deputy Prime Ministers, Ministers, Ministers for Special Assignments, State Ministers and Parliamentary Secretaries;

4) the head of the Chancellery of the President of Latvia and his or her deputy, the Director of the Saeima Chancellery and his or her deputy;

5) advisors to the President, advisors, consultants and assistants, as well as heads of the Offices of the Prime Minister, Deputy Prime Ministers, Ministers, Ministers for Special Assignments and State Ministers;

6) the Governor of the Bank of Latvia, his or her deputy and members of the Board of Governors of the Bank of Latvia;

7) the Auditor General, members of the Council of the State Audit Office, members of the Collegia of the Audit Departments of the State Audit Office and the administrator of the Chancellery of the State Audit Office;

8) the Chairperson of the Central Electoral Commission, his or her deputy and the Secretary of the Central Electoral Commission;

9) the Director of the Constitution Protection Bureau and his or her deputy;

10) the head of the Prevention and Combating of Corruption Bureau and his or her deputy;

11) the head of the Prevention of the Laundering of Proceeds from Crime Service and his or her deputy;

12) the Director of the National Human Rights Office and his or her deputy;

13) members of the National Broadcasting Council of Latvia, members of the Council of the Public Utilities Commission, members of the Council of the Finance and Capital Market Commission;

14) chairpersons of local government city councils (parish or district councils) and their deputies, executive directors of local governments and their deputies;

15) councillors of local government city councils (parish or district councils);

16) heads of State or local government institutions and their deputies;

17) civil servants of the general or specialised State Civil Service;

18) members of councils or executive board of those capital companies in which the State or local government share of the equity capital separately or in aggregate exceed 50 percent;

19) members of councils or executive boards of State or local government capital companies;

20) representatives of the holder of the State or local government share of capital and their authorised persons;

21) judges, prosecutors, sworn notaries and sworn bailiffs; and

22) professional service soldiers and military employees of the National Armed Forces.

(2) Persons who in the performance of the duties of office in the State or local government authorities, in accordance with regulatory enactments, have the right to issue administrative acts, as well as to perform supervision, control, inquiry or punitive functions in relation to persons who are not under their direct or indirect control, or to deal with the property of the State or local government, including financial resources, shall also be considered to be public officials.

(3) Persons who perform duties of office outside the State or local government authorities shall also be considered as public officials if in accordance with the regulatory enactments the State or local government has permanently or temporary delegated to them any of the functions referred to in Paragraph two of this Section.

Section 5. Control of the Implementation of this Law

(1) The Prevention and Combating of Corruption Bureau, as well as other authorities and public officials in conformity with the competence specified in this Law or other regulatory enactments shall control the implementation of this Law.

(2) The activities of the Prevention and Combating of Corruption Bureau shall be regulated by the Prevention and Combating of Corruption Bureau Law.

Chapter II. Restrictions and Prohibitions with Respect to Public Officials

Section 6.General Restrictions On Combining Offices of Public Officials

Public officials are permitted to combine an office of the public official with another office, in the performance of a work-performance contract or authorisation if restrictions on the combining of the offices of the public official are not provided for in this Law or other regulatory enactments.

Section 7. Special Restrictions On Combining Offices of Public Officials

(1) Combining the office of the President with another office shall be determined by the Constitution of the Republic of Latvia.

(2) Members of the Saeima, the Prime Minister, Deputy Prime Ministers, Ministers, Ministers for Special Assignments, State Ministers and Parliamentary Secretaries are permitted to combine their office as public officials only with:

1) offices that they hold in accordance with laws, or international agreements ratified by the Saeima;

2) offices in public, political or religious organisations;

3) the work of a teacher, scientist, doctor or creative work; or

4) other offices or work in the Saeima or the Cabinet, if such is specified in decisions of the Saeima and its institutions, or regulations or orders of the Cabinet.

(3) The Governor of the Bank of Latvia, his or her deputy and members of the Board of Governors of the Bank of Latvia, the Auditor General, members of the Council of the State Audit Office, members of the Collegia of Audit Departments of the State Audit Office and the administrator of the Chancellery of State Audit Office, the Chairperson of the Central Electoral Commission, his or her deputy and the Secretary of the Central Electoral Commission, the Director of the Constitution Protection Bureau and his or her deputy, the Director of the National Human Rights Office and his or her deputy, the head of the Chancellery of the President of Latvia and his or her deputy, the Director of the Saeima Chancellery and his or her deputy, members of the National Broadcasting Council of Latvia, members of the Council of the Public Utilities Commission, the chairperson of the Finance and Capital Market Commission, his or her deputies and members of the Council of the Finance and Capital Market Commission, the Director-General, directors of administration of the State Revenue Service and their deputies, directors of territorial authorities and their deputies, judges, prosecutors, sworn notaries and sworn bailiffs, officials of Prevention and Combating of Corruption Bureau, the head of Prevention of the Laundering of Proceeds from Crime Service and his or her deputy, and professional service soldiers and military employees of the National Armed Forces are permitted to combine the office of public official only with:

1) offices which they hold in accordance with laws, or international agreements ratified by the Saeima, Cabinet regulations and orders; and

2) the work of a teacher, scientist or creative work.

(4) The Chief of the State Police and his or her deputy, the Chief of the Security Police and his or her deputy, the Chief of the State Border Guard and his or her deputy, the Chief of the State Fire-fighting and Rescue Service and his or her deputy, the Chief of the Local Government Police and his or her deputy is permitted to combine the office of public official only with:

1) offices which they hold in accordance with the Law or international agreements ratified by the Saeima, Cabinet regulations and orders; and

2) the work of teacher, scientist or creative work.

Chairpersons of local government city councils (parish or district councils), deputy chairpersons republic city councils, executive directors of local governments and their deputies, heads of State and local government institutions and their deputies, as well as members of executive boards and councils of such State and local government capital companies, in which the State or local government share of the equity capital separately or in aggregate exceeds 50 percent, are permitted to combine their office of public official only with:

1) offices which such persons hold in accordance with laws, or Cabinet regulations and orders;

2) offices in public, political or religious organisations;

3) the work of teacher, scientist, doctor or creative work; or

4) other offices in a State or local government institution if such combination does not result in a conflict of interests and written permission has been received from the public official or collegial authority which has elected, appointed or approved the relevant person in the office.

(6) Civil servants of the general or specialised State Civil Service, as well as officials of the local government police and the officials referred to in Section 4, Paragraph two of this Law for whom special conditions for combining of the office are not specified in this Section, may combine the office of public official only with:

1) offices which such persons hold in conformity with laws, and Cabinet regulations and orders;

2) the work of teacher, scientist and creative work; and

3) other offices, in the performance of a work-performance contract or authorisation if combination thereof does not result in a conflict of interests and written permission of the head of the relevant State or local government institution or a person authorised by him or her has been received.

(7) Civil servants of the National Armed Forces are permitted to combine the office of public official with another office, in the performance of a work-performance contract or authorisation, if written permission of the commander (head) of the unit has been received.

(8) In cases referred to in Paragraph five, Clause 4 and Paragraph six, Clause 3 of this Section the relevant public official or collegial authority is entitled not to issue permission for combining the office of the public official if the permission may create a conflict of interest situation or is in conflict with ethical norms binding on the public official, or harms the performance of the direct duties of the relevant public official. A refusal shall be substantiated and drawn up in writing. A public official may dispute the refusal, by appealing to a higher public official or collegial authority.

(9) A public official, who is registered in the commercial register as an individual merchant in accordance with the procedures specified in the regulatory enactments and whose annual turnover of economic activities does not exceed 30 000 lati, is permitted to combine the office as public official with the economic activities of an individual merchant, if the individual merchant receives income only from the agricultural production, forestry, fishery or rural tourism.

Section 8. Procedures for Implementation of Restrictions On Combining the Offices of Public Officials

(1) A person who, after assuming office as a public official, concurrently holds an office (performs a work-performance contract or authorisation) the combining of which with the office of public official is not permitted, has a duty in writing:

1) to notify a higher public official or collegial authority of the fact that he or she holds an office (performs a work-performance contract or authorisation) the combining of which with the office of public official is not permitted; and

2) to submit a submission requesting the release of him or her from the relevant office (notification regarding withdrawal from the work-performance contract or authorisation) to the authority in which the person holds the office (to the person with whom he or she has entered into a work-performance contract or from whom an authorisation has been received) the combining of which with the office of public official is prohibited.

(2) The authority (person), which has received the submission of a public official referred to in Paragraph one, Clause 2 of this Section, has a duty, within a time period of one month, to take a decision regarding the release of the person from the office (regarding the termination of a work-performance contract or authorisation) and to send such decision to the relevant public official.

(3) If a public official has not received the decision referred to in Paragraph two of this Section due to circumstances beyond his or her control, he or she has a duty within the time period of seven days after the expiry of the time period referred to in Paragraph one of this Section:

1) to notify in writing a higher public official or collegial authority, as well as the Prevention and Combating of Corruption Bureau thereof;

2) to suspend the performance of the duties of the relevant office (work-performance contract or authorisation); and

3) to suspend the receipt of remuneration for the performance of the duties of the relevant office (work-performance contract or authorisation).

(4) If the authority (person) referred to in Paragraph one, Clause 2 of this Section has not fulfilled the provisions of Paragraph two of this Section, the public official shall be considered as released from the relevant office (the work-performance contract or authorisation shall be considered as terminated) as of the last day of the time period referred to in Paragraph two of this Section.

Section 9. Restrictions on the Obtaining of Income

(1) A public official is permitted to concurrently receive remuneration for the performance of duties of office as public official and remuneration for the performance of such duties of office, work-performance contract or authorisation as are not prohibited to the official by this Law and other laws, as well as to obtain income from commercial activity which is not prohibited to the official by this Law and other laws.

(2) If the performance of the duties of office of a member of the Saeima is combined with the office of the Prime Minister, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister, Minister for Special Assignments, State Minister or Parliamentary Secretary, he or she is permitted to receive the remuneration intended only for one office.

(3) A public official shall not obtain income from capital shares and stock, as well as from any kind of securities in commercial companies that are registered in tax-free or low-tax countries and territories in accordance with the list approved by the Cabinet.

(4) A public official while he or she is a representative of the holder of the State or local government capital share in a capital company, as well as three years after the fulfilment of these duties is prohibited:

1) to receive, directly or through the intermediation of third parties, any kind of financial benefit, including financial resources, not related to the performance of his or her duties ;

2) to accept gifts from the relevant capital company or members of its supervisory or executive bodies;

3) to acquire capital shares, stocks or property of the relevant capital company; and

4) to hold other offices in the relevant capital company.

Section 10. Restrictions on Commercial Activities

(1) The President, members of the Saeima, the Prime Minister, Deputy Prime Ministers, Ministers, Ministers for Special Assignments, State Ministers or Parliamentary Secretaries and their deputies, the Governor of the Bank of Latvia and his or her deputy, members of the Board of Governors of the Bank of Latvia, the Auditor General, members of the Council of the State Audit Office, members of the Collegia of the Audit Departments of the State Audit Office, the Director of the Constitution Protection Bureau and his or her deputy, the head of Corruption Prevention and Combating Bureau and his or her deputy, the Director-General and the directors of administration of the State Revenue Service, members of the Council of Public Utilities Commission, members of the Council of the Finance and Capital Market Commission, as well as relatives of the public officials referred to shall not be the shareholders, stockholders and partners of such commercial companies or such individual merchants as receive orders for procurement for State and local government needs, State financial resources, State-guaranteed credits or State privatisation fund resources, except the cases where they are granted as a result of an open competition.

(2) The relevant public officials and their relatives shall comply with the provisions specified in Paragraph one of this Section also for two years after the public officials have ceased to perform the duties of the relevant office of the public official.

(3) Members of the council or executive board of a State or local government capital company shall not obtain any type of income from merchants who receive orders for procurements for State and local government needs from the respective capital company, except the cases where orders have been granted as a result of an open competition. These restrictions do not apply to income from the remuneration for the office in a capital company in which the State or local government share of the equity capital separately or in aggregate exceeds 50 percent.

(4) Chairpersons of the local government city councils (parish or district councils), their deputies and councillors, as well as executive directors of local governments shall not be the shareholders, stockholders and partners of such commercial companies or such individual merchants as receive orders from the respective local government for procurements for local government needs, financial resources, local government-guaranteed credits or privatisation fund resources, except the cases where they are granted as a result of an open competition.

(5) Chairpersons of republic city and regional councils and executive directors of these local governments shall observe the provisions of Paragraphs four of this Section also two years after they have ceased to perform the duties of the relevant office of public official.

(6) The exceptions referred to in Paragraphs one, three and four of this Section are not permissible if the public official manages a State or local government authority which has announced an open competition or if this official has appointed to the office any of the members of the procurement commission, or if any of the members of the procurement commission are under his or her direct or indirect subordination.

(7) A public official, for two years after he or she has ceased to perform the duties of the relevant office of the public official in a State or local government authority, is prohibited to obtain the property of such merchant, as well as to become a shareholder, stockholder, partner or hold an office in those commercial companies, in relation to which during performing his or her duties this public official has taken decisions on procurement for State or local government needs, allocation of State or local government resources and State or local government privatisation fund resources or has performed supervision, control or punitive functions.

Section 11. Restrictions on Issuing Administrative Acts, Performance of Supervision, Control, Inquiry or Punitive Functions and Entering Into Contracts

(1) A public official is prohibited, in the performance of the duties of the public official, to prepare or issue administrative acts, perform the supervision, control, inquiry or punitive functions, enter into contracts or perform other activities in which such public officials, their relatives or counterparties are personally or financially interested.

(2) A public official shall not issue administrative enactments, perform supervision, control, inquiry or punitive functions, enter into contracts or perform other activities in relation to his or her counterparties also for two years after the termination of contractual relationship.

(3) A person who, prior to assuming the office of the public official, has been a member of the supervisory, executive or control body of a commercial company, is prohibited, for two years after he or she has become a public official and ceased employment or other relationship governed by civil law with the commercial company, to issue administrative acts which affect the activities of the relevant commercial company.

(4) The restrictions on the issue of administrative acts specified in Paragraph three of this Section do not apply to such public officials who, before assuming the office of public official, have been members of the supervisory, executive body or control body of a commercial company in which the State or local government share of the equity capital separately or in aggregate exceeds 50 percents.

(5) The restrictions on the issue of administrative acts specified in this Section do not apply to members of the Saeima and the Cabinet who participate in the issue of administrative acts in accordance with regulatory enactments.

Section 12. Prohibition to Influence Issue of Administrative Acts, as well as the Performance of Supervision, Control, Inquiry and Punitive Functions

A public official is prohibited to influence in any manner other public officials using his or her office position when preparing or issuing administrative acts or performing supervision, control, inquiry or punitive functions with respect to:

1) this official, his or her relatives or counterparties;

2) issues the deciding on which shall influence or may influence the personal or financial interests of the official, his or her relatives or counterparties;

3) those natural or legal persons from whom the official or his or her relatives obtain any type of income; and

4) such commercial company the shareholder, stockholder, partner or the member of supervisory, control or executive body of which the official is or his or her relatives are, as well as with respect to an individual merchant who is a public official himself or herself or his or her relatives.

Section 13. Restrictions on Accepting Gifts

(1) A public official is prohibited from accepting gifts directly or indirectly, except the cases specified in Paragraphs three and six of this Section.

(2) Within the meaning of this Law, a gift is any financial or other kind of benefits including services, transfer of rights, release from obligations, refusal from any rights in favour of a public official or his or her relatives, as well as other activities by which any benefit is granted to such persons. Within the meaning of this Law, diplomatic gifts are gifts that official representatives of foreign states present to the President, Chairperson of the Saeima, Prime Minister, Minister for Foreign Affairs and officials of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, referred to in Section 4, Paragraph one, Clause 17 and Section 4, Paragraph two of this Law, during official or work visits in accordance with protocol.

(3) A public official in relation to his or her activities in the office of the public official is permitted to accept only diplomatic gifts and gifts which are presented:

1) by official representatives of foreign states during official or work visits abroad;

2) by foreign delegations or official representatives of foreign states during the State, official or work visits in the Republic of Latvia;

3) by official representatives of foreign states to the public officials of diplomatic and consular representation offices of the Republic of Latvia;

4) by official representatives of foreign states during work visits in the Republic of Latvia – to the President, Prime Minister, Deputy Prime Ministers, Ministers, Ministers for Special Assignments and State Ministers;

5) on public holidays of the Republic of Latvia and on days of commemoration and celebration;

6) on the anniversary of the State or local government authority in which the official works; or

7) in other cases provided for in laws.

(4) A public official is prohibited from accepting gifts in cases specified in Paragraph three of this Section, if a gift is a benefit of another type referred to in Paragraph two of this Section.

(5) The gifts referred to in Paragraph three of this Section shall be the property of the State or the relevant local government. Diplomatic gifts shall be registered in the Unified State Protocol Register of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and the Minister for Foreign Affairs shall decide on their utilisation. The head of the State or local government authority in which the recipient of the gift holds the office of the public official shall decide on the utilisation and redemption of the remaining gifts in accordance with the procedures provided for in Cabinet regulations.

(6) Public officials are permitted to accept gifts from their relatives outside the performance of the duties of office of the public official. It is permitted to accept gifts from other natural or legal persons outside performance of the duties of office of the public official only if the value of the gift received from one person within a time period of one year shall not exceed the amount of a minimum monthly salary and the public official has not issued an administrative act or performed supervision, control, inquiry or punitive functions in relation to the donor within a time period of two years before the receipt of the gift. If a public official has accepted gifts from natural or legal persons outside the performance of the duties of office of the public official, he or she is not entitled to issue administrative acts or perform supervision, control, enquiry and punitive functions in relation to the donor for the time period of two years after the acceptance of the gift.

Section 14. Restrictions on Acceptance of Donations

(1) Within the meaning of this Law, a donation is the allocation (transfer) of financial resources, goods or services without compensation for specified purposes.

(2) A public official or collegial authority is prohibited from requesting or accepting a donation from a natural or legal person, as well as other types of financial aid for public needs if the donation or aid affects the taking of a decision in relation to such natural or legal person.

(3) A public official, as well as a State or local government authority may accept a donation and other type of financial aid for State or local government needs – for the improvement of staff training or work organisation or technical support if the donation is provided by any non-involved third party and it has been accepted in compliance with the restrictions specified in Paragraph two of this Section, as well, it does not place the public official in a conflict of interest situation. Prior to the acceptance of the donation or financial aid, permission from a higher official or collegial authority shall be necessary.

(4) A public official or collegial authority is prohibited to take any decisions in relation to the donor for a time period of two years after the acceptance of the donation or financial aid referred to in Paragraph three of this Section.

(5) A public official is prohibited from requesting donations directly or through the intermediation of other persons or accepting donations or participating in any other way in the collection thereof:

1) for the needs of the public official himself or herself or the needs of his or her relatives, except cases where it is necessary for the treatment of a serious illness;

2) for the needs of those natural or legal persons from which the public official or his or her relatives acquire or have acquired any type of income during the performance of the duties of office of the public official, except the income from the capital shares in capital companies if the capital share does not exceed one percent of the capital of the relevant capital company; or

3) for the needs of those merchants where the State official or his or her relatives are members of their administration or audit authorities, or where the official or his or her relatives own more than one percent of the capital.

Section 15. Prohibition to be a Representative

(1) A public official may not be a representative of a State or local government authority:

1) if this official or his or her relatives are financially or otherwise personally interested in the matter to be examined or also if the interests of the official or his or her relatives are in conflict with the interests of the State or local government authority which the official represents;

2) in relations with such natural or legal persons from whom the official or his or her relatives obtain any type of income;

3) in relations with the counterparties; and

4) in relations with such commercial companies the shareholder, stockholder, partner, or member of supervisory, control or executive body of which the public official is or his or her relatives are, as well as in relations with individual merchants who themselves are public officials or their relatives.

(2) A public official shall not be a representative of the holder of the State or local government capital shares, except in the cases provided for by the Law On the Shares of the State and Local Government Capital and Capital Companies.

Section 16. Prohibition to Receive Supplementary Payments

(1) A public official who, in performing the duties of office of a public official, must provide free services or take decisions, is prohibited from accepting payments for the performance of such duties.

(2) A public

(Adopted on 18 April, 2002)

Chapter I General Provisions

Article 1. The Meaning of Corruption and the Purpose of this Law

(1) For the purposes of this Law, corruption means bribery or any other action by a Government official intended to gain a benefit or advantage for him/herself or other persons by means of his/her office or authority or by overextending same.

(2) The purpose of this Law is to define the legal status and objectives of the Corruption Prevention and Combating Bureau (hereafter “the Bureau”), and to monitor compliance of political organisations (parties) and their associations with party financing regulations.

Article 2. Status of the Bureau

(1) The Bureau is an institution of the State Administration under the supervision of the Cabinet of Ministers, performing the functions defined in this Law to prevent and fight corruption and monitor compliance of political organisations (parties) and their associations with party financing regulations.

(2) The Bureau has an account at the National Treasury, its own seal bearing the enlarged image of the small Coats-of-Arms of Latvia and the full name of the Bureau.

(3) The Bureau is body of performing investigatory operations.

Chapter II Structure, Officials and Staff of the Bureau

Article 3. The Structure and Board of the Bureau

(1) The Bureau is made up of the central administration and territorial branches. The territorial branches do not have the status of a legal entity.

(2) The Head of the Bureau, his/her deputies and Heads of Departments of the central administration are members of the Board. The duties of the Board are as follows:

1) approve the plan of operations for the performance of functions defined in this Law;

2) approve the structure and Founding Law of the central administration of the Bureau;

3) adopt a decision to establish territorial branches and define their structure and area of operations and approve their Founding Laws;

4) review the draft agreements between the Bureau and relevant foreign counterparts;

5) decide any issue within the authority of the Head of the Bureau if so requested by the Head or another member of the Board

(3) Meetings of the Board are called at the request of the Head of the Bureau or a member of the Board. The Board adopts decisions by a majority of the full Board.

Article 4. Head of the Bureau

(1) The Bureau is managed by the Head of the Bureau. He/she is appointed for a term of five years and may be dismissed by the Saeima on the recommendation of the Cabinet of Ministers.

(2) An open competition shall be announced for the position of the Head of the Bureau. Any person may be a candidate for this office, provided he/she

1) is a citizen of Latvian;

2) is fluent in Latvian and at least two other foreign languages;

3) is university educated and has the appropriate professional experience;

4) has not reached retirement age;

5) has no criminal record (regardless of the record having been cancelled or erased) or has been rehabilitated;

6) complies with the requirements of this law to receive the special permission to access State secrets;

7) is not and has never been a member of an illegal organisation.

(3) The Head of the Bureau:

1) manages operations of the Bureau;

2) is responsible for the performance of the functions of the Bureau;

3) calls and chairs meetings of the Board;

4) handles funds of the Bureau and is responsible for their use;

5) approves the staff of the Bureau in accordance with the available funding and decides on their pay in accordance with provisions of normative acts;

6) decides on the job descriptions, rights and obligations of the officials and staff of the central administration of the Bureau and Heads of the territorial branches;

7) reviews complaints received from physical and legal persons regarding actions of the officials or staff of the Bureau;

8) awards officials and staff of the Bureau and imposes disciplinary punishment, as the case may be;

9) within his/her authority, enters into agreements with relevant foreign services;

10) approves internal normative acts regulating operations of the Bureau;

11) carries out appropriate administrative, technical and organisational actions in order to maintain the confidentiality of information, prevent unauthorised access to information, and ensures that information is not changed, disclosed or destroyed;

12) decides on the procedure for registration, processing, storage and destruction of information received by the Bureau;

13) without special authorisation, represents the Bureau, issues instructions to the officials and staff of the Bureau and Heads of the territorial branches;

14) reports to the Cabinet of Ministers on operations of the Bureau not less than once every six months;

15) drafts and submits to the Cabinet of Ministers application for funding from the National Budget;

(4) In the absence of the Head of the Bureau his/her duties shall be performed by his/her deputy.

Article 5. Appointing and Discharging Officials of the Bureau

(1) Officials of the Bureau performing functions of the Bureau and carrying responsibility for same, are the Head of the Bureau, his/her deputies, Heads of Departments of the central administration and Heads of territorial branches, investigators and experts.

(2) The legal labour relations of officials of the Bureau shall be subject to normative acts regulating labour relations unless this Law provides differently.

(3) A person unable to comply with requirements provided by law to enable them to receive special permission to access State secrets, may not be an Official of the Bureau.

(4) Officials of the central administration and Heads of the territorial branches of the Bureau are appointed and may be dismissed by the Head of the Bureau.

(5) Officials of the territorial branches of the Bureau are appointed and may be dismissed by the Head of the Bureau on the recommendation of the Head of the branch.

(6) Officials of the Bureau may be dismissed in the following cases:

1) at their own wish;

2) he/she is appointed or elected to another position;

3) he/she has joined a political organisation (party) or an association of political organisations (parties);

4) he/she is unable to perform his/her duties due to reasons of health;

5) due to a Court sentence coming into effect;

6) negligence in performance of duties or actions incompatible with the status of his/her position;

7) is unsuitable for the position.

(7) In order to assess the reasons mentioned in sub-clauses 3, 4, 6 and 7 of Clause 6 of this Article, the Head of the Bureau shall appoint a commission as provided by the Cabinet of Ministers, headed by the Prosecutor General or a senior prosecutor duly authorised by him/her.

(8) In the event an official of the Bureau is arrested or is criminally charged, the Head of the Bureau (in the case of the Head of the Bureau, the Prosecutor General) shall suspend him/her from performing his/her duties and stop payment of salary as of the date of suspension.

(9) In the event an official of the Bureau so suspended is found guilty of a crime, salary for the period of suspension is not paid and the official shall be considered dismissed as of the date of suspension. In the event the official is acquitted, he/she shall be paid his/her salary for the duration of the suspension, unless the acquittal has another reason provided by this Law.

Article 6. Hiring and Firing Staff of the Bureau

(1) The legal labour relations of the staff of the Bureau shall be subject to normative acts regulating labour relations, unless this Law provides differently.

(2) Any employee of the Bureau must comply with the requirements provided by law to receive the special permission to access State secrets.

(3) Staff of the central administration of the Bureau is hired and fired by the Head of the Bureau.

(4) Staff of the territorial branches is hired and fired by the Head of the Bureau on recommendation of the Head of the branch.

Chapter III Authority of the Bureau

Article 7. Functions of the Bureau to Prevent Corruption

(1) In order to prevent corruption, the Bureau shall perform the following functions:

1) develop an anti-corruption strategy and draw up a national anti-corruption programme, which is then approved by the Cabinet of Ministers;

2) co-ordinate co-operation among the institutions indicated in the national programme in order to ensure implementation of the programme;

3) monitor observance of the law “On Prevention of Conflict of Interest in Actions of State Officials’’ and any other additional restrictions for State officials provided in normative acts;

4) draw up and co-ordinate projects of financial assistance by other countries and international organisations;

5) review complaints and submissions within its authority and carry out checks suggested by the President of Latvia, the Saeima, the Cabinet of Ministers and the Prosecutor General;

6) compile and analyse results of these checks, information contained in declarations submitted by State officials, any violations found in these submissions and failure to observe the restrictions provided by law;

7) analyse the practice of State institutions in preventing corruption, and in cases of corruption found, submit recommendations to the relevant Ministry and the National Civil Service for the correction of discrepancies found;

8) develop a method for the prevention and fighting of corruption in State and municipal institutions and the private sector;

9) compile and analyse the experience of other countries in preventing and fighting corruption;

10) analyse normative acts and draft normative acts and recommend changes in these, submit recommendations for drafting new normative acts;

11) carry out a survey of public opinion and analyse the results;

12) educate the public in the area of the law and ethics;

13) inform the public of the development tendencies of corruption and cases of corruption found, as well as steps taken to prevent and fight corruption;

14) develop and implement a public relations strategy;

15) according to its competence evaluate content and results of investigations performed by other institutions

16) examine the declarations of state officials in the framework of the Law “On Prevention of Conflict of Interest in Actions of State Officials’’

(2) Provide information and recommendations on anti-corruption issues to the Anti-Corruption and Crime Council upon request.

Article 8. Functions of the Bureau in Combating Corruption

(1) The Bureau shall perform the following functions in the fight against corruption:

1) charge State officials with administrative liability and impose punishment in cases of administrative violations in the area of corruption, as provided by law;

2) carry out investigation and operative actions to discover criminal offences in the area of corruption in the National Civil Service, as provided in the Criminal Law.

(2) Other agents engaged in investigative operations provided by law are duty bound to assist the Bureau on request in the performance of its functions in operative operations.

Article 9. Functions of the Bureau in Monitoring Observance by Political Organisations (Parties) and their Associations of Party Financing Regulations

The Bureau shall perform the following functions in monitoring observance by political organisations (parties) and their associations of party financing regulations:

1) monitor compliance with party financing regulations by political organisations (parties);

2) in cases provided by law, charge with administrative liability and impose appropriate punishment;

3) perform investigations in order to discover criminal offences as provided in the Criminal Law if linked to violations of party financing regulations by political organisations (parties) and their associations, provided such violations are not within the jurisdiction of national security institutions;

4) within its authority, review complaints and submissions and carry out investigations initiated by the President of Latvia, the Saeima, the Cabinet of Ministers or the Prosecutor General;

5) compile and analyse the processed information provided in financial declarations of political organisations (parties) and their associations, any violations found in the submissions and failure to observe the restrictions provided by law;

6) analyse normative acts and draft normative acts and recommend changes therein, submit recommendations to draft new normative acts;

7) carry out public opinion surveys and analyse their results;

8) educate the public in the area of financing political organisations (parties) and their associations;

9) inform the public of any discovered violations of party financing regulations by political organisations (parties) and their associations) and steps taken to prevent same.

Article 10. Authority of Bureau Officials

(1) Bureau officials may, within their authority:

1) carry out investigations as provided in the Latvian Code of Criminal Procedures;

2) carry out operative investigations as permitted by law in order to uncover and prevent criminal offences in the areas of corruption and party financing;

3) draw up administrative charges in case of discovered violations, review cases of administrative violations and impose administrative punishment in cases of violations the review of which, according to the Code of Administrative Violations, comes under the jurisdiction of the Bureau;

4) request and receive free of charge information, documents and other material from the State administration and municipal institutions, companies, organisations, officials and other persons, regardless of their secrecy regime;

5) request and receive free of charge through the agencies of the Prosecutor General information from financial institutions needed in a criminal case;

6) have free access to all information stored in registered data bases whose registration is regulated in normative acts, regardless of their ownership;

7) obtain, receive, register, process, compile, annualise and store information needed for the performance of functions of the Bureau. The handling and use of such information shall be regulated by the Head of the Bureau;

8) in the event certain indications are noticed in the actions of a person evidencing potential of illegal actions, issue a warning that violations of the law are unacceptable;

9) showing a service certificate of identity, freely visit State administration and municipal institutions, as well as manufacturing premises, warehouses, trade and other commercial premises located in the territory of Latvia owned or leased by legal or physical persons;

10) if necessary in the performance of functions fighting corruption and monitoring financing of political organisations (parties) and their associations, use free of charge communication and public information facilities of Government institutions, State owned corporations and Government organisations, and in exceptional cases also facilities owned by other persons. The costs of use of communication and public information facilities of other persons shall be paid if so requested by the owner;

11) in emergency cases and with the consent of the driver, use vehicles belonging to companies, institutions, organisations or private persons (except vehicles of foreign diplomatic and consular services and international organisations, as well as specific service vehicles), to proceed to a case site or to transport persons to medical facilities in case emergency medical attention is required, as well as to pursue persons who have committed a criminal offence, and to transport detained persons to a police station;

12) keep and carry service or personal arms and special means of self protection, use arms and special means of protection in accordance with the provisions of the law “On the Police”;

13) summon to the Bureau any person connected to investigation of a case or material, and in the event a person fails to appear after receiving such summons, bring him/her in by force;

14) demand that a person cease to violate the law and other actions interfering with the performance of their duties by officials and other staff of the Bureau, and use force against such violators;

15) check personal documents of identification while performing anti-corruption functions or monitoring party financing of political organisations (parties) and their associations;

16) advertise for and remunerate assistance in uncovering criminal offences and detaining of persons who have committed a criminal offence;

17) with mediation of General Prosecutor or his authorised person pass criminal cases or examination materials to other inquiry institution for continuation of inquiry process. Or take over from other inquiry institutions criminal cases or inquiry materials which fall within the competence of the Bureau.

Article 11. Obligations of Bureau Officials and Employees

(1) It is the duty of officials and employees of the Bureau to perform their work, showing personal initiative and acting in the best public interests in order to ensure proper performance of functions of the Bureau as provided in this Law.

(2) In the performance of functions mentioned in Articles 7, 8 and 9 of this Law, the Bureau shall co-operate with other Government and municipal institutions, public organisations and foreign institutions.

Chapter IV Legal Protection, Liability and Social Guarantees of Officials and Employees of the Bureau

Article 12. Legal protection and guarantees of independence (indemnity) of Bureau officials

(1) A Bureau official is a representative of Government authority, and any legal requests, demands and orders he/she issues in the performance of his/her duties, are binding to all persons. Offending or insulting, resisting or endangering a Bureau official, or any action interfering with his/her performance of duties shall be punished as provided by law.

(2) A Bureau official shall not be liable for any material or physical harm caused in accordance with Bureau authority to a offender resisting arrest.

(3) A Bureau official may not be charged with criminal liability in the territory of Latvia without the consent of the Prosecutor General, he/she may not be arrested (also administrative arrest), searched, brought in by force; nor may his/her residential or office premises or personal or official vehicles be searched or viewed. Such criminal procedural restrictions shall not apply to Bureau officials if they are caught committing a criminal offence, in which event the Prosecutor General and Head of the Bureau are advised within 24 hours.

Article 13. Limitations of Bureau Officials

(1) Income limits, restrictions on double employment or other similar restrictions and obligations are provided in the law “On the Prevention of Conflict of Interest in the Actions of Civil Servants”.

(2) Along with the restrictions listed in Clause 1 of this Article, the following restrictions shall apply to Bureau officials:

1) they may not take part in the operations of political organisations (parties) and their associations;

2) they may not organise strikes, demonstrations, pickets or take part in same.

Article 14. Remuneration of Bureau Officials

Remuneration of Bureau officials shall be determined by the Cabinet of Ministers.

Article 15. Social Guarantees of Bureau Officials and Employees

(1) Bureau officials and Employees are subject to the compulsory State insurance as provided by the Cabinet of Ministers.

(2) Any loss and damages caused to the property of a Bureau official, employee or their family as a result of the professional actions of a Bureau official or employee, shall be compensated in full from the National Budget.

(3) The procedure for submitting application for such compensation to the Head of the Bureau and the procedure for deciding on payment of the compensation and actual payment of same shall be determined by the Cabinet of Ministers.

Article 16. Benefits payable in the event of injury to a Bureau official or employee and in the event of the death of a Bureau official, employee or a member of their families

(1) In the event a Bureau official or employee has been injured or crippled while performing his/her duties, or has sustained other harm to his/her health disabling him/her from performing his/her work, he/she shall be paid a once only benefit as provided by the Cabinet of Ministers, taking into consideration the degree of loss of working capacity, which shall be determined by the National Health and Working Ability Commission of Physicians.

(2) In the event of a death of a Bureau official or staff member, his/her family shall be paid a once only benefit in the amount of the monthly salary of the deceased. In the event the Bureau official or staff member was killed while performing his/her duties, he/she shall be buried at the cost of the State and his/her family shall be paid, in addition to the death benefit provided in normative acts, a once only benefit in the amount of ten years of average salary.

(3) A Bureau official or employee shall be paid a benefit in the amount of a month’s salary in the event of the death of a family member or dependent.

Article 17. Childbirth benefits

In the event of the birth of a child, a Bureau official or employee shall be paid a benefit in the amount of six months salary. In the event both parents of the infant are Bureau officials or employees, only one of them is entitled to the benefit.

Article 18. Termination of Employment Benefit

A Bureau official or employee shall be paid a benefit in the amount of a month’s salary if his/her employment contract is terminated due to closing of the Bureau, elimination of his/her job or staff reduction.

Article 19. Supplementary Remuneration for Performance of Duties outside his/her Job Description

A Bureau official or employee shall be paid additional remuneration for performing the duties of an absent Bureau official or employee or the duties of a presently vacant job in addition to his/her own duties, as provided by the Cabinet of Ministers.

Article 20. Payment of Risk Benefits and Supplements for Long Service

A Bureau official or employee shall be paid a risk benefit in the case of performing duties under high intensity conditions and a supplement for long service, as provided by the Cabinet of Ministers.

Article 21. Costs of Continued Education and Training

(1) The Head of the Bureau shall provide opportunities for Bureau officials and employees to attend continued education and training events of not less than 45 days over a period of three years at the cost of the Bureau, while continuing to draw their regular salary, provided such continued education and training take place in Latvia.

(2) The procedure for attending continued education and training taking place outside Latvia, and payment of expenses for same, shall be determined by the Cabinet of Ministers.

(3)In the case of a Bureau official or employee who successfully attends an educational facility in order to improve his/her knowledge in the line of his/her duties, while continuing to perform his/her duties, the Bureau shall pay one half of the annual tuition costs.

(4) A Bureau official or staff member who resigns or is discharged by the Bureau, who has worked at the Bureau less than five years after the occasion of payment for studies, shall refund to the Bureau the amount of tuition paid by the Bureau, as provided by the Cabinet of Ministers.

Article 22. Annual Vacation

(1) Bureau officials and staff members shall be entitled to annual vacation in accordance with the Bureau vacation schedule.

(2) The length of such annual vacation shall be five calendar weeks for officials and four calendar weeks for employees. A Bureau official or employee shall be granted full annual vacation for his/her first year of employment after he/she has worked continually at the Bureau for at least six months.

(3) Upon leaving for his/her vacation, a Bureau official or staff member shall be paid a vacation benefit in the amount of a month’s salary.

(4) Bureau officials and staff members may be granted additional vacation in cases and of a length provided by the Cabinet of Ministers.

Article 23. Time off for educational purposes

(1) Bureau officials and employees who successfully attend an educational in order to improve his/her knowledge in the line of his/her duties facility while continuing to perform their duties, shall be given time off with pay up to 20 working days to sit for examinations or defend dissertations.

(2) If necessary, and conditions at work permit it, a Bureau official or employee may be given time off with pay up to ten days to sit for end of term examinations.

Article 24. Leave without pay

If necessary, and conditions at work permit it, a Bureau official or employee may be given time off without pay.

Article 25. Liability of Bureau officials and Employees for Breach of Confidentiality

(1) Bureau officials and employees may not disclose, in public or otherwise, restricted information which they have obtained in the course of performing their duties, except in cases provided in normative acts. The aforesaid prohibition of disclosure continues after leaving employment of the Bureau.

(2) In the event of a disclosure of information as stated above, Bureau officials and employees shall be liable for loss and damages caused to third persons as a result of such disclosure, as provided by normative acts.

Transitional Provisions

1. This Law shall come into effect on May 1, 2002.

2. Organisation of establishing the Bureau shall begin on May 1, 2002.

3. Starting July 1, 2002, the Bureau shall carry out the following functions:

1). In the area of prevention of corruption – all functions stated in Article 7 of this Law, except those mentioned in Clauses 3 and 6 of the Article.

2) in the area of fighting corruption – investigations and operative work within its authority.

3) monitoring observance of regulations of party financing of political organisation (parties) and their associations.

4. Starting February 1, 2003, the Bureau shall perform its functions in full.

5. Institutions responsible for anti-corruption functions and monitoring of observance of regulations of party financing prior to this Law coming into effect shall continue to perform their functions until such time as these functions are taken over by the Bureau.

6. The Cabinet of Ministers shall issue Cabinet of Ministers Regulations mentioned in this Law within 3 months.

This Law was adopted by the Saeima April 18, 2002.

(Adopted on 18 May 2000, amended on 25 April 2002)

Chapter XXIV Criminal Offences Committed in State Authority Service

Section 320. Accepting Bribes

For a person who commits accepting a bribe, that is, intentionally illegally accepting valuable property or benefits of a material or other nature, where commission thereof is by a State official personally or through an intermediary, for the performing or failure to perform some act in the interests of the giver of the bribe by using his or her official position, the applicable sentence is deprivation of liberty for a term not exceeding eight years, with or without confiscation of property.

For a person who commits the same acts, if commission thereof is repeated or on a large scale, or if they are associated with a demand for a bribe, the applicable sentence is deprivation of liberty for a term of not less than three and not exceeding ten years, with confiscation of property.

For a person who commits the acts provided for in Paragraphs one and two of this Section, if they are associated with extortion of a bribe, or if commission thereof is by a group of persons pursuant to prior agreement, or by a State official holding a responsible position, the applicable sentence is deprivation of liberty for a term of not less than eight and not exceeding fifteen years, with confiscation of property.

Section 321. Misappropriation of a Bribe

For a person who commits misappropriation of a bribe which a person has received in order to provide to a State official, or which he or she has accepted, pretending to be a State official, the applicable sentence is deprivation of liberty for a term not exceeding four years, or a fine not exceeding one hundred times the minimum monthly wage.

For a person who commits misappropriation of a bribe which a State official has received in order to provide it to another State official, or which he or she has accepted claiming to be another State official, the applicable sentence is deprivation of liberty for a term not exceeding six years.

Section 322. Intermediation in Briber

For a person who commits intermediation in bribery, that is, of acts manifested in the providing of a bribe received from the giver of the bribe to a person accepting the bribe, or the bringing together of these persons, the applicable sentence is deprivation of liberty for a term not exceeding six years.

For a person who commits the same acts, if commission thereof is repeated or is by a State official, the applicable sentence is deprivation of liberty for a term of not less than three and not exceeding ten years, with or without confiscation of property.

Section 323. Giving of Bribes

For a person who commits giving of bribes, that is, the providing of valuable property or benefits of financial or other nature personally or through intermediaries to a State official in order that he or she, using his or her official position, performs or fails to perform some act in the interests of the giver of the bribe, the applicable sentence is deprivation of liberty for a term not exceeding six years.

For a person who commits the same acts, if commission thereof is repeated or is by a State official, the applicable sentence is deprivation of liberty for a term of not less than five and not exceeding twelve years, with or without confiscation of property.

Section 324. Release of a Giver of a Bribe and Intermediary from Criminal Liability

A person who has given a bribe shall be released from criminal liability if this bribe is extorted from this person or if, after the bribe has been given, he or she voluntarily informs of the occurrence.

Extortion of a bribe shall be understood to be the demanding of a bribe in order that legal acts be performed, as well as the demanding of a bribe associated with threats to harm lawful interests of a person.

An intermediary or abettor respecting a bribe shall be released from criminal liability if, after commission of the criminal act, he or she voluntarily informs of the occurrence.

Police Background Check Procedures

Who can apply?

• Residents and non-residents may apply.
• Third Party representatives may apply on individual’s behalf.
• Prospective UK employers cannot apply.

Where?

• Information Centre of the Ministry of the Interior (ICMI) through mail, post, fax, e-mail, online or in person.
• Overseas applicant may apply through mail, e-mail, post or fax to ICMI, but are advised to apply through their nearest Latvian embassy, in person.

What must the applicant supply?

• Local and overseas applicants* must supply:
• Full name (including previous, where applicable)
• Social security number
• Place of residence
• Contact telephone number
• Purpose of request, country and institution to which certificate is to be issued to.
• Turnaround time (standard or urgent)
• Language of results (English, Russian or Latvian; fee may be applicable)
Copy of biometric data (passport) page (applicants appearing in person must have original copy with them)
• Receipt showing payment of required fee (must be paid before submitting app
lication)
*An online form may be downloaded at the link provided below
Third party representatives must supply the following:
• Completed application form
• Valid passport (copy for mailed applications)
• Payment of required fee
• Notarised power of attorney from the subject (legalised with apostille for overseas applicants)

What are the costs / turnaround times?

Local applicants:
• Standard request (within 5 working days): LVL 3 (approx. GBP£ 4.00)
• Urgent request (within 24 hours): LVL 9 (approx. GBP£ 12.00) Consular fees:
• Fee of £19 (£10 standard fee + £3 compulsory English translation fee + £6 compulsory legal apostille fee)
• Enquire at embassy to pay fee.
• Turnaround time is between 6-8 weeks
• May be collected in person with photo ID or received through post.

 

Local and Overseas applicants must pay fee before submitting application. Enquire at addresses
provided.
Contact Details
Consult website for further information and to access form:
https://www.latvija.lv/LV/PublicServices/Service.aspx?pubcatid=&pubsrvid=URN:IVIS:100001:PP-IEM.IC-003
(Latvian only)
The ICMI handles applications for criminal record disclosure:
The Information Centre of the Ministry of the Interior
Bruninieko Street 72b
Riga LV-1009, Latvia
Tel: (+371) 67 208 218 (Chancellery)
Tel: (+371) 67 208 255 (Chief of the Centre)
Fax: (+371) 67 208 219
Website: http://www.ic.iem.gov.lv
Email: kanceleja@ic.iem.gov.lv
Applications from the UK may also be addressed in person to the Latvian embassy in London:
The Embassy of the Republic of Latvia
45 Nottingham Place London W1U 5LY
Telephone: (+44) 020 731 200 40
Fax: (+44) 020 731 200 42
Website: http://www.am.gov.lv/lv/london
Email: consulate.uk@mfa.gov.lv

Latvia – Know Your Customer (KYC) Rules

Latvia is a regional financial center that has a large number of commercial banks with a sizeable non-resident deposit base. Total bank deposits have increased in the past year, with non-residential deposits increasing by 17% and comprising 41% of total bank deposits (as of August 2011).

In August 2006, the United States issued a Final Rule under Section 311 of the USA PATRIOT Act, imposing a special measure against the VEF Banka, as a financial institution of primary money laundering concern. The bank was found to lack adequate AML/CFT controls and was used by criminal elements to facilitate money laundering, particularly through shell companies. The Latvian authorities subsequently closed the bank, and on August 1, 2011, the Final Rule was rescinded.

Local officials do not consider proceeds from illegal narcotics to be a major source of laundered funds in Latvia, despite the interception of a record 80 kilograms of hashish at the Latvian-Russian border in early September. Authorities report that the primary sources of money laundered in Latvia are tax evasion; organized criminal activities, such as prostitution, tax evasion, and fraud, perpetrated by Russian and Latvian groups; as well as other forms of financial fraud. Officials report that questionable transactions and the overall value of money laundering have remained below pre-financial crisis levels. Latvian regulatory agencies closely monitor financial transactions to identify instances of terrorist financing.

Public corruption remains a problem in Latvia. This year, the Corruption Prevention and Combating Bureau (KNAB) initiated proceedings against several public officials for financial fraud, including money laundering. For example, an official of the Ministry of Finance was charged with bribing an official of the State Revenue Service (SRS) to allow illegal activities. In another instance, an assistant head of a Latvian-owned bank was arrested for allegedly demanding a 50,000 LVL (approximately $100,000) bribe in return for a favorable loan.

There is a black market for smuggled goods (primarily cigarettes, alcohol and gasoline); however, contraband smuggling does not generate significant funds that are laundered through the financial system. In the first nine months of 2011, confiscation of smuggled goods has increased several fold over 2010 figures (494% more fuel has been seized so far).

Four special economic zones provide a variety of significant tax incentives for manufacturing, outsourcing, logistics centers, and the transshipment of goods to other free trade zones. These zones are located at the free ports of Ventspils, Riga, and Liepaja, and in the inland city of Rezekne near the Russian and Belarusian borders. The zones are covered by the same regulatory oversight and enterprise registration regulations that exist for other areas. In 2011, the SRS uncovered the largest fraud case in the history of the Riga Free Port; the criminal investigation into tax evasion and smuggling is ongoing.

KNOW-YOUR-CUSTOMER (KYC) RULES:

Enhanced due diligence procedures for PEPs:

PEP is an abbreviation for Politically Exposed Person, a term that describes a person who has been entrusted with a prominent public function, or an individual who is closely related to such a person. The terms PEP, Politically Exposed Person and Senior Foreign Political Figure are often used interchangeably

    • Foreign PEP: YES
    • Domestic PEP: NO

Latvia – KYC covered entities

The following is a list of Know Your Customer entities covered byLatvian Law:

    • Banks, credit institutions, life insurance companies, intermediaries, private pension fund administrators, investment brokerage firms and management companies, currency exchange offices, and money transmission or remittance offices
    • Tax advisors, external accountants, and sworn auditors
    • Sworn notaries, advocates, and other independent legal professionals
    • Trust and company service providers
    • Real estate agents or intermediaries
    • Organizers of lotteries or other gambling activities
    • Persons providing money collection services
    • EU-owned entities
    • Any merchant, intermediary or service provider, where payment for goods or services is accepted in cash in an amount equivalent to or exceeding 15,000 EUR (approximately $20,000)

Latvia – Suspicious Transaction Reporting (STR) Requirements:

Number of STRs received and time frame: 15,467 from January 1 through October 31

Number of CTRs received and time frame: 10,961 from January 1 through October 31

NOTE: Number of CTRs includes both cash transactions and other unusual transactions, as per the Latvian Law.

The following is a list of STR covered entities covered by Latvian Law:

    • Banks, credit institutions, life insurance companies, intermediaries, private pension fund administrators, investment brokerage firms and management companies, currency exchange offices, and money transmission or remittance offices
    • Tax advisors, external accountants, and sworn auditors
    • Sworn notaries, advocates, and other independent legal professionals
    • Trust and company service providers
    • Real estate agents or intermediaries
    • Organizers of lotteries or other gambling activities
    • Persons providing money collection services
    • EU-owned entities
    • Any merchant, intermediary or service provider, where payment for goods or services is accepted in cash in an amount equivalent to or exceeding 15,000 EUR (approximately $20,000)
    • Public institutions

MONEY LAUNDERING CRIMINAL PROSECUTIONS/CONVICTIONS:

Prosecutions: 39 persons prosecuted for 85 crimes from January 1 through October 31, 2011
Convictions: Six cases with final court judgments and eight convicted persons from January 1 through October 31, 2011

ENFORCEMENT AND IMPLEMENTATION ISSUES AND COMMENTS:

In 2011, Latvia adopted beneficial ownership disclosure amendments which require shareholders owning 25% of shares or more to submit data identifying the natural person behind the shareholder. The latest amendments of the AML/CFT Law simplify customer due diligence, add payment services providers and electronic money institutions to the list of entities subject to the Law, and clarify the definition of ―financial institutions.‖ Finally, the AML/CFT Law now extends to EU-owned entities and requires their compliance with the Latvian laws related to customer identification, due diligence, and record keeping.

Under Latvian law, foreign politically exposed persons (PEPs) are always subject to enhanced due diligence procedures. Current laws do not require enhanced due diligence procedures for domestic PEPs, however they allow discretion to any institution or professional covered by KYC rules to apply enhanced due diligence, based on its risk assessment for a particular customer.

Latvian officials have cooperated with USG law enforcement agencies to investigate numerous financial narcotics-related crimes. The Latvian Financial and Capital Market Commission (FCMC) regularly exchanges information with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. More broadly, officials in Latvia are also able to provide assistance outside of the formal mutual legal assistance process in accordance with the current AML/CFT laws. Total assets seized by law enforcement officials in money laundering cases was approximately 177,000 LVL (approximately $347,000), a decrease from 2010.

“Internet phishing” crimes have increased from 67 in 2010 to 223 in the first ten months of 2011. The value of these transactions remains small and does not significantly contribute to money laundering. However, authorities are concerned that Latvian youth are allegedly used by the German and Dutch phishing hackers as “money mules,” allowing their bank accounts to serve as conduits for illicit money.

Latvia has comprehensive AML/CFT laws and regulations. The scope of the “shadow” (untaxed) economy (estimated at around 40% of the overall economy), geographic location, and public corruption make it challenging to combat money laundering. Despite these difficulties, Latvian law enforcement officials and regulators are making progress. FCMC reports that Latvian banks have substantially invested in their IT systems to design programs for identifying suspicious activities, especially with regard to high-risk clients. FCMC is committed to strengthen its capacity by increasing its human and financial resources, specifically for AML purposes. FCMC has also drafted a memorandum of understanding for cooperation with U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission and is awaiting the Commission‘s reply.

Risk

Sovereign risk

The sovereign risk rating is unchanged at BBB. After a fiscal deficit of 8.9% of GDP in 2009, reductions in spending and a pick-up in growth narrowed the shortfall to less than 1% of GDP in 2012-13 (ESA 2010). Latvia joined the euro zone in January 2014. Along with cross-party commitment to keep spending constrained, this will ensure continued fiscal prudence. The Economist Intelligence Unit expects deficits close to 1% of GDP over the forecast period.

Banking sector risk

The banking sector risk rating is BBB. Non-performing loans have plummeted, and the banking sector is on a sounder footing, owing largely to improvements in the wider economy and the continued commitment of Scandinavian parent banks. The chances of a significant deterioration in asset prices have fallen since 2008-09 with stronger economic growth and lower unemployment.

Political risk

Political stability remains strong. At the election in October 2014 the governing three-party centre-right coalition was returned to office with an increased majority. The government will continue to pursue the pro-European and fiscally conservative policies of its predecessor. EU tensions with Russia pose moderate risks to political stability, given Latvia’s large Russian-speaking minority.

Economic structure risk

External debt is high as a proportion of GDP, owing to substantial borrowing before 2008-09, although euro zone accession has removed much of the risk associated with this. Latvia’s export structure is dominated by low‘value‘added goods, making it vulnerable to competition from developing Asian countries.

Travel Risk

Security

The decision to travel is your responsibility. You are also responsible for your personal safety abroad. The purpose of this Travel Advice is to provide up-to-date information to enable you to make well-informed decisions.

Crime

Petty crime (pickpocketing, purse snatching and mugging) occurs in Riga, especially in the old part of town, in the market area and around the main railway station. Avoid walking alone after dark, especially in parks and poorly lit areas.

Car theft is common in Riga. Lock unattended vehicles and conceal all items, including radios. Keep vehicles in a guarded parking lot, particularly overnight.

Scams and

Fraud

Credit card fraud is a concern. When using your card, ensure that it remains in view and retain your transaction copy along with the carbon paper, should there be one.

See Overseas Fraud for more information on scams abroad.

Road travel

Poor and aggressive driving practices and traffic congestion create problems. In the event of an accident, do not move the vehicles until authorized to do so by the police.

The highway system is generally good, but poor lighting poses risks to pedestrians, cyclists and motorists. Secondary roads may not be paved.

Winter driving can be especially dangerous since roads are not always cleared of snow. Beware of fog, snow and ice while driving. Expect border delays when arriving by road from Russia and Belarus.

Public Transportation

Bus service is generally comfortable and reliable. Trains operate throughout the country.

Taxis are a reliable means of transportation. Use only officially marked taxis, such as Red Cab, Baltic Taxi and Lady Taxi.

See Transportation Safety in order to verify if national airlines meet safety standards.

Spiked food and drinks

Never leave food or drinks unattended or in the care of strangers. Be wary of accepting snacks, beverages, gum or cigarettes from new acquaintances, as they may contain drugs that could put you at risk of sexual assault and robbery.

Demonstrations

Demonstrations occur occasionally and have the potential to suddenly turn violent. Avoid all demonstrations and large gatherings, follow the advice of local authorities and monitor local media.

General safety measures

Exercise normal safety precautions. Avoid showing signs of affluence and carrying large sums of cash. Ensure that your personal belongings, passports and other travel documents are secure at all times.

Emergency services

Dial 112 to reach police, firefighters, ambulance and gas emergency services.

The Riga Municipality Police has a tourism division for foreigners in distress; dial +371 6718 1818 for assistance, available in English, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Dial 1188 to reach the tourist inquiry hotline for tourism information, assistance and advice or to express a grievance; assistance is available in English, to get tourism information, assistance and advice or to express a grievance.

Annual Cases

Budget Autonomy Yes
Annual Budget of the Agency In 2014 EUR 4 721 874
Per Capital Expenditure $ (US) 1.951
Expenditure as % of the GDP 1.34%
Are employees protected by law from recrimination or other negative consequences when reporting corruption (i.e. whistle-blowing)? Yes
Does your country have freedom of information legislation? Yes
Does your country have conflict of interest legislation? Yes
Does your country have a financial disclosure system to help prevent conflicts of interest? Yes
Who appoints the head of your agency? The Director of the Bureau is appointed by the Parliament on the basis of the recommendation of the government.
Who has the authority to remove the head of the ACA? The Director can be removed by the Parliament vote.
Is there any term limit for the head of the ACA? Yes , head of KNAB is appointed on five-year term
Does your agency measure performance? Yes
Number of investigations launched
Number of investigations completed
Ratio of number of investigations/staff
Other, please specify
Full access to Government Yes

Address Format

RECIPIENT

STREET_NAME STREET_TYPE HOUSE_NUMBER [, [FLOOR] [APARTMENT]]
LOCALITY, POSTAL_CODE
LATVIA

Sample

Igors Biedriņš
Aglonas iela 43, Apt 1
DAUGAVPILS, LV-5417
LATVIA

 

Summary

Calendar GMT Reference Actual Previous Consensus Forecast
2015-01-30 11:00 AM Q4 1.9% 2.4% 1.51%
2015-02-27 11:00 AM Q4 2.1% 2.4% 1.9% 1.9%
2015-04-30 11:00 AM Q1 2% 2.1% 1.9%
2015-05-29 11:00 AM Q1 2.1%
2015-07-30 11:00 AM Q2 2%
2015-08-31 11:00 AM Q2
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