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Latvia

Public Participation in Decision-Making (LV0028)

Overview

At-a-Glance

Action Plan: Latvia National Action Plan 2017-2019

Action Plan Cycle: 2017

Status: Inactive

Institutions

Lead Institution: State Chancellery, Society Integration Foundation and the Ministry of Culture

Support Institution(s): Society "Latvian Civic Alliance" Public Policy Center "PROVIDUS" Association "Public Participation Fund" Association "School Data" Latvian University, Faculty of Social Sciences (Political Science and Information and Library Science representatives) Association "Open Management Partnership Latvian"

Policy Areas

Capacity Building, E-Government, Legislature, Open Data, Public Participation, Subnational, Sustainable Development Goals

IRM Review

IRM Report: Latvia Design Report 2017-2019

Starred: Pending IRM Review

Early Results: Pending IRM Review

Design i

Verifiable: Yes

Relevant to OGP Values: Civic Participation

Potential Impact:

Implementation i

Completion:

Description

The most efficient PUBLIC PARTICIPATION IN
DECISION-MAKING PROCESS
DEADLINE
2017 2nd half - 2019 1st half
WHAT ARE THE STATE AND THE PUBLIC INTEREST ISSUES WHICH HELPS MEETING THIS
COMMITMENT?
Civic participation is important for any country's development, because it is a mechanism for the wider community
needs and interests for the collection and transfer of decision-makers. At the same time it strengthens the participatory
culture by promoting constructive and targeted cooperation. Public participation opportunities for Latvian Constitutional
down 65, 101 and
Article 104. Cabinet of Ministers of 25 August 2009 No rules. 970 "public participation procedures for the development
planning process" 15 down public participation procedure of the Saeima, the Cabinet of Ministers, public administration,
planning regions and local development planning process. These Regulations stipulate the general public participation.
Participation is possible, beginning with the initiation of the document (including the problem of Konsta Chopping and
policy alternatives) to the introduction of monitoring and evaluation. The public can participate in working groups,
advisory councils, public discussions, public consultation, in writing to give an opinion or opinion and other ways. At the
initial stage, the authority has the task of planning for public participation, and opt for the ways that contribute to
effective, open, inclusive, timely and responsible community involvement.
Different formats discussing the Cabinet Regulations implementing the practical aspects, it is concluded that the regulatory
framework everything is clearly defined and the content of the substantial amendments are not necessary, but the main problem is
the low awareness of the importance of public participation and
15 See: https://likumi.lv/doc.php?id=197033
First
COMMITMENT
LATVIAN OPEN MANAGEMENT THIRD NATIONAL ACTION PLAN 10
its benefits as well as the needs of society appropriate methods for public participation and public
administration and local governments.
What is missing is the monitoring mechanism referred to Cabinet enforcement control, especially in local
governments. Public administration often community engagement measures are not sufficiently effective
and transparent manner. Therefore, measures to be taken to promote awareness and education on the
public participation processes available options and the benefits of public participation, promoting thinking
and a change of behavior in public administration and local governments for public participation. It is also
important to disseminate examples of good practice. According to non-governmental initiatives in 2005 it
was signed the Non-Governmental Organizations and the Cabinet of Ministers of Understanding
(hereinafter - the Memorandum). Since 2014, when it was renewed the Memorandum of content, its
objective is to promote effective and adequate public interest in public administration,
2017th year memorandum joined over
400 NGOs, ie. see. several of them together and represent the interests of many NGOs. Implementation of the Memorandum
provides a consultative body - the Memorandum of the Board, which is composed of the national government and NGOs set
their own elected representatives. Memorandum Council has become an important platform where every month to discuss
issues affecting the NGO sector in nature and, in general, as well as opportunities for participation. In general, the memorandum
Board activities benefits are the following aspects - are updated horizontal NGO sector issues, are provided with opportunities to
influence decision-making, there is communication and feedback between NGOs and public administration.
One of the Memorandum of the Council's work plan tasks in 2017 was to develop guidelines Advisory Councils. The
guidance aims to explain the principles of good practice outcomes advisory councils, aimed at more efficient use of
public participation in the resources sector policy development and implementation. Once approved, the guidelines
planned to send all line ministries, calling on the principles laid down to take account of the ministries and their
subordinate institutions advisory councils in action. It is planned as a guideline to inform the activities of the
participating interest.
Memorandum Council's work plan also includes other tasks, such as planned for the activities of NGOs more widely to inform
local authorities.
Similar good practice example of public involvement in decision-making concerning it, is the Society Integration
Fund (hereinafter - SIF) management mechanism. One of the tasks of the SIF is to support the public and
non-governmental development programs and projects. Therefore, the SIF Board along with representatives of state
institutions is six NGOs. Cooperation in decision-making also contributes to the non-governmental sector and other
public figures. For example, currently we have with the association "Public Participation Fund" maintained by the
portal ManaBalss.lv 16 help citizens to propose new legislative initiatives. ManaBalss.lv portal is planned to implement
a new project "ParVaiPret", which the company
16 See: http://www.manabalss.lv
LATVIAN OPEN MANAGEMENT THIRD NATIONAL ACTION PLAN 11
representatives will have the opportunity to express their views, digitally voting on the most important draft laws and
decisions to be discussed at the Saeima plenary session. Express their views on a proposed citizens' legislative initiative
to be submitted by the Saeima it can by signing the Single state and municipal services portal http://www.latvija.lv, in one of the
119 municipalities or at a notary public, but about these options, not all residents are aware 17th
In general, not all sections of society, especially in the regions, sufficient information is available on a variety of opportunities for
public participation in decision-making and engagement opportunities for state and local government institutions. Measures
providing information on the importance of public participation and opportunities can be made, such as cooperation with the
national uniform customer service centers.
Pressing issue is how to essentially strengthen the advocacy capacity of the non-governmental sector and
promote the development of NGOs carrying out public participation feature. For advocacy and social mobilization
of NGOs do not have sufficient funds, so that the above-mentioned activities essential to attract public support.
That reason was the basis for the state budget-funded "NGO Fund" establishment in 2015, the period within
which to
2018 annually allocated 400 000 EUR, which are available to NGOs in an open competition. The financing of the
2019 will be decided in 2018.
To promote public participation in Latvian can help other OECD countries highlighted in the OECD public
participation good practice database 18 and the OECD guidelines for 'good practice principles for stakeholder
involvement " 19 which soon meant to confirm.
WHAT IS COMMITMENT?
To promote effective public participation in state institutions and local governments and decision-making process,
including: - the use of technology:
• in the form of public participation opportunities for public institutions and local governments and decision-making
process, including the e-environment and through NGOs as a resource for disseminating information;
• gather public participation and examples of good practice to evaluate public participation with the
internationally accepted principles and good practices;
• to increase public awareness and involvement in the work of public administration, the introduction of
single legislative drafting and consultation portal (links to the plan
2 commitment) and public authorities pages on a single platform;
• ensure public participation EPAR will open datasets choice. Promote public awareness of the
published open data sets and their usage possibilities (links to the plan's commitment to 3);
17 in voter initiatives is available on the Central Election Commission's Web site, including a list of
"Where to subscribe?" (https://www.cvk.lv/pub/public/31168.html) and infographic "Voters' legislative initiatives"
(https://www.cvk.lv/pub/upload_file/2015/Infografika_veletaju% 20iniciativas.pdf) 18 View:
http://www.oecd.org/gov/regulatory-policy/pilot-database-on-stakeholder-engagement-practices.htm 19 See: http://www.oecd.org/governance /
Regulatory-policy / public-consultation-best-practice-Principles-onstakeholder-engagement.htm
LATVIAN OPEN MANAGEMENT THIRD NATIONAL ACTION PLAN 12
• to promote and expand public administration activities live use;
• use of data, including open data and evidence in the drafting of legislation and in evaluating and
promote legislative created during the data available to the public;
• expand regional NGO coordinators with the task of ensuring the activities of civic education and
counseling to promote participation areas;
• State funding for the non-governmental sector development, primarily to support the community involvement and
participation in decision-making and democratic processes;
• partners to promote public participation in decision-making in the Saeima (portal ManaBalss.lv
project "ParVaiPret").
HOW TO COMMITMENT will be introduced and the solution to these problems?
Commitment will be introduced in the implementation of analytical and information activities, raising awareness and
enhancing public participation, including through a centralized platform. The commitment will be implemented by
providing state aid advocacy capacity to strengthen the non-governmental sector and NGOs carrying out public
participation feature.
HOW TO MEET COMMITMENT OGP VALUES?
Commitment to comply with the OGP values - openness and public participation. The commitment will provide more
information about the public participation opportunities and raise awareness about it. A commitment to improve the
opportunities for the public to influence decisions that affect the public participation opportunities and thus contribute to
better and more responsible decisions.
ADDITIONAL INFORMATION
Linking with other planning documents
Commitment is developed in conjunction with other initiatives in the development of existing "Data-based state and
society" and the envisaged measures data based public involvement in public management processes to promote.
Compliance with international obligations
UN Sustainable Development 16.7. sub-goal of "Providing a flexible, inclusive, participatory, representative
decision-making at all levels."
LATVIAN OPEN MANAGEMENT THIRD NATIONAL ACTION PLAN 13
INTERMEDIATE OBJECTIVES 20
1. To strengthen the advocacy capacity of the non-governmental sector and the development NGOs carrying out public
participation function of the state program "NGO fund" within the
01.01.2018. - 31.12.2018.
2. To evaluate public participation in conformity with the OECD guidelines for 'good practice principles for
stakeholder involvement ". Summarize and promote public participation and examples of good practice,
including through training policy developers state and municipal institutions
01.01.2018. - 31.12.2018.
3. In preparing for Social Integration Policy Plan 2019-2025th The regional NGO coordinators to
expand the task of ensuring the activities of civic education and counseling to promote participation
areas
1st half 2017 - 2019 1st half
RESPONSIBLE PUBLIC AUTHORITIES
State Chancellery, Society Integration Foundation and the Ministry of Culture
MEASURE THE IMPLEMENTATION OF RELEVANT PARTNERS
Society "Latvian Civic Alliance" Public Policy
Center "PROVIDUS" Association "Public
Participation Fund" Association "School Data"
Latvian University, Faculty of Social Sciences (Political Science and Information and
Library Science representatives) Association "Open Management Partnership Latvian"

IRM Midterm Status Summary

1. Effective Public Participation

Language of the commitment as it appears in the action plan:

Editorial Note: The Latvian government did not submit an official English translation of its 2017−2019 to OGP. Therefore, the original Latvian version as it appears in the action plan can be viewed below. For the full text of this commitment, please see the Latvia 2017−2019 action plan here: https://www.mk.gov.lv/sites/default/files/editor/atvertas-parvaldibas-plans2017.pdf.

Veicināt efektīvāku sabiedrības līdzdalību valsts institūciju un pašvaldību darbā un lēmumu pieņemšanas procesā, tajā skaitā – izmantojot tehnoloģijas:

  • informēt par sabiedrības līdzdalības iespējām valsts institūciju un pašvaldību darbā un lēmumu pieņemšanas procesā, tajā skaitā e-vidē un izmantojot NVO kā resursu informācijas izplatīšanai;
  • apkopot sabiedrības līdzdalības labās prakses piemērus un izvērtēt sabiedrības līdzdalības atbilstību starptautiski atzītiem principiem un labai praksei;
  • uzlabot sabiedrības informētību un iesaisti valsts pārvaldes darbā, ieviešot vienotu tiesību aktu projektu izstrādes un saskaņošanas portālu (sasaiste ar plāna 2. apņemšanos) un valsts un pašvaldību iestāžu tīmekļvietņu vienoto platformu;
  • nodrošināt sabiedrības līdzdalību publiskojamo atvērto datu kopu izvēlē. Veicināt sabiedrības informētību par publiskotām atvērto datu kopām un to izmantošanas iespējām (sasaiste ar plāna 3. apņemšanos);
  • popularizēt un paplašināt valsts pārvaldes pasākumu tiešraižu izmantošanu;
  • izmantot datus, tajā skaitā atvērtos datus, un pierādījumus tiesību aktu izstrādē un izvērtēšanā un sekmēt tiesību aktu izstrādes laikā radīto datu pieejamību sabiedrībai;
  • paplašināt reģionālo NVO koordinatoru funkcijas ar uzdevumu nodrošināt aktivitātes pilsoniskās izglītības un konsultācijas līdzdalības veicināšanas jomās;
  • sniedzot valsts finansējumu nevalstiskā sektora attīstībai, prioritāri atbalstīt sabiedrības iesaisti un līdzdalību lēmumu pieņemšanas un demokrātiskos procesos;
  • sadarbības partneriem veicināt sabiedrības līdzdalību lēmumu pieņemšanas procesā Saeimā (portāla ManaBalss.lv projekts “ParVaiPret”).

Milestones:

1.1. Stiprināt interešu aizstāvības kapacitāti nevalstiskajā sektorā un to NVO attīstību, kas veic sabiedrības līdzdalības funkciju valsts programmas „NVO fonds” ietvaros

1.2. Izvērtēt sabiedrības līdzdalības atbilstību OECD vadlīnijām “Labās prakses principi ieinteresēto pušu iesaistei”. Apkopot un popularizēt sabiedrības līdzdalības iespējas un labās prakses piemērus, tajā skaitā rīkojot apmācības politiku izstrādātājiem valsts un pašvaldību institūcijās

1.3. Izstrādājot sabiedrības integrācijas politikas plānu 2019.–2025. gadam, reģionālo NVO koordinatoru funkcijas paplašināt ar uzdevumu nodrošināt aktivitātes pilsoniskās izglītības un konsultācijas līdzdalības veicināšanas jomās”

Start Date: 1 Jul. 2017

End Date: 30 Jun. 2019

Context and Objectives

Latvian law provides for stakeholder involvement in all stages of policy development. [1] There are several ways for citizens to propose ideas, policy solutions, and even draft legislative changes for administrative scrutiny. [2] Citizens can also gather signatures (10,000 minimum) for an issue to be debated in Parliament, [3] or for initiating a referendum. [4] At the same time, research shows that information on participation opportunities is not always timely and understandable for the public. [5]

The objective of this commitment is to enhance public participation at the local and central levels of government through capacity-building activities for government institutions, local governments, and NGOs. The development of an NGO fund has been a part of Latvia’s first [6] and second [7] action plans. The current action plan builds on these previous initiatives by:

  • Funding capacity-building programs for NGOs involved in advocacy work through an NGO Fund;
  • Assessing opportunities for public participation, disseminating information on good practices, and training local government officials on how to enhance public involvement (e.g., consultations); and
  • Assigning new advocacy-consulting functions to regional NGO coordinators and including this in a policy document that will be the basis for financing this function.

Strengthening civil society’s capacity to participate in decision-making and the new NGO consultations are relevant to the OGP value of civic participation. As formulated, the commitment’s activities are verifiable, but lack details, such as what budget or other resources will be allocated to the activities, the quantity of trainings and informative materials, or the targeted audiences for these educational events and materials. This makes it difficult to predict the extent to which these activities could improve public participation in Latvia. Therefore, the IRM researcher assessed the potential impact as minor.

NGO participants in the co-creation process proposed Milestones 1.1 and 1.3, The final wording of these milestones was decided in consultations with the Ministry of Culture. The State Chancellery proposed Milestone 1.2 based on its research and debates in the Council of Memorandum.

Next steps

The IRM researcher recommends continuing efforts to enhance public participation. The next action plan could pilot new methods to engage targeted groups who have low levels of participation in decision-making due to sectoral or geographical limitations (e.g., families of children with special needs, low income people, and rural women).

[1] Laws of Latvia, “Procedures for Public Participation in the Development Planning Process” (Latvijas Vēstnesis, 25 Aug. 2009), https://likumi.lv/doc.php?id=197033.

[2] The public may support solutions to reduce administrative burdens here: State Chancellery, “Mazinām Slogu Kopā: For Once, Play Always” (State Chancellery, accessed 23 Oct. 2018), https://mazaksslogs.gov.lv/slogs/sakums/.

[3] A private web page for gathering signatures for proposed policy changes, to be debated in Parliament, is available here: https://manabalss.lv/.

[4] The official Latvian Government portal for signing initiatives is available here: https://www.latvija.lv/en/Epakalpojumi/EP177/Apraksts.

[5] Jānis Citskovskis, How to build more effective public participation in the work of state and municipal institutions (State Chancellery, 29 Aug. 2018), https://www.mk.gov.lv/sites/default/files/attachments/2_i_dala_janis_citskovskis.pdf.

[6] Government of Latvia, Open Government Partnership Action Plan of Latvia (OGP, 2012), https://www.mk.gov.lv/sites/default/files/editor/latvijas_pirmais_nacionalais_ricibas_plans_ogp_2012.g._eng.pdf.

[7] Government of Latvia, Second National Action Plan of Latvia (OGP, 23 Dec. 2014), https://www.mk.gov.lv/sites/default/files/editor/ogp_2_plans_aktualizets_05.12.2016_eng_clean.pdf.


Commitments

  1. Public Participation in Decision-Making

    LV0028, 2017, Capacity Building

  2. e-Legal Services

    LV0029, 2017, E-Government

  3. Open Data

    LV0030, 2017, E-Government

  4. Lobbying Transparency

    LV0031, 2017, Capacity Building

  5. Budget Transparency

    LV0032, 2017, E-Government

  6. Whistleblower Protections

    LV0033, 2017, Capacity Building

  7. Ethics in Public Management

    LV0034, 2017, Capacity Building

  8. Zero Bureaucracy

    LV0035, 2017, Legislation & Regulation

  9. Open Public Procurement

    LV0036, 2017, E-Government

  10. Transparency in State Management

    LV0037, 2017, E-Government

  11. Beneficial Owenrship

    LV0038, 2017, Beneficial Ownership

  12. Evidence-Based Governance

    LV0039, 2017, Capacity Building

  13. Starred commitment Concept Note on Publishing Data

    LV0018, 2015, Open Data

  14. Portal Drafting Legislature and Development of Planning Documents

    LV0019, 2015, E-Government

  15. Platform Unifying Gov. Webpages

    LV0020, 2015, E-Government

  16. Starred commitment Transparency of Selecting Candidates for the Boards and Councils of Public Entity Enterprises

    LV0021, 2015, Legislation & Regulation

  17. Supervising Officials Responsible of Public Resources

    LV0022, 2015, Anti-Corruption Institutions

  18. Sustainable Model of Financing NGOs

    LV0023, 2015, Civic Space

  19. Starred commitment Online Collection of Signatures on Referenda

    LV0024, 2015, E-Government

  20. Draft Law on Protecting Whistleblowers

    LV0025, 2015, Whistleblower Protections

  21. Assessment of the System of the Financing Political Parties

    LV0026, 2015, Money in Politics

  22. Code of Ethics and a Public Administration Employee’S Handbook for Public Sector

    LV0027, 2015, Capacity Building

  23. NGO Fund

    LV0001, 2012, Capacity Building

  24. Strengthen Social Partners

    LV0002, 2012, Public Participation

  25. Trade Union Law

    LV0003, 2012, Civic Space

  26. NGO Co-Working

    LV0004, 2012, Civic Space

  27. Public Engagement Model

    LV0005, 2012, Public Participation

  28. Internet Access Points

    LV0006, 2012, E-Government

  29. Public Service Assessment

    LV0007, 2012, Public Service Delivery

  30. Enhancing e-services

    LV0008, 2012, E-Government

  31. Transport e-services

    LV0009, 2012, E-Government

  32. Asset Disclosure

    LV0010, 2012, Asset Disclosure

  33. Lobbying Law

    LV0011, 2012, Legislation & Regulation

  34. Whistleblower Protection

    LV0012, 2012, Whistleblower Protections

  35. Public Subsidy Control

    LV0013, 2012, Private Sector

  36. State Owned Enterprises Management

    LV0014, 2012, Private Sector

  37. Single Platform for Government Websites and Information

    LV0015, 2012, E-Government

  38. Online Broadcasting From the Cabinet and Parliament

    LV0016, 2012, E-Government

  39. Website For Public Participation

    LV0017, 2012, E-Government