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Sunday 05.04.2020 | Name days: Vidaga, Aivija, Vija
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435 whistle-blower reports received in eight months in Latvia

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whislte-blower, reports, Latvia, State Chancellery, resultsIn the first year of the Whistleblowing Law, Latvian central state institutions have received 435 reports from whistle-blowers, as reported by the State Chancellery.

119 of those reports were classified as whistle-blower reports. The most often whistle-blowers report tax avoidance, violations committed by officials and misuse of public finances or property, as compiled by State Chancellery.

Commenting on the first year of the law, the State Chancellery’s director Jānis Citskovskis says there are clear signs of residents’ readiness to report if confidentiality is guaranteed and the state administration is guaranteed to react to their information. He also said time is needed to establish trust with whistle-blowers on non-disclosure of their identity before the state can expect to receive reports about violations.

Review of 54 out of 119 approved whistle-blower reports remain in review. One criminal process has been initiated so far. In 2019 review of 65 reports had concluded. In seven cases authorities decided on application of penalties – six administrative violation cases and one disciplinary case. In 11 cases reports have helped introduce improvements in areas for which reports were submitted. In the remaining year reports were reviewed in a different manner or facts regarding violations were not confirmed, the chancellery notes, commenting on results of the previous year.

Whistle-blowers often report on tax avoidance, officials’ inaction, negligence or abuse of power, misuse of public finances or property, violations in public procurements, as well as finance and capital market sector.

In 2019 whistle-blowers reported possible violations associated with conflicts of interest, use of state language, environment cleanliness or risks of pollution and threats to human health, labour right violations, labour safety, construction and other sectors, the expert comments on the situation.

Read also: Whistle-blowers to receive protection across all of Europe

State Chancellery’s State Administration Policy Department expert Inese Kušķe, commenting on the Whistleblowing Law, says consultations are often provided to residents, institutions and companies on ways how they can report problems, receive protection and how to form an internal whistle-blowing mechanism within institutions and companies.

She notes that focus should be put on reports in regards to protection of public interests and this should serve as an important index to make the institution act effectively regardless of the status provided to the whistle-blower.

In 2019 the State Chancellery formed the Whistle-blower contact point and a website trauksmescelejs.lv to ensure efficient operation of the Whistleblowing Law.


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