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Teksta versija
LEGAL ACTS OF THE REPUBLIC OF LATVIA
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The Saeima1 has adopted
and the President has proclaimed the following Law:

Law on the Management of the European Economic Area Financial Mechanism and the Norwegian Financial Mechanism for the Period 2014-2021

Chapter I
General Provisions

Section 1. Terms Used in this Law

The following terms are used in this Law:

1) agency - an institution of direct administration which implements a part of the functions of the Programme Operator in accordance with the procedures laid down in the laws and regulations regarding management and control of Financial Mechanisms;

2) donor states - Iceland, Principality of Liechtenstein, and Kingdom of Norway;

3) European Economic Area Financial Mechanism Committee - a committee established by the states of European Economic Area and the European Free Trade Association which manages the European Economic Area Financial Mechanism and takes a decision to grant co-financing of the European Economic Area Financial Mechanism to programmes;

4) European Economic Area Financial Mechanism - a financial mechanism which has been established on the basis of the Agreement on the participation of the Czech Republic, the Republic of Estonia, the Republic of Cyprus, the Republic of Latvia, the Republic of Lithuania, the Republic of Hungary, the Republic of Malta, the Republic of Poland, the Republic of Slovenia and the Slovak Republic in the European Economic Area (hereinafter - the Participation Agreement) signed in Luxembourg on 14 October 2003, and the financing of which is ensured by the states of the European Economic Area and the European Free Trade Association;

5) Financial Mechanism Office - a body established by the states of the European Free Trade Association which ensures, from the part of the donor states, the operation of the European Economic Area Financial Mechanism and the Norwegian Financial Mechanism (hereinafter also - the Financial Mechanisms);

6) pre-defined project - a project defined in Annex B to the Memorandum of Understanding or in the programme;

7) beneficiary of co-financing - a project applicant whose project application has been approved by the Programme Operator or the agency, as well as the implementer of a pre-defined project whose project has received a positive assessment of the Programme Operator or agency;

8) Norwegian Financial Mechanism - a financial mechanism which has been established on the basis of the Participation Agreement and the financing of which is ensured by the Kingdom of Norway;

9) programme - an aggregate of measures which is planned to be implemented with the aid of the Financial Mechanisms oriented towards achievement of specific results and objectives, and which has been laid down in Annex B to the Memorandum of Understanding;

10) Programme Operator - a sectoral ministry or an institution of direct administration subordinate thereto which has been laid down as responsible for the implementation of the programme in Annex B to the memorandum of understanding;

11) programme concept note - a document which includes a short description of the field and results of the activities planned in the programme;

12) programme agreement - an agreement on the implementation of the programme which is entered into by and between the Focal Point and the Financial Mechanism Committee of the European Economic Area or the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs after approval of the programme;

13) project application - an application (a filled-in form, its annexes, and other documents) which are submitted by the project applicant in order to apply for the co-financing of the European Economic Area Financial Mechanism or the Norwegian Financial Mechanism and the State budget necessary for the project (hereinafter - the co-financing of the programme);

14) file of a project - a project application or documentation of the pre-defined project, documents for the assessment of the project application or pre-defined project, the project agreement, and other documents related to the project or pre-defined project which are at the disposal of the Programme Operator or agency;

15) project agreement - an agreement on the implementation of the project or pre-defined project which is entered into by and between the Programme Operator or agency with the beneficiary of co-financing, and such agreement is:

a) a civil contract if the beneficiary of co-financing is a natural person, a legal person registered in the Republic of Latvia, or an association of such persons;

b) an agreement if the beneficiary of co-financing is an institution of direct or indirect administration, another State institution, or derived public person;

16) project - a project application which conforms to the project application assessment criteria and which has been approved by the Programme Operator or agency;

17) project application assessment criteria - provisions according to which a project application is assessed and a decision is taken to approve it, to approve with a condition, or to reject it;

18) memorandum of understanding:

a) Memorandum of Understanding on the implementation of the EEA Financial Mechanism 2014-2021 between the Republic of Latvia and Iceland, the Principality of Liechtenstein, the Kingdom of Norway, and approved by Cabinet Regulation No. 712 of 5 December 2017, On the Memorandum of Understanding between the Republic of Latvia and Iceland, the Principality of Liechtenstein, the Kingdom of Norway on the Implementation of the EEA Mechanism 2014-2021;

b) Memorandum of Understanding on the implementation of the Norwegian Financial Mechanism 2014-2021 between the Republic of Latvia and the Kingdom of Norway, and approved by Cabinet Regulation No. 713 of 5 December 2017, On the Memorandum of Understanding between the Republic of Latvia and the Kingdom of Norway on the Implementation of the Norwegian Financial Mechanism 2014-2021.

Section 2. Purpose of this Law

The purpose of the Law is to determine the management of the Financial Mechanisms in order to promote efficient, transparent implementation of the Financial Mechanisms corresponding to the principles of sound financial management in Latvia.

Section 3. Scope of Application of this Law

The Law prescribes the rights and obligations of the institutions involved in the management of Financial Mechanisms, the beneficiary of co-financing of the project or pre-defined project, and the project partner, the procedures for making, contesting and appealing the decisions of the institutions involved in the management of Financial Mechanisms, as well as the conditions for granting the programme co-financing.

Section 4. Management of Financial Mechanisms

(1) Management of Financial Mechanisms shall be the following:

1) preparation of amendments to the memorandums of understanding on the implementation of Financial Mechanisms;

2) preparation, coordination, approval of programme concept notes and pre-defined projects, and implementation of programmes;

3) establishment of the management and control system of Financial Mechanisms;

4) development of the project application assessment criteria, project application selection;

5) control and audit of the management and control system, programmes, projects, and pre-defined projects;

6) making payments and certification of expenditures within the scope of implementation of Financial Mechanisms;

7) reporting of the irregularities detected;

8) monitoring and evaluation.

(2) The institutions involved in the management of Financial Mechanisms shall comply with the principle of efficiency, usefulness, economy, and proportionality in the management of Financial Mechanisms.

Section 5. Granting the Programme Co-financing

Submitting the project application for the European Economic Area Financial Mechanism or the Norwegian Financial Mechanism, in accordance with this Law, shall not cause the obligation for the institution involved in the management of Financial Mechanisms to grant a programme co-financing to the project applicant for implementation of the project.

Chapter II
Ensuring the Management of Financial Mechanisms and Project Implementation

Section 6. Institutions Involved in the Management of Financial Mechanisms

(1) The management of Financial Mechanisms shall be ensured by the following institutions involved in the management of Financial Mechanisms:

1) Focal Point;

2) Programme Operator;

3) agency;

4) Audit Authority;

5) Certifying Authority;

6) Irregularity Authority.

(2) The institutions involved in the management of Financial Mechanisms shall conform to that laid down in memorandums of understanding in the management of Financial Mechanisms.

Section 7. Focal Point, Obligations and Rights Thereof

(1) The functions of the Focal Point shall be fulfilled by the Ministry of Finance.

(2) The Focal Point has the following obligations:

1) to ensure efficient implementation and monitoring of Financial Mechanisms;

2) to ensure preparation of amendments to the memorandums of understanding on the implementation of Financial Mechanisms;

3) to ensure the development of draft laws and regulations in relation to the management and implementation of Financial Mechanisms;

4) to ensure establishment of the management and control system of Financial Mechanisms;

5) to ensure the publicity of implementation of Financial Mechanisms;

6) to ensure measures for the evaluation of the implementation of programmes;

7) to carry out the obligations of the Irregularity Authority arising from the memorandums of understanding;

8) to fulfil other obligations which are laid down in this Law or arise from the memorandums of understanding.

(3) The Focal Point has the following rights:

1) to propose and carry out control and audit of the implementation of Financial Mechanisms;

2) to request and receive information from the institutions involved in the management of Financial Mechanisms, the beneficiary of co-financing, and the project partner which is necessary for ensuring the management of Financial Mechanisms.

(4) The Ministry of Finance shall ensure that the functions which it fulfils as the Focal Point in accordance with this Law are separated from the other functions thereof.

Section 8. Obligations and Rights of the Programme Operator

(1) The functions of the Programme Operator shall be fulfilled by the Ministry of the Interior, the Ministry of Education and Science, the Ministry of Justice, the Ministry of Environmental Protection and Regional Development, and the Investment and Development Agency of Latvia.

(2) The Programme Operator has the following obligations:

1) to ensure implementation of the programme in conformity with the programme agreement;

2) to develop draft laws and regulations for ensuring the implementation of the programme;

3) to develop an aid programme or individual aid project and to submit it for initial evaluation to the Ministry of Finance in accordance with the procedures laid down in the Law on Control of Aid for Commercial Activity;

4) to carry out ex-ante control of procurement documentation and process of the procurement procedure of the projects and pre-defined projects on a sample basis;

5) to fulfil other obligations which are laid down in this Law or arise from the memorandums of understanding.

(3) The Programme Operator has the right to request and receive information from the institutions involved in the management of Financial Mechanisms, the beneficiary of co-financing, and the project partner which is necessary for ensuring the implementation, monitoring and control of the programme, projects, or pre-defined projects.

(4) The manager of the Programme Operator cannot be the head of the relevant institution of direct administration.

Section 9. Specification of the Agency, Procedures for the Cooperation of the Programme Operator and Agency

(1) The division of agencies and competence between the Programme Operator and agency shall be determined by the Cabinet.

(2) The Programme Operator, when fulfilling the obligations laid down in Section 8, Paragraph two of this Law, may delegate a part of them to the agency, except for the following obligations:

1) the development of the programme concept note;

2) the development of draft laws and regulations for ensuring the implementation of the programme;

3) the establishment of the cooperation committee and work management in programmes which are implemented in partnership with the institutions of donor states;

4) the development of the project application assessment criteria;

5) the development of the management and control system of the programme.

(3) The agency, when fulfilling the obligations laid down in Paragraph two of this Section, shall be functionally subordinated to the member of the Cabinet to which the Programme Operator responsible for fulfilment of the obligations referred to in Section 8, Paragraph two of this Law is subordinated. The member of the Cabinet shall implement the functional subordination of the agency with intermediation of the authorised official (head of the Programme Operator).

(4) The institution shall ensure that the functions which it fulfils as the Programme Operator or agency in accordance with this Law are separated from the other functions of the institution, including from functions which it fulfils as the beneficiary of co-financing.

Section 10. Obligations and Rights of the Audit Authority

(1) The functions of the Audit Authority shall be fulfilled by the Ministry of Finance.

(2) The Audit Authority has the following obligations:

1) to fulfil the obligations laid down in this Law and arising from the memorandums of understanding;

2) to prepare and submit an audit plan to the Focal Point;

3) to develop draft laws and regulations which are related to ensuring the functions of the Audit Authority.

(3) The Audit Authority has the right to request and receive information from the authorities involved in the management of Financial Mechanisms, the beneficiary of co-financing, and the project partner which is necessary for ensuring the audit of Financial Mechanisms, as well as to ascertain the efficiency of the operation of the system for the implementation and monitoring of Financial Mechanisms.

(4) The Ministry of Finance shall ensure that the functions which it fulfils as the Audit Authority in accordance with this Law are separated from the other functions thereof.

(5) If the Audit Authority has information on any changes and circumstances at its disposal which may significantly affect the implementation of Financial Mechanisms, the Audit Authority shall, without delay, inform the Cabinet thereof.

Section 11. Obligations and Rights of the Certifying Authority

(1) The functions of the Certifying Authority shall be performed by the Treasury.

(2) The Certifying Authority shall fulfil the obligations arising from the memorandums of understanding.

(3) The Certifying Authority has the right to request and receive information from the institutions involved in the management of Financial Mechanisms, the beneficiary of co-financing, and the project partner which is necessary for ensuring the fulfilment of its obligations.

(4) The Treasury shall ensure that the functions which it fulfils as the Certifying Authority in accordance with this Law are separated from the other functions thereof.

Section 12. Procurement Monitoring Bureau, Obligations and Rights Thereof

(1) The Procurement Monitoring Bureau has the following obligations:

1) to ensure ex-ante control of the public procurement documentation and process of procurement procedure of the projects and pre-defined projects in accordance with the procedures and to the extent laid down by the Cabinet;

2) to develop methodology for the performance of ex-ante control of the public procurement documentation and process of procurement procedure of the projects and pre-defined projects (hereinafter - the ex-ante control methodology).

(2) The Procurement Monitoring Bureau has the right to request information from the institutions involved in the management of Financial Mechanisms, the beneficiary of co-financing, and the project partner which is necessary for ensuring the fulfilment of the obligations referred to in Paragraph one of this Section.

Section 13. Obligations and Rights of the Beneficiary of Co-financing

(1) The beneficiary of co-financing has the following obligations:

1) to ensure the implementation of the project or pre-defined project according to the project agreement, the laws and regulations of the Republic of Latvia, the legal acts of the European Union, and the international law;

2) to ensure that the programme co-financing granted for the project or pre-defined project is used in accordance with the principle of sound financial management by following the principles of efficiency, usefulness, economy, and proportionality;

3) to ensure that expenditures made within the scope of the project or pre-defined project are directly related to achievement of the project objectives and in conformity with the provisions for the use of the financing granted for the project implementation;

4) to inform the Programme Operator or the agency with which a project agreement has been entered into, without delay, of any changes and circumstances which may have a negative impact on implementation of the project or pre-defined project;

5) to ensure the preservation and sustainability of the results of the project or pre-defined project by complying with the conditions and time periods laid down in the project agreement;

6) to ensure analytical accounting in accounts of each project or pre-defined project by codifying all transactions related to the project or pre-defined project accordingly;

7) to provide information on implementation of the project or pre-defined project and to ensure access to representatives of the Board of Auditors of the European Free Trade Association, the European Economic Area Financial Mechanism Committee, the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the State Audit Office, the Corruption Prevention and Combating Bureau, the Procurement Monitoring Bureau, as well as authorities involved in the management of Financial Mechanisms to the originals of all documents related to implementation of the project or pre-defined project, accounting registers, or to ensure their print-outs or visual images on the screen, as well as access to the site of the relevant project implementation;

8) to ensure the publicity of the projects and pre-defined projects;

9) to repay the received programme co-financing to the Programme Operator or the agency which has not been used or has been used in non-conformity with the provisions referred to in Clauses 1, 2, and 3 of this Paragraph.

(2) If the beneficiary of co-financing is not the commissioning party within the meaning of the Public Procurement Law, however, it is planned to cover 50 or more per cent of the programme co-financing from the eligible costs of the project or pre-defined project and the foreseeable agreement price without value added tax is equivalent with the threshold value of the agreement price stipulated by the Cabinet starting from which it is necessary to publish a notification of procurement in the Official Journal of the European Union, or exceeds it, the procurement in the project shall be performed in accordance with the procedures laid down in the Public Procurement Law.

(3) The beneficiary of co-financing has the following rights:

1) to receive the programme co-financing, if the project or pre-defined project has been implemented in accordance with the laws and regulations of the Republic of Latvia, the legal acts of the European Union, the memorandum of understanding, and the project agreement;

2) to implement the project or pre-defined project together with the project partner by preserving the liability for the implementation of the project or pre-defined project, achievement of the objective, eligibility of expenditures, payments, and performance of the payment procedure, as well as complying with the laws and regulations issued on the basis of Section 15, Clause 12 of this Law;

3) to request and receive the information necessary for the implementation of the project or pre-defined project from the authorities involved in the management of Financial Mechanisms, the Procurement Monitoring Bureau, and the project partner.

Section 14. Obligations and Rights of the Project Partner

(1) A project partner which is an institution of direct or indirect administration of the Republic of Latvia, another State institution, a derived public person, a legal or natural person registered in the Republic of Latvia, or an association of such persons and which has entered into a cooperation contract with the beneficiary of co-financing has the following obligations:

1) to implement the activities of the project or pre-defined project in conformity with the partnership contract, the laws and regulations of the Republic of Latvia, the legal acts of the European Union, and the international law;

2) to ensure that the programme co-financing granted for the implementation of the activities of the project or pre-defined project is utilised in accordance with the principle of sound financial management by complying with the principles of efficiency, usefulness, economy, and proportionality;

3) to ensure that expenditures of the project partner made within the scope of the project or pre-defined project are directly related to achievement of the project objectives and in conformity with the provisions for use of the financing granted for the project implementation;

4) to inform the beneficiary of co-financing with which a partnership contract has been entered into, without delay, of any changes and circumstances which may have a negative impact on implementation of the activities of the project or pre-defined project;

5) to ensure analytical accounting in accounts of the activities of each project or pre-defined project by codifying all transactions related to the project or pre-defined project accordingly;

6) to provide information on implementation of the activities of the project or pre-defined project and to ensure access to representatives of the Board of Auditors of the European Free Trade Association, the European Economic Area Financial Mechanism Committee, the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the State Audit Office, the Corruption Prevention and Combating Bureau, the Procurement Monitoring Bureau, as well as authorities involved in the management of Financial Mechanisms to the originals of all documents related to implementation of the activities of the project or pre-defined project, accounting registers, or to ensure their print-outs or visual images on the screen, as well as access to the site of the relevant project implementation.

(2) If the project partner is not the commissioning party within the meaning of the Public Procurement Law, however, it is planned to cover 50 or more per cent of the programme co-financing from the eligible costs of the project or pre-defined project and the foreseeable contract price without value added tax is equivalent with the threshold value of the agreement price stipulated by the Cabinet starting from which it is necessary to publish a notification of procurement in the Official Journal of the European Union, or exceeds it, the procurement in the project or pre-defined project shall be performed in accordance with the procedures laid down in the Public Procurement Law.

(3) The project partner referred to in Paragraph one of this Section has the following rights:

1) to receive the programme co-financing if the activities of the project or pre-defined project have been implemented in accordance with the laws and regulations of the Republic of Latvia, the legal acts of the European Union, the memorandum of understanding, and the project agreement entered into by recipients of co-financing;

2) to request and receive the information necessary for the implementation of the activities of the project or pre-defined project from the beneficiary of co-financing, the authorities involved in the management of Financial Mechanisms, and the Procurement Monitoring Bureau.

Section 15. Competence of the Cabinet in Provision of Management of Financial Mechanisms

In order to ensure the management of Financial Mechanisms, the Cabinet shall determine:

1) the procedures by which a programme agreement shall be coordinated and entered into and amendments to the programme shall be made;

2) the procedures for the project application selection and assessment of the pre-defined projects, the content of the project application selection regulations, the content of the regulations for the assessment of the pre-defined projects, the content of the project agreement, the procedures for entering into it and making amendments thereto, the content of the agreement by and between the beneficiary of co-financing and the project partner and the procedures for its coordination;

3) the procedures for publishing information on programmes, projects, and pre-defined projects and ensuring compliance with the requirements for publicity and visual identity of Financial Mechanisms;

4) the procedures for the implementation of the technical assistance for the Financial Mechanisms and the fund for bilateral relations established in accordance with Memorandum of Understanding;

5) the procedures for planning funds in the State budget for the implementation of the programmes, projects, and pre-defined projects co-financed by the Financial Mechanisms, for making payments, and preparing reports;

6) the cases and procedures by which the Focal Point shall temporarily suspend inclusion of the expenditures made in the programme, programme activity, project, and pre-defined project in the interim financial report or final report of the programme;

7) the procedures for ensuring the monitoring and control of Financial Mechanisms;

8) the procedures for reporting irregularities detected in the management of Financial Mechanisms, as well as for writing-off, withholding or recovery of expenditures made incorrectly, and also for applying the proportional financial correction;

9) the procedures and amount in which the Programme Operator, the agency, and the Procurement Monitoring Bureau shall perform ex-ante control of the procurement documentation and the procurement procedure of the project and pre-defined project;

10) the procedures for provision and examination of information on application of value added tax within the framework of the programme, projects, and pre-defined projects, and taking a decision to include the value added tax in the eligible costs;

11) the procedures for ensuring functions of the Audit Authority in the management of Financial Mechanisms;

12) the objective of the programme, the available financing, the results to be achieved, the Programme Operator, the agency and its obligations if the agency is implementing a part of the obligations of the Programme Operator, the requirements for the project applicant or the applicant of the pre-defined project, the requirements for project partners if such are invited, the project application assessment criteria, the conditions for the activities to be supported, for the eligibility of costs, for unilateral notice of termination of a project agreement, the procedures for the implementation of activities of the bilateral cooperation fund if such are provided for in the programme, as well as the conditions for the control of aid for commercial activity if aid for commercial activity is provided for in the programme.

Chapter III
Project Application Selection and Taking a Decision on a Project Application

Section 16. Project Application Selection

(1) The Programme Operator or agency shall perform project application selection in accordance with the laws and regulations which have been issued on the basis of Section 15, Clauses 2 and 12 of this Law. The project application selection regulations shall be developed and after co-ordination with the Focal Point approved by the Programme Operator or agency. If the project application selection regulations are developed by the agency, it shall coordinate the regulations also with the Programme Operator.

(2) Notification of call for project application selection and indication to website on which project application selection regulations are published, and also a notification of extension, discontinuation or termination of project application selection shall be submitted by the Programme Operator or agency for the publication in the official gazette Latvijas Vēstnesis.

(3) A project applicant shall draw up and submit a project application in accordance with the requirements of the project application selection regulations.

Section 17. Project Application Assessment Committee

(1) The Programme Operator or the agency shall establish a project application assessment committee which consists of at least three members for the assessment of project applications. When establishing the project application assessment committee, the Programme Operator shall take into account the provisions of the programme agreement.

(2) The representative of the Focal Point may participate in the meeting of the project application assessment committee as an observer.

(3) The project application assessment committee, when performing its obligations, is entitled to invite experts.

Section 18. Types of Decisions of the Programme Operator and the Agency

(1) The Programme Operator or the agency shall issue an administrative act or take an administrative decision in conformity with the legal status of the project applicant.

(2) If the project applicant is a natural person, a legal person, or an association of such persons, the decision of the Programme Operator and the agency shall be an administrative act.

(3) If the project applicant is an institution of direct or indirect administration, another State institution, or a derived public person, the decision of the Programme Operator and agency is an administrative decision.

(4) The administrative decision referred to in Paragraph three of this Section shall be issued in the written procedure, and it shall have the following parts:

1) the name and address of the Programme Operator or agency;

2) addressee - the project applicant;

3) determination of facts;

4) justification of the administrative decision;

5) a separate list of the legal norms applied (indicating also Section, Paragraph, Clause or Sub-clause of the law or regulation);

6) the rights assigned to the addressee or the rights rejected;

7) conditions (where necessary);

8) the procedures for contesting a decision.

Section 19. Approval of a Project Application, Approval with a Condition or Refusal

(1) The Programme Operator or agency, on the basis of the opinion provided by the project application assessment committee, shall take a decision to approve a project application, approve with a condition or to reject it.

(2) A decision to approve a project application shall be taken if it conforms to the project application assessment criteria and financing for the project implementation is available within an open call.

(3) A decision to approve a project application with a condition shall be taken if a project applicant must carry out the activities laid down by the Programme Operator or agency in order for the project application to fully conform with project application assessment criteria and the project could be implemented appropriately. Conditions may be included in the decision and performance thereof shall be controlled by taking into account the project application selection regulations. The Programme Operator or agency shall notify of an opinion on the fulfilment of the condition included in the decision within one month from the day of submitting the updated project application. If any of the conditions laid down in the decision is not fulfilled or is not fulfilled within the time period laid down in the decision, a project application shall be regarded as rejected.

(4) The decision to reject a project application shall be taken if it does not conform to the project application assessment criteria and the rectification of the irregularity in accordance with Paragraph three of this Section would affect the project application on its merits, as well as if the project application conforms to the project application assessment criteria, however, financing for implementation of the project is not available within open calls.

(5) If a project application is submitted after the end date for submission of the project application, it shall not be assessed. The Programme Operator or agency shall inform the project applicant thereof. If the project application is rejected due to the reasons referred to in this Paragraph and the project applicant appeals the rejection to the court, the court ruling of the Administrative District Court on the relevant issue may not be appealed.

Section 20. Time Period for Taking a Decision

The Programme Operator or agency shall take a decision to approve a project application, to approve with a condition or to reject it within four months after the end date for submission of the project application.

Section 21. Adjusting a Project Application

A project application after submission thereof until taking a decision to approve the project application, to approve with a condition or to reject it cannot be adjusted.

Section 22. Contesting and Appeal of Decisions of the Programme Operator and Agency

(1) A project applicant may contest and appeal the decisions referred to in Section 18, Paragraph one of this Law in accordance with the following procedures:

1) a decision of the agency may be contested by submitting the relevant application to such manager of the Programme Operator to which the agency is functionally subordinated in conformity with Section 9, Paragraph three of this Law. The administrative act issued by the Programme Operator on the contested decision of the agency may be appealed by submitting an application to the relevant courthouse of the Administrative District Court. The administrative decision taken by the Programme Operator on the contested decision of the agency may not be appealed;

2) a decision of the Programme Operator may be contested by submitting the relevant application to the head of such institution of direct administration within the scope of which the Programme Operator has been established. The administrative act issued by the head of the institution of direct administration on the contested decision of the Programme Operator may be appealed by submitting an application to the relevant courthouse of the Administrative District Court. The administrative decision taken by the head of the institution of direct administration on the contested decision of the Programme Operator may not be appealed.

(2) An opinion on the fulfilment of the condition included in the decision shall be contested and appealed in accordance with the same procedures and within the same time periods as the decision on the fulfilment of the condition included wherein the opinion was prepared. The opinion on the fulfilment of the condition included in the decision may be contested and appealed separately from the decision in which the condition is included.

Chapter IV
Assessment of the Pre-defined Project and Issuance of the Opinion

Section 23. Assessment of the Pre-defined Project

(1) The Programme Operator or agency shall perform the assessment of the pre-defined project in accordance with the regulations for the assessment of pre-defined projects. The regulations for the assessment of pre-defined projects shall be developed and approved by the Programme Operator or agency. If the assessment regulations are developed by the agency, it shall coordinate the regulations with the Programme Operator.

(2) The applicant of the pre-defined project shall prepare and submit the pre-defined project in accordance with the requirements of the regulations referred to in Paragraph one of this Section.

(3) After assessment of the pre-defined project the Programme Operator or agency shall prepare an opinion with a positive assessment of the project or an opinion with a condition that the applicant shall perform the activities specified by the Programme Operator or agency for the pre-defined project to completely conform to the regulations referred to in Paragraph one of this Section and the project could be implemented accordingly. The conditions shall be included in the opinion and their fulfilment shall be controlled by complying with the regulations for the assessment of pre-defined projects. The Programme Operator or agency shall notify the project applicant of the fulfilment of the conditions included in the opinion within one month from the day of submitting the updated project.

(4) The opinion on assessment of the pre-defined project may be contested and appealed in accordance with the procedures which are laid down in Section 22 of this Law for contesting and appealing the decisions of the Programme Operator and agency.

Section 24. Time Period for the Issuance of the Opinion

The Programme Operator or the agency shall provide an opinion with a positive assessment of the pre-defined project or an opinion with a condition within four months after the end date for submitting the project.

Section 25. Committee for Assessment of Application for Pre-defined Projects

(1) For assessment of the pre-defined projects the Programme Operator or agency shall establish the committee for the assessment of pre-defined projects.

(2) The representative of the Focal Point may participate in the meeting of the committee for the assessment of pre-defined projects as an observer.

(3) The committee for the assessment of pre-defined projects, when performing its obligations, is entitled to invite experts.

Chapter V
Procedures for the Resolution of Disputes regarding the Financing Allocated under the European Economic Area Financial Mechanism or the Norwegian Financial Mechanism

Section 26. Procedures for the Resolution of Disputes if the Beneficiary of Co-financing is a Natural Person or a Legal Person

If the beneficiary of co-financing is a natural person or a legal person, or an association of such persons, disputes referring to the performance of a project agreement, including disbursement of allocated grant, continuation of disbursement, or recovery thereof, shall be settled in accordance with the civil legal procedures. Documents which are drawn up and taken for the performance of the activities referred to in the first sentence of this Section (for example, decisions, opinions, warnings, agreement, and other documents related to the fulfilment of the agreement) shall not be examined in accordance with the procedures of administrative procedure.

Section 27. Procedures for the Resolution of Disputes if the Beneficiary of Co-financing is an Institution of Direct or Indirect Administration, Another State Institution, or Derived Public Person

(1) If the beneficiary of co-financing which is an institution of direct or indirect administration, another State institution, or derived public person, and the disagreement arises for the Programme Operator or agency due to the decision taken within the scope of the project agreement on disbursements of the allocated grant or continuation of costs, or another decision, and an agreement has not been reached via negotiations, the beneficiary of co-financing may contest it by submitting an application to the Programme Operator or head of such institution of direct administration accordingly within the scope of which the Programme Operator has been established.

(2) The Programme Operator or head of the institution of direct administration shall evaluate the application of the beneficiary of co-financing referred to in Paragraph one of this Section and take one of the following decision within a month after receipt of the application:

1) to leave the decision of the agency or Programme Operator unchanged;

2) to revoke the decision of the agency or Programme Operator completely or in any part and, if necessary, to assign the agency or Programme Operator to re-examine the objections of the beneficiary of co-financing by taking into account the instructions of the Programme Operator or head of the institution of direct administration;

3) to issue other decision in terms of content.

(3) If the time period laid down in Paragraph two of this Section cannot be complied with due to objective reasons, the Programme Operator or head of the institution of direct administration may extend it for a time period that is not longer than four months from the day of receipt the application by notifying an applicant thereon.

(4) The Programme Operator or head of the institution of direct administration shall obtain the information which is necessary in order to take the administrative decision referred to in Paragraph two of this Section in accordance with the procedures laid down in the Administrative Procedure Law and the State Administration Structure Law for the cooperation of institutions and obtaining information in administrative procedure in an institution.

(5) The administrative decision referred to in Paragraph two of this Section taken by the Programme Operator or head of the institution of direct administration may not be appealed.

Section 28. State Fee in Applying to the Court

The Programme Operator and agency shall not pay a State fee, in applying to a court of general jurisdiction in respect of a contractual dispute.

Chapter VI
Final Provisions

Section 29. Rights to Become Acquainted with a File

(1) A project applicant or applicant of a pre-defined project has the right to become acquainted with the project file submitted thereby at any stage of the process by taking into account the condition laid down in Paragraph two of this Section.

(2) A project applicant or applicant of a pre-defined project is entitled to become acquainted with the assessment materials (including expert opinions, minutes and decisions of the assessment committee) of the project application or application of the pre-defined project submitted thereby only after a decision to approve, to approve with a condition or to reject the project application, or opinion with a positive assessment of the pre-defined project, or opinion with a condition has entered into effect.

(3) The Programme Operator or agency shall provide the information referred to in Paragraph two of this Section within 10 working days after receipt of the request or within five working days after receipt of the request shall invite the project applicant or applicant of the pre-defined project to become acquainted with the requested information on time mutually acceptable in the institution.

Section 30. Freedom of Information

(1) A file of a project of a natural person or legal person shall be restricted access information until the time when a decision to approve the application or reject it or opinion on the fulfilment of the conditions included in the decision, or opinion on a positive assessment of the pre-defined project, or opinion on the fulfilment of the conditions included in the assessment has entered into effect. After entering into effect of the abovementioned decision or opinion the file of the project shall be available to the extent and in accordance with the procedures laid down in the Freedom of Information Law.

(2) A project file of an institution of direct administration, a derived public person or another State institution shall be generally accessible information, except for the summary of the project budget, including a plan for project costs. The information of the abovementioned project shall be available to the extent and in accordance with the procedures laid down in the Freedom of Information Law after the end date for submitting the project application or pre-defined project. The information referred to in Section 29, Paragraph two of this Law in relation to the assessment of the project application and pre-defined project shall be available after the decision to approve the project application, to approve with a condition, or to reject it, or opinion with a positive assessment of the pre-defined project, or opinion on the fulfilment of the conditions included in the assessment has entered into effect.

Section 31. Time Period for Storage of Documents

The institutions involved in the management of Financial Mechanisms, the beneficiary of co-financing, and project partners shall store the originals of all documents related to implementation of the programme, project or pre-defined project of the Financial Mechanisms, or their derivatives for three years after approval of the final programme report, unless the legal acts governing granting of aid for commercial activity lay down another time period for storage of documents.

Transitional Provisions

1. The Cabinet shall issue the regulations referred to in Section 15, Clauses 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, and 11 of this Law until 1 October 2018.

2. The Cabinet shall, within one year after the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs or the European Economic Area Financial Mechanism Committee has approved the programme concept note, issue the regulations referred to in Section 9, Paragraph one and Section 15, Clause 12 of this Law.

This Law has been adopted by the Saeima on 19 April 2018.

The President R. Vējonis

Riga, 9 May 2018


1 The Parliament of the Republic of Latvia

Translation © 2018 Valsts valodas centrs (State Language Centre)

 
Document information
Status:
In force
in force
Issuer: Saeima Type: law Adoption: 19.04.2018.Entry into force: 23.05.2018.Theme:  Banks, finances, budget; International cooperationPublication: Latvijas Vēstnesis, 90, 09.05.2018. OP number: 2018/90.1
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