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Latvia

Whistleblower Protections (LV0033)

Overview

At-a-Glance

Action Plan: Latvia National Action Plan 2017-2019

Action Plan Cycle: 2017

Status: Inactive

Institutions

Lead Institution: State Chancellery, the Corruption Prevention and Combating Bureau

Support Institution(s): School of Public Administration MEASURE THE IMPLEMENTATION OF RELEVANT PARTNERS Association "Transparency International Latvia" Latvian Free Trade Union

Policy Areas

Anti-Corruption, Capacity Building, Civic Space, Whistleblower Protections

IRM Review

IRM Report: Latvia Design Report 2017-2019

Starred: Pending IRM Review

Early Results: Marginal

Design i

Verifiable: Yes

Relevant to OGP Values: Public Accountability

Potential Impact:

Implementation i

Completion: Pending IRM Review

Description

PROMOTING EFFICIENT LIFTING MECHANISM
FOR SETTING UP ALARM
DEADLINE:
2017 2 pusgads- 2019 1st half
WHAT ARE THE STATE AND THE PUBLIC INTEREST ISSUES WHICH HELPS MEETING THIS
COMMITMENT?
There is little publicly known example, when people in the public interest to report on violations or when such
persons whistleblowing grounds of the adverse effects should be avoided, such as a person should be reinstated.
MK 7 March 2017 approved the draft law "Whistleblower Protection Act." The bill aims to provide
whistleblower protection to promote the public interest whistleblowing irregularities and prevention. The bill
for the first time offered a special legal framework to determine what are the whistleblower, whistleblowing
opportunities and whistleblower protection measures. This applies to both the public and private sectors.
The draft law was submitted to parliament.
Whistleblower protection bill takes into account the United Nations, the Council of Europe and the OECD
standards and recommendations and good practice of other countries. Law assuming Latvia will become one of
the world's countries adopted special whistleblower protection law. Similar laws operating in the US, Australia,
Belgium, France, Estonia, Israel, Ireland, Canada, Korea, the UK, the Netherlands, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia,
Hungary and Sweden, while in developing - in Lithuania.
2017 On 17 March, organized a discussion on "open governance: what ambitious targets for the coming years?"
Was asked to plan to cover the event: "Whistleblower protection. Reporting or whistleblowing mechanism for
whistleblowing and cultural development. " 34
Effective whistleblower protection mechanism can facilitate the reporting of violations in the workplace in
both the public and the private sector. This can reduce the distrust of public institutions and to help them to
prevent abuses such as corruption, embezzlement of funds, tax evasion or violations of construction,
public procurement, public health or food security.
34 Getting material "Open Management Partnership Plan 2017-2019: wishlist Latvian challenges".
View: http://providus.lv/article_files/3299/original/OGPidejuApkopojumsFINAL.pdf?1490952718
6th
COMMITMENT
LATVIAN OPEN MANAGEMENT THIRD NATIONAL ACTION PLAN 32
Whistleblower protection instrument is also an opportunity to promote cultural exchange - to greater openness and trust in
the workplace, but also tolerance of breaches of legal consciousness and democratically responsible behavior.
WHAT IS COMMITMENT?
Promote effective whistleblowing and whistleblower protection mechanism:
• perform outreach activities that promote awareness of whistleblowing and whistleblower protection;
• promote opportunities to raise the alarm to the competent authorities;
• promote efficient single whistleblowing mechanism for the development and implementation;
• explore best practices, and effectively provide for whistleblower protection.
HOW TO COMMITMENT will be introduced and the solution to these problems?
The commitment will be implemented through measures providing information and promoting analysis and research on
whistleblowing issues.
HOW TO MEET COMMITMENT OGP VALUES?
Commitment to comply with the OGP values - responsibility. One of the manifestations of responsibility in accordance with
the value of the OGP guidelines are the mechanisms that allow the public to report violations and obtain redress.
Commitment to responsibility OGP within the meaning of the commitment related to the rights and obligations of the creation
or official institutions and the consequences. 35
ADDITIONAL INFORMATION
Compliance with international obligations
• United Nations Convention against Corruption;
• Council of Europe Recommendation CM / Rec (2014) 7 "Whistleblower Protection";
• OECD recommendations to combat bribery, public administration and corporate governance
areas.
35 OGP. "Assessing OGP Values for Relevance".
See "responsibility" (in English. - public accountability) Glossary:
https://www.opengovpartnership.org/sites/default/files/attachments/OGPvaluesguidancenote.pdf
LATVIAN OPEN MANAGEMENT THIRD NATIONAL ACTION PLAN 33
Linking to other documents
• Parliamentary Investigation Commission information on the Latvian State's conduct in assessing
2013 21 November Zolitūde tragedy causes and future activities carried out in the laws and
regulations and state and local government activity arranging. Chapter 22 "Whistleblower redress
system implementation necessity." 36
INTERMEDIATE OBJECTIVES
1. Association "Transparency International Latvia" information campaign Exhibition on whistleblowing
01.09.2017. - 31.12.2017.
2. International Conference "whistleblowing promotion and whistleblower protection"
01.10.2017. - 31.10.2017.
RESPONSIBLE PUBLIC AUTHORITIES
State Chancellery, the Corruption Prevention and Combating Bureau
OTHER MEASURES IN IMPLEMENTATION OF NATIONAL INSTITUTIONS
INVOLVED
School of Public Administration
MEASURE THE IMPLEMENTATION OF RELEVANT PARTNERS
Association "Transparency International Latvia"
Latvian Free Trade Union

IRM Midterm Status Summary

6. Support mechanism for protection of whistleblowers

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 efektīva trauksmes celšanas un trauksmes cēlēju aizsardzības mehānisma ieviešanu:

  • veikt informatīvus pasākumus, kas veicina izpratni par trauksmes celšanu un trauksmes cēlēju aizsardzību;
  • popularizēt iespējas celt trauksmi kompetentajām iestādēm;
  • veicināt efektīva vienotā trauksmes celšanas mehānisma izstrādi un ieviešanu;
  • izpētīt labo praksi, kā efektīvāk nodrošināt trauksmes cēlēju aizsardzību.

Milestones:

6.1. Biedrības “Sabiedrība par atklātību Delna” informatīva kampaņa izstāde par trauksmes celšanu

6.2. Starptautiska konference “Trauksmes celšanas veicināšana un trauksmes cēlēju aizsardzība”

Start Date: 1 Jul. 2017

End Date: 30 Jul. 2019

Context and Objectives

Latvia passed a whistleblower protection law in October 2018. The law was prepared as part of Latvia’s second OGP action plan and came into force on 1 May 2019. Among its provisions, the law requires organizations to adopt internal whistleblower protection systems, including anonymity, a prohibition on retribution against whistleblowers, and placing the burden of proof on the employer. The law also requires turning to a competent authority and the mediation of the State Chancellery as the contact point for whistleblowers. [36]

The objective of this commitment is to raise awareness on whistleblower protection, encouraging individuals to report abuses of power in businesses and government. This commitment entails two activities: conducting an exhibition and an information campaign on whistleblower protection; and hosting an international conference on whistleblower protection. The commitment broadly seeks to raise awareness regarding existing whistleblower protection mechanisms, and it is relevant to the OGP value of public accountability.

The commitment activities lack specificity on the information campaign like which groups will be targeted and what information channels will be used. The planned international conference also lacks information on the audience, contributors and planned inputs, planned outreach, and availability of materials after the conference. If fully implemented, the exhibition and conference could possibly raise awareness of whistleblower protection and the new law that was passed by Parliament. However, the potential impact cannot be assessed higher than minor given the vague description provided in action plan.

Next steps

Raising awareness of the new whistleblower protections is important to educate and engage citizens on the protections and how to use the new law in private businesses and government institutions. However, due to the vagueness around the expected results, targeted groups, and information channels, the IRM researcher does not recommend carrying this commitment forward to the next action plan. Instead, the IRM researcher recommends continuing development of effective mechanisms and channels for citizens to report wrongdoing. She also recommends involving Parliament in any future commitments on whistleblower protection, as any legislative changes to the Whistleblower Protection Law would require their approval.

[36] See: https://likumi.lv/ta/en/en/id/302465-whistleblowing-law


Commitments

  1. Transparency in Public Procurement and Contracts

    LV0040, 2019, Access to Information

  2. Open Data

    LV0041, 2019, Access to Information

  3. Transparency in Lobbying

    LV0042, 2019, Capacity Building

  4. Open Municipal Government

    LV0043, 2019, E-Government

  5. Public Engagement in Policymaking

    LV0044, 2019, Capacity Building

  6. Anti-corruption Measures

    LV0045, 2019, Anti-Corruption

  7. Public Participation in Decision-Making

    LV0028, 2017, Access to Information

  8. e-Legal Services

    LV0029, 2017, Access to Information

  9. Open Data

    LV0030, 2017, Access to Information

  10. Lobbying Transparency

    LV0031, 2017, Capacity Building

  11. Budget Transparency

    LV0032, 2017, E-Government

  12. Whistleblower Protections

    LV0033, 2017, Anti-Corruption

  13. Ethics in Public Management

    LV0034, 2017, Capacity Building

  14. Zero Bureaucracy

    LV0035, 2017, Legislation & Regulation

  15. Open Public Procurement

    LV0036, 2017, Access to Information

  16. Transparency in State Management

    LV0037, 2017, Access to Information

  17. Beneficial Ownership

    LV0038, 2017, Anti-Corruption

  18. Evidence-Based Governance

    LV0039, 2017, Capacity Building

  19. Starred commitment Concept Note on Publishing Data

    LV0018, 2015, Access to Information

  20. Portal Drafting Legislature and Development of Planning Documents

    LV0019, 2015, E-Government

  21. Platform Unifying Gov. Webpages

    LV0020, 2015, E-Government

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

    LV0021, 2015, Legislation & Regulation

  23. Supervising Officials Responsible of Public Resources

    LV0022, 2015, Anti-Corruption

  24. Sustainable Model of Financing NGOs

    LV0023, 2015, Civic Space

  25. Starred commitment Online Collection of Signatures on Referenda

    LV0024, 2015, E-Government

  26. Draft Law on Protecting Whistleblowers

    LV0025, 2015, Anti-Corruption

  27. Assessment of the System of the Financing Political Parties

    LV0026, 2015, Political Integrity

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

    LV0027, 2015, Capacity Building

  29. NGO Fund

    LV0001, 2012, Capacity Building

  30. Strengthen Social Partners

    LV0002, 2012, Public Participation

  31. Trade Union Law

    LV0003, 2012, Civic Space

  32. NGO Co-Working

    LV0004, 2012, Civic Space

  33. Public Engagement Model

    LV0005, 2012, Open Regulations

  34. Internet Access Points

    LV0006, 2012, E-Government

  35. Public Service Assessment

    LV0007, 2012, Public Service Delivery

  36. Enhancing e-services

    LV0008, 2012, E-Government

  37. Transport e-services

    LV0009, 2012, E-Government

  38. Asset Disclosure

    LV0010, 2012, Anti-Corruption

  39. Lobbying Law

    LV0011, 2012, Legislation & Regulation

  40. Whistleblower Protection

    LV0012, 2012, Anti-Corruption

  41. Public Subsidy Control

    LV0013, 2012, Private Sector

  42. State Owned Enterprises Management

    LV0014, 2012, Private Sector

  43. Single Platform for Government Websites and Information

    LV0015, 2012, E-Government

  44. Online Broadcasting From the Cabinet and Parliament

    LV0016, 2012, E-Government

  45. Website For Public Participation

    LV0017, 2012, E-Government

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