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On the second reading, Saeima supports the new “Local Government Act” delivered by the MEPRD.

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Saeima building. PHOTO: Edijs Pālens / LETA

The MEPRD Public Affairs Unit reported on Thursday, May 5, that in the second reading, Saeima supports the Ministry of Environmental Protection and Regional Development’s (MEPRD) draft “Local Governments Act”.

The draft law has not yet been approved by Saeima at the final reading.

It regulates the activities of local governments, provides more opportunities for public participation in the activities of local governments, and also improves the distribution of powers and functions by providing a clearer separation of decision-making and executive powers.

One of the most important innovations in the law is the opportunities for the participation of the wider community in the work of local government. MEPRD explains that the draft law envisages determining the cooperation of the local government with non-governmental organizations and ensuring the participation of the society in the work of the local government.

New tools for public participation are also envisaged – a collective application and a citizens’ council – an advisory body whose competence and establishment will be determined by the municipality itself in council regulations, taking into account that candidates are nominated and elected by the municipality. residents of the municipality. The proposal to include the participation budget in the law was also supported. This will allow residents to decide on the use of a certain amount of the municipal budget.

In order to promote the transparency of local government activities and the selection of professional experts, it is planned to recruit administrative staff through open competition and rotation. The tenure of the Executive Director and Deputy Executive Director is also determined to be five years, requirements for candidates and periodic performance evaluation.

To facilitate the procedure for the development and monitoring of binding regulations, the bill defines the content of the explanatory memorandum of the draft binding regulations and introduces a requirement for the publication of the draft on a website for the public. The powers of the relevant ministries to verify the legality of binding regulations before they enter into force were also determined.

The role and importance of local governments in promoting the development and sustainability of natural capital is also emphasized. In the field of public order and public order, it is planned to establish municipal police in every local administration until 2024. The powers of institutions and authorities were also clarified, the separation of decision-making and executive powers and the efficiency of performing functions were supported. The draft law defines the municipal administration and the central administration, and sets out the conditions for the establishment of the district, sub-province and city administrations.

The new law will prohibit deputies from serving on the City Council if a lawmaker is subject to a coercive procedural measure (security measure) in accordance with the procedures laid down in the Code of Criminal Procedure – banning certain professions from performing the duties of the position.

In order to strengthen the openness of the activities of the assembly and other institutions by publishing the agenda and minutes, an audio-visual live broadcast of the assembly meeting, which is a common practice according to modern technologies and can be watched by everyone, is provided. member of the people. There is also an obligation to justify the extraordinary meeting of the City Council.

The draft law limits the authority of the council to take administrative action by transferring it to the municipal administration and improves the working order of the parliamentary committees by removing the limit on the number of members by foreseeing joint committee meetings. In order to facilitate the organization of the work of the City Council, municipal ownership, operation with partner- non-governmental organizations, public participation in municipal work, in the internal regulatory legislation – local government regulations, when planning to determine internal organizational issues, in local government regulations or binding regulations regulating such matters.

Lawmakers will still have to vote on the proposal, which gives MEPRD the right to call the council to reconsider its decision, which MEPRD finds illegal, thus avoiding the only option available to suspend the council’s disproportionate decision. In some cases.

The bill also includes a number of other issues. The ministry says the purpose of drafting a new law is to create a legal framework that will allow local governments to work more efficiently, transparently and engage with the public to fully implement their interests. While working on the new draft law, MEPRD has taken into account the previous decisions of the Constitutional Court, the opinions of the Court of Accounts, and recommendations on local government issues.

Artūrs Toms Plešs (AP), Minister of Environmental Protection and Regional Development, explains that the current law regulating the activities of local governments was passed about 30 years ago – in 1994. Since then, significant changes have occurred in both public administration and society.

Source: Tv Net

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