New public service regulators

  • 2000-10-12
RIGA (BNS) - The Latvian parliament on Oct. 5 adopted in the final reading a law about public service regulators, providing for the establishment of a single agency for supervision of state-regulated areas.

Under the law, the state regulates provision of public service in the energy sector, except for heating supply where no electric power is generated during the production process, telecommunications, mail services, railway transportation, including passenger transportation by railway.

Previously all these had their own regulatory body. Municipal regulators will also be established to regulate household waste management, except for household waste recycling, water supply and sewerage as well as heat supply where no electric power is generated during the production process.

The common regulatory body will be established by Parliament at the recommendation of the government for a five-year term. Parliament will also approve the regulator's chairman and four council members nominated by the government.

One or several municipalities may establish their own regulators upon mutual agreement. Municipal public service regulators will have a chairman and at least two council members appointed for the term of two years.

The public service regulator, except for municipal regulators, will elaborate methodology for calculating rates for the services.

The government is required to determine public services to be subject to the state regulation and adopt the required rules by July 1, 2001.

The public service regulator is expected to start operating in state-regulated areas on Sept. 1, 2001, while municipal regulators must be established before this date. The law will take effect June 1, 2001.