Whistleblowing – an opportunity for everyone to promote lawful, fair, open, and transparent functioning of an institution through the right to express one’s opinion freely.
The Whistleblowing Law helps inhabitants of Latvia to prevent violations of and harm to the public interest while protecting them from adverse consequences. As of 4 February 2022 in Latvia a new Whistleblowing Law came into force. It arises from the EU whistleblower directive and refines former approach.
Who is the whistleblower?
Whistleblower – a natural person who provides information on a possible violation which may harm the public interests if the person considers this information to be true and it has been obtained while fulfilling the work duties or establishing legal relations related to the fulfilment of work duties or while being in traineeship, and who might be subjected to adverse effects due to the provision of such information.
How can employees of the Central Statistical Bureau of Latvia blow the whistle?
To prevent, eradicate or eliminate an activity possibly violating public interest in a timely manner or before the reputation of the institution is compromised, losses have been caused or the competent authorities are involved, any employee of the Central Statistical Bureau of Latvia (hereinafter – the CSB) may report it. It is the employee who can notice potential infringements and, by virtue of his/her professional knowledge and experience, assess the hazards involved.
The internal whistleblowing system allows to establish the cause of the problem and the concerns expressed can be evaluated promptly, moreover possible violation can be prevented and deficiencies occurring repeatedly identified.
How do I blow the whistle in the CSB acting as the competent authority?
Anyone can report a potential or committed breach of public interest in the areas of competence of the CSB. An employee of a subordinated institution may also report to a competent authority at a hierarchically higher level.
In the CSB, the whistleblower may report the violations by:
- writing to the CSB whistleblowing e-mail address firstname.lastname@example.org;
- submitting an electronic form on the website trauksmescelejs.lv (paper form is also available on the website);
- writing to general CSB communication channels (postal address, e-mail address, or e-address).
Paper report shall be signed by hand. The report sent by e-mail shall be signed with a secure electronic signature.
What happens after the report is submitted?
When the report is received, the whistleblower’s personal data are pseudonymised.
The personal data of the whistleblower, the report and the written/material evidence attached thereto, as well as the materials for examining the whistleblower's report are classified as restricted access information.
Any person (institution) who receives or performs any action on a whistleblower's report is obliged to ensure proper protection of the whistleblower's personal data. Personal data of a whistleblower may be transferred only to persons (institutions) using it to examine whistleblower's report or investigate an infringement case initiated on the basis thereof, or for the protection of the whistleblower or his/her relatives.
More information on whistleblower protection is available on the website trauksmescelejs.lv (available in Latvian).