Law on International Assistance

02.12.2014. 19:09

Translation by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs

In force since 28 May 2008 
With amendments of 28 May 2009, effective as of 1 July 2009

Published in: Vēstnesis no. 74, 14 May 2008

 Current

The Saeima[1] has adopted

and the President proclaims the following Law:

Law on International Assistance

Section 1. Terms used in this Law

The following terms are used in this Law:

1) international assistance – development co-operation and participation in international missions conducted by the Republic of Latvia;

2) development co-operation ­– provision of assistance to less developed states to facilitate the long-term social and economic development of these states and their communities;

3) recipient state – a state that receives international assistance;

4) provider of international assistance ­– the direct or indirect institution of state administration or international organisation that provides funding for an activity of international assistance (hereinafter - provider);

5) activity of international assistance – a project of development co-operation, voluntary payment or international mission;

6) programme of activities – a body of numerous activities of international assistance with a common objective;

7) development co-operation project – a non-commercial activity or a set of activities with defined results of implementation, implementing entities, and a deadline for implementation; 

8) joint (trilateral or multilateral) activity of international assistance – a development co-operation project or programme of activities, in which separate activities of a project or programme are implemented by two or more providers one of which represents the Republic of Latvia;

9) international mission – an activity, in the implementation of which a civilian expert takes part and which is implemented at the invitation of international organisations to participate in a mission led by them or on the basis of a bilateral or multilateral agreement;

10) civilian expert – a physical person, who is approved as a participant of an international mission by the Cabinet of Ministers;

11) implementing entity of development co-operation project – a person, who is selected as an implementing entity of a development co-operation project under the procedure provided for in regulatory enactments or who implements a development co-operation project selected under the procedure provided for in regulatory enactments;  

12) delegated co-operation – joint agreement of one or more providers that one provider (the leading provider) acts on the behalf of the other providers (delegating providers) in the implementation of an activity of international assistance or a programme of activities;

13) voluntary payment – a payment intended for international organisations, international initiatives, and funds that use the allocated funding for the implementation of international assistance or rendering humanitarian aid;

14) instrument of approval – procedure, in which the allocation of funding for the implementation of an activity of international assistance is approved or in which an implementing entity of a development co-operation project or a civilian expert is selected;

15) grant – a payment to an implementing entity of a development co-operation project for the realisation of a project that has been submitted for a grant project competition and the provision of funding for which has been approved by the Development Co-operation State Agency;

 16) foreign expert – a foreign national who is not a payroll tax payer in the Republic of Latvia but who is implementing activities envisaged under a development co-operation project, or receives material or immaterial benefit from the implementation of the said project;

17) national expert – a payer of domestic taxes of the Republic of Latvia (a resident) who is a payroll tax payer in the Republic of Latvia and who is implementing activities envisaged under a development co-operation project, or receives material or immaterial benefit from the implementation of the said project;

18) person involved in the implementation of a development co-operation project – the administrative staff of a project (project manager, project co-coordinator, accountant or any other person involved in project administration), a national expert or a foreign expert.

Section 2. Purpose of this Law

The purpose of this Law is to guarantee the effective and transparent planning and implementation of international assistance rendered by the Republic of Latvia, in order to ensure and render a quality and effective international assistance to recipient states by complying with the principles and good practice in the implementation of international assistance of the United Nations, the European Union, the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO), the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, and the Development Assistance Committee of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development. 

Section 3. Scope of application of this Law

 (1) The Law prescribes the procedure, in which international assistance shall be planned and implemented.

 (2) The Law prescribes the competency of the responsible institutions involved in the planning and implementation of international assistance.

 (3) The Law does not pertain to military personnel of the Republic of Latvia, nor to civil servants with special service rank within the institutions of the Ministry of the Interior system and their participation in international missions.

 (4) The Law does not pertain to the commitments of the Republic of Latvia to make compulsory annual payments to international organisations.

 (5) The Law does not pertain to the rendering of humanitarian aid, except in cases, when voluntary payments are made for funding humanitarian aid.

 (6) The Law does not pertain to other kinds of assistance, which is not development co-operation and participation in international missions related.

Section 4. Responsible institutions

 (1) International assistance is planned by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in co-operation with the Consultative Council for Development Co-operation Affairs and the Consultative Council for the Participation of Civilian Experts of Latvia in the International Civilian Missions Led by International Organisations in accordance with their competency as specified in regulatory enactments.

 (2) The administration of the instruments of approval specified in this Law shall be conducted by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs or by the Development Co-operation State Agency in accordance with their competency as specified in this Law and in other regulatory enactments.

 (3) Institutions of state administration, which are not mentioned in this Law, and municipalities may undertake activities in the area of international assistance, not complying with the conditions of this Law on the application of regulatory instruments.   

 (4) Section 4, Paragraph three of this Law does not pertain to cases, when, in accordance with the Law on Public Procurement, a public procurement is required, and to the instrument of approval specified in Section 5, Clause 2 of this Law.

Section 5. Instruments of approval

Instruments of approval are:

1) grant project approval;

2) approval of a civilian expert to participate in an international mission;

3) public procurement;

4) voluntary payment

5) delegated co-operation;

6) activities of international assistance provided for in policy planning documents approved by the Cabinet of Ministers.

Section 6. Functions of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in the area of international assistance

 (1) The Ministry of Foreign Affairs draws up a development co-operation policy plan for the next year and the medium-term policy planning documents specified in regulatory enactments.

 (2) The Ministry of Foreign Affairs co-ordinates the instrument of approval specified in Section 5 Clause 2 of this Law.

 (3) The Ministry of Foreign Affairs co-operates with providers of foreign states in order to implement joint (trilateral and multilateral) activities of international assistance or delegated co-operation.

Section 7. Development Co-operation State Agency

(1) The Development Co-operation State Agency (hereinafter – agency) is a state administration institution under the supervision of the Minister for Foreign Affairs. The supervision is realised with the mediation of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

 (2) The agency operates in accordance with its operation plan for the next year. The operation plan of the agency is drawn up on the basis of its medium-term strategy and a development co-operation policy plan for the next year as approved by the Cabinet of Ministers.

 (3) The functions of the agency are specified in this Law, the Public Procurement Law, and the by-law of the agency approved by the Cabinet of Ministers.

Section 8. Functions of the agency

 (1) The agency conducts the administration of the instruments of approval specified in Section 5, Clauses 1, 3, 4, 5, and 6 of this Law, other regulatory enactments, and the procedures prescribed in the by-law of the agency.

 (2) The agency concludes agreements with providers from foreign states on the implementation of joint (trilateral and multilateral) activities of international assistance or delegated co-operation.

 (3) The agency is entitled to take on commitments of not more than three years of providing funding for activities and programmes of international assistance in the area of development co-operation. The total amount of commitments of each following year must not exceed the amount of state budget funding allocated to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for the respective year for the provision of funding to development co-operation in compliance with medium-term macroeconomic development and fiscal policy. 

 (31) In view of the approval instruments specified in Section 5 hereunder and the objectives prescribed by the Development Co-operation Policy Plan for the respective year, the agency may spend funding for the implementation of new approval instruments or may increase funding for the existing approval instruments, in case: 

1) funds allocated for the implementation of approval instruments remain unused;

2) there are any unspent funds after the implementation of an international assistance activity;

3) funds have been awarded to the agency as a donation or a gift. 

 (4) The decision of the agency may be contested by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in conformity with procedures stipulated in the Administrative Procedures Law. The decision by the Ministry of the Foreign Affairs regarding the contested decision of the Agency may be appealed in court according to procedures stipulated by the Administrative Procedures Law. The contesting of a decision of the Agency or an appeal against a decision of the Ministry of foreign Affairs does not suspend these decisions. 

Section 9. Grant project competition

 (1) The agency holds grant project competitions, by preparing and announcing the respective competitions. Priorities and objectives of projects, as well as recipient states and the available funding are specified in competitions. The announcement of each competition is approved by the Minister for Foreign Affairs.    

 (2) The agency may announce a limited-term (single) grant project competition and a grant project competition of unlimited duration in the Republic of Latvia or in the recipient state.

 (3) When announcing a limited-term grant project competition, the agency specifies a deadline for the submission of applications. 

 (4) When announcing a grant project competition of unlimited duration, the agency examines project applications and provides funding for them in their order of submission. The interested parties submit project applications for as long as the specified minimal funding is available for the implementation of one project.  

 (5) Grants may be received by direct and indirect institutions of public administration, derived public persons, other government institutions, as well as associations, foundations, economic operators, trade unions and other subjects. In the recipient state, physical persons, who are citizens of the respective recipient state or who are holders of a permanent residence permit in the respective recipient state are also entitled to apply for a grant project competition and receive a grant. 

 (6) In order to implement development co-operation more effectively, the agency is entitled to announce grant project competitions, narrowing down the range of possible grant recipients specified in Paragraph five of this Section.

 (7) The procedure, in which grant project competitions are prepared and announced, competition administration is implemented, project applications are examined, and the decision is made on the winners of a competition, is prescribed by the Cabinet of Ministers.

 Section 91. Accessibility of information during a grant project competition

(1) Project applications submitted during a grant project competition is restricted information.

(2) Information about persons, who have assessed project applications submitted for the grant project competition, is restricted information.

(3) The following information is regarded as generally accessible information:

    1) recipient of the grant (name and surname of a physical person and the name and legal address of a legal person);

    2) project title;

    3) amount of grant awarded;

    4) time and place of project implementation;

    5) summary of activities to be carried out during the project;

    6) summary of results achieved during the project.

(4) The information specified in Paragraph (3) of this section is accessible after the decision on awarding a grant has become effective.

(5) Before a decision on awarding a grant has become effective, only the applicant is entitled to receive information on the progress of the project application. 

(6) A project applicant is entitled to acquaint himself or herself with the project assessment materials only after the final decision on awarding the grant has been taken.

Section 10. Voluntary payment

 (1) Funding for voluntary payments is provided for in the development co-operation policy plan for the next year.

 (2) The agency transfers funding to the respective recipient of funding of voluntary payment.

Section 11. Delegated co-operation

(1) Delegated co-operation is implemented:

1) by receiving co-funding from providers of foreign states for the implementation of a development co-operation project or activity programme, which has been selected by employing the instruments of approval specified in Section 5, Clauses 1, 3, or 6 of this Law;

2) by allocating co-funding to a provider of a foreign state from the budget of the agency for the implementation of a specific development co-operation project or activity programme and the attainment of a specific objective of development co-operation. The provider of a foreign state uses the allocated funding in compliance with the regulatory enactments and procedures of his state.    

(2) The Cabinet of Ministers prescribes the procedure, by which delegated co-operation is implemented.

Section 12. Approval of a civilian expert for participation in an international mission

(1) Civilian experts participate in international missions on the basis of a resolution, recommendation, or invitation of those international organisations, unions, or communities, with which the Republic of Latvia has concluded international agreements, as well as at the invitation of a member state of the European Union or the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO).

(2) The decision on the participation of a civilian expert in an international mission is made by the Cabinet of Ministers.

(3) The procedure, in which a civilian expert is sent to participate in an international mission, the conditions for the participation of a civilian expert, as well as the procedure of the provision of funding for the participation is specified by the Cabinet of Ministers.

Section 13. Maximum remuneration, per diems and hotel (accommodation) costs for persons involved in the implementation of development co-operation projects, and social guarantees for a civilian expert

(1) The maximum amount of remuneration, per diems and hotel (accommodation) costs payable to persons involved in the implementation of development co-operation projects is determined by the Cabinet of Ministers.

(2) If a civilian expert is injured or experiences health problems during an international mission, the Cabinet of Ministers, on the basis of a decision of the State Commission of Physicians for Health and Work Capacity Examination, makes a decision on the allocation of a single compensation of the following amount:

1) if a civilian expert has lost his capacity to work by up to 20% - to the equivalent of 10 monthly salaries;

2) if a civilian expert has lost his capacity to work by from 21% to 40% - to the equivalent of 20 monthly salaries of the civilian expert;

3) if a civilian expert has lost his capacity to work by from 41% to 60% - to the equivalent of 30 monthly salaries of the civilian expert;

4) if a civilian expert has lost his capacity to work by from 61% to 80% - to the equivalent of 40 monthly salaries of the civilian expert;

5) if a civilian expert has lost his capacity to work by from 81% to 100% - to the equivalent of 50 monthly salaries of the civilian expert.

(3) If a civilian expert dies during an international mission, his forced heirs, on the basis of a decision of the Cabinet of Ministers, are paid a single compensation to the amount of 50,000 lats.     

(4) The employer of a civilian expert ensures the rights of the expert to return to his previous position, or to an equivalent position, upon his return from an international mission.  

Transitional provisions 

1. During the period of six months after the entry into force of this Law, the Cabinet of Ministers, issues the regulations specified in Section 9, Paragraph seven and in Section 11, Paragraph two, and Section 12, Paragraph three of this Law.

 2. Until the establishment of the Development Co-operation State Agency, the functions of the agency specified in this Law are to be performed by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs is entitled to delegate a part of the functions of the agency to another public entity, prescribing the scope of delegated functions in a formal  agreement.     

 3. Before 1 November 2009, the Cabinet of Ministers, under Section 9(7) hereof, issues regulations laying down procedures for preparing and announcing calls for grant project applications, administrating a competition, evaluating project applications and awarding grants. Before coming into force of such regulations, but no later than 1 December 2009, Cabinet Regulations No 659 of 12 August 2008 shall apply insofar as they do not prejudice this law.

4. Before 1 July 2010, the Cabinet of Ministers issues regulations specified in Section 13(1) hereunder, which determine the maximum amount of remuneration, per diems and hotel (accommodation) costs payable to persons involved in the implementation of a development co-operation project.

This Law was adopted by the Saeima on 24 April 2008.

Acting for the President

Speaker of the Saeima                                                                    G. Daudze

Rīga, 14 May 2008



[1] The Parliament of the Republic of Latvia