Adviser to the President on National Security Aivars Puriņš cites the role of local governments in providing civil protection as an example: “Access is basically based on the principle of “need to know.” It’s not like you get permission and then some kind of information database opens up where you can see all the possible secrets. Only such secrets, and only to such a degree, that are really necessary for the specific position.”
Sergejs Maksimov, head of the planning region of Latgale and Balvu mayor, supports the idea and says that in the last year and a half, this issue has become particularly acute, and several times the admission of state secrets would have been useful.
Balvu County Mayor, “Latgales Party”
When the war in Ukraine started, very often the civil defense commission, at least we, received messages with certain instructions, forecasts and things that must be done in certain situations and where “restricted access information” was written in clear Latvian at the top, and at the moment we are discussing whether it is necessary or not. would be unnecessary.
There are different degrees of access to state secrets, and mayors, their deputies, as well as city executives should be allowed to know only as much as is necessary in a given situation.
The idea is also supported by Kurzeme municipalities, although there are several issues.
Mayor of Saldus region, “Green Party of Latvia”
As far as I have information, at the moment all members of the Saeima do not have such a requirement, so I automatically have a question, then it turns out that the chairmen, executive directors and deputies of the council are more important, more important than the members of the Saeima? I think there is an illogic there.
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There are also speculations in the society that such changes are instigated to test the loyalty of individual city leaders to Latvia. Those in charge say that the law clearly stipulates the receipt of a claim permit.
The president plans to present the planned changes to the parliament after the national holiday holidays.
Political scientist: The idea is supportable, but the question is how it will be applied
Political observers believe that the president’s plan is generally supported, because local governments should be led by persons to whom the state is ready to entrust responsibility for the people living in them in crisis situations, but at the same time, one must be very careful so that it does not become an instrument of political reckoning.
Political scientist and head of “Media Bridge” Filips Rajevskis emphasizes that the idea is adequate, but there may be underwater stones.
I think it is an adequate idea, the question is clearly about what level of tolerance will be required there, because it must not become a tool that starts to influence the political process. You can’t use it as a way to get rid of a political figure who enjoys some political trust. [..] In Latvia, the main underwater stone is always – how these norms will be implemented. because we have a lot of good laws and we know how many good laws do not work because they are implemented upside down.