Latvija in brief - 2010-03-10

  • 2010-03-10

On March 11 - 12, Education and Science Minister Tatjana Koke (Union of Greens and Farmers) will take part in a conference in Vienna, Austria, and Budapest, Hungary dedicated to the 10-year anniversary of the signing of the Bologna Declaration, reports LETA. The conference will celebrate and evaluate the involved countries’ cooperation and contribution to the improvement of higher education standards. Meetings between ministers are planned for both days, with the second Bologna process political forum taking place on March 12, which will see the participation of representatives from each of the 46 countries participating in the process, as well as from other countries. It was Koke, in her role as Minister of State for Higher Education and Science, who signed the Bologna declaration, thus involving Latvia in the Bologna process. At present Koke and her Estonian counterpart Tonis Lukas are the only ministers who signed the declaration over ten years ago and still hold public office.

President Valdis Zatlers has sent back to Saeima the previously approved amendments to the Alcoholic Beverages Retail Law for a second review, reports LETA. The amendments foresee the prohibition of alcohol sales on Knowledge Day, the first day of school on Sept. 1. The president asked for an appraisal to determine whether the ban of sale of alcoholic drinks on this day would achieve the main aim of the legislation - to prevent minors from obtaining alcoholic drinks in any way on Sept. 1, as well as to combat drinking habits among young people. At the same time, Zatlers requested that the Saeima find an opportunity during the review process to hear out all the involved parties, including the state and local government institutions responsible for control of alcohol sales and enforcement of public order. Zatlers noted that discussions only began after the law had been passed in the Saeima.

In the wake of the massive data leak from the State Revenue Service’s Electronic Declaration System (EDS), the Revenue Service will open disciplinary cases against three officials at the organization’s Information Management Department, including the department’s head, Iveta Bertulsone, as well as launch probes into four other department employees’ actions, reports LETA. The three civil servants are accused of poor quality administration of the database and insufficient testing, supervision and analysis of the database, as well as insufficient measures to protect it. Another four employees at the Information Management Department will have their actions investigated on the same charges. The Finance Ministry’s security breach commission has established that the data leak from the EDS was possible because of an error, and that the Revenue Service can bring a civil suit against the company Dati Exigen Group, the developer of the EDS system.