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Monday 16.07.2018 | Name days: Hermīne, Estere

Programme: Riga ignores requirement to use Construction Information System

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Baltic news, News from Latvia, BNN.LV, BNN-NEWS.COM, BNN-NEWS.RUFor two years now Riga has been avoiding the requirement for all municipalities to use the unified Construction Information System. Riga also remains the only municipality in Latvia that has yet to connect to this digital platform, as reported by De Facto programme of LTV.

Construction Information System (CIS) was created four years ago, to make the industry more transparent and honest. This system encompasses several registries. This includes a list of companies and specialists employed. The database allows anyone to see what is being built and even if has been coordinated with authorities. Municipalities prepare construction permits and send them to clients electronically.

LTV notes that all municipalities were supposed to connect to CIS by 1 March 2016. This term was established in accordance with the government’s requirements. The 20 municipalities that had failed to connect to the system within the allotted time had been sent a warning letter from the Economy Ministry.

In addition to the offer to be taught the use of the system, municipalities were warned – if they refuse to use CIS, non-compliance will be reported to the Environment Protection and Regional Development Ministry. This institution has the authority to dismiss a municipality’s administration. Now, nearly two years after, all municipalities have connected to the system. All except one, De Facto reports.

The ministry has yet to react. «Before we can offer a clear answer, we need to assess all the available information,» said Environment Protection and Regional Development Minister Kaspars Gerhards.

Riga Construction Office manager Ingus Vircavs believes the system is buggy, and that it does not fit current laws. «We send proposals to improve the system every year. It’s not that we have never seen or tried it,» says Vircavs.

LTV reports that Riga is also provided with additional support. The capital has been provided with an additional amount of nearly EUR 95,000 to fix one of the problems. Using this funding, Riga Construction Office’s information system was connected with CIS. Although the solution was ready in autumn 2016 and Riga accepted it without objections, the capital did not join the Construction Information System in the end.

«The arguments constantly voiced by Riga do not hold water. […] I think it is important to keep in mind the target audience the system was created for in the first place. The most important function the system is meant to provide transparency,» says Construction State Control Bureau Svetlana Mjakuškina.

De Facto also reports that talks with Riga ceased completely at some point last year. In August, Economy Ministry sent letters to both the Chairman of Riga City Council and the head of the construction managers, as well as Environment Protection and Regional Development Ministry. It was emphasized in the letters that it is Riga’s duty to connect to and use CIS. Two of the prime minister’s advisors were involved as hosts for discussions. Progress has been made, but there are still no specific solutions in sight. Riga has proposed changing the standard agreement, the programme continues.

«We offered to join the system once all the problems have been resolved. We are waiting for a response from the State Construction Office,» says Vircavs.

Riga had multiple reservations before signing the agreement. With that, two-thirds of Latvia’s construction activities are not even reflected in the unified system. This reduces the opportunity to learn of any construction projects stuck in the coordination process, LTV reports.

De Facto notes that the construction council has agreed that it is necessary to cut the time spent on coordination of projects by half. The current period of time in Latvia is 147 days on average.

The study performed by the World Bank shows that the time needed to coordinate documents for warehouse construction is approximately 192 days. This index significantly reduces Latvia’s attractiveness in the eyes of investors. In this area, Latvia loses to its nearest neighbours, De Facto reports.


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  1. Zerry says:

    Us this a surprise? Transparency and Riga construction sector are like words from different planet. Transparency simply would make it more difficult circulate pocket money – frankly saying.

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