Whistleblowing – an opportunity for everyone to promote lawful, fair, open and transparent functioning of public and private sector organisations through the right to express one’s opinion freely.
The Whistleblowing Law helps Latvian citizens prevent violations and harm to public interests while protecting whistleblowers from reprisal. The new Whistleblowing Law has been in force in Latvia since 4 February 2022, which transposes the EU Whistleblower Directive, by improving the current approach.
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 become known to him or her while fulfilling the official duties or establishing legal relations related to the fulfilment of official duties, or while being in traineeship, and who might be subjected to adverse effects due to the provision of such information.
Internal whistleblowing system
In the public sector, any employee may internally inform of such alleged violation in the operation of his/her institution that can harm public interests. To prevent it in time before the reputation of the institution is compromised, it has incurred losses or external competent authorities are involved. It is an employee who can notice potential infringements and, by virtue of his/her professional knowledge and experience, assess the hazards involved.
By means of an internal whistleblowing system, the report gets closest to the ‘cause of the problem’ and the concerns can be evaluated promptly, as well as it is possible to prevent a possible violation or identify deficiencies of a systematic nature.
Reporting to a competent authority
Any citizen may inform the competent authority of any alleged violation in relation to his/her work place and that can harm public interests. An employee of subordinated institution may equally inform the hierarchically higher institution as competent authority.
After receiving the whistleblower’s report, the whistleblower’s personal data are pseudonymised.
The whistleblower’s personal data, the whistleblower’s report and the written or material evidence attached thereto, as well as the whistleblowing materials have the status of restricted access information.
Any person (institution) who has received or performs any activity with a whistleblower’s report has the responsibility to ensure adequate protection of the whistleblower’s personal data. The whistleblower’s personal data may be transferred only to persons (institutions) who need it for the examination of the whistleblower’s report or for the examination of an infringement case on the basis thereof or for the protection of the whistleblower or his/her relatives.
For more information about whistleblowing, please visit the website trauksmescelejs.lv (Latvian).