Whistleblowing – an opportunity for everyone to promote lawful, fair, open, and transparent functioning of public and private organisations by exercising the right to freedom of expression.
The Whistleblowing Law helps Latvian citizens to prevent violations and harm to public interests and at the same time protects whistleblowers from reprisals. The new Whistleblowing Law which transposes the EU Whistleblower Directive and improves the current approach is in force in Latvia since 4 February 2022.
Whistleblower – is 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 work duties or establishing legal relations related to the fulfilment of work duties, or while being in traineeship, and who might be subjected to retaliation.
Internal whistleblowing system
In the public and private sectors, employees may internally inform of such alleged violation in the operation of the organisation where they work which can cause harm to the public interest. Whistleblowing helps to prevent a violation early before any damage has been caused to the reputation of the institution, it has incurred losses or external competent authorities become involved. Employees are the ones who can notice potential violations and assess the dangers associated therewith based on their professional knowledge and experience.
An internal whistleblowing system allows the report to swiftly reach the responsible persons in the organisation and to promptly evaluate the expressed concerns, and thus to prevent a possible violation and identify systemic deficiencies at an early stage.
Reporting to a competent authority
Any citizen may blow the whistle to the competent authority on an alleged violation which they have observed in their work-related activities and which can harm public interests. Employees of subordinated institutions can also report to the hierarchically higher institution as the competent authority.
After a submission of a person has been recognised as a 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 due protection of the whistleblower’s personal data. The whistleblower’s personal data may be accessed only when necessary for the examination of the whistleblower’s report or for the examination of the case opened as a follow-up to the report, or for the protection of the whistleblower or their relatives or associated persons.