The Ministry of Environmental Protection and Regional Development (VARAM) has developed a manual “Methodology for the start of the 2021 Joint Municipalities”. It aims to provide support to municipalities in the merger process and to provide guidelines on the measures to be taken by newly established municipalities immediately after the start of operation. . In accordance with the decision of the Saeima, the merged municipalities will start work after the first meeting of the municipal council on 1 July 2021.
The methodology is an open type manual developed in the implementation of the Law on Administrative Areas and Living Areas. . It includes practical guidance on the measures to be taken to form the new municipality following administratively territorial reform, in order to ensure the continuity of local governments' activities and post-process. U. At the same time, recommendations are made for the development of a model of local government work organisation that would be effective and enable citizens to receive accessible and high-quality services. . The manual also contains useful information developed in cooperation with others within the organisation m. It is essential that it is an open document which is intended to be supplemented with topical issues and explanations for municipalities, hearing and taking into account municipal proposals and experience.
In implementing the municipal reform, the local authorities are expecting significant changes, so they should be prepared in good time. . The manual VARAM drawn up contains practical recommendations on the processes that municipalities have to carry out already and guidelines for the organisation, coordination and management of these processes.
The main tasks are the preparation of the reorganisation plan, the development of the draft administrative structure and the development of development planning documents – the development of the strategy and development programme projects. These tasks are also targeted for municipalities.
The methodology provides recommendations on the organisation of municipal management bodies and executive bodies to support the process of building up territorial communities and enable citizens to participate in their environmental quality issues. .
Changes will not only affect the administrative borders of municipalities, but also the provision of municipal management, including how and where the municipal population will be able to receive convenient and accessible services of state and local authorities as close as possible to the place of residence. . It is recommended that local governments set up at least one single customer service centre (VPVKAC) or customer service unit within their organisational structure. On the other hand, at least one point of contact should be established in each parish for the receipt of services, the recommended solution is the inclusion of parish libraries in the implementation of the one-stop-shop principle. In the newly created municipality, the functioning of the library would be complemented by a role of digital agent to help citizens sign up for services electronically, as well as providing support for the use of digital tools and educating citizens in digital skills. . Guidelines for the management of municipal services have also been developed to ensure a common approach and standards for the provision, management and development of services, and rational use of the budget. U. In the new municipality, access to services should also be provided via the national administration services portal in latvija.lv.
The provision of modern services to citizens and work in municipalities is not conceivable without the use of information systems (IES) and various information and communication technologies (ICT) solutions. VARAM point out that the merger of municipalities into new, larger municipalities will reduce their fragmentation and increase the capacity of municipalities to provide a smart, centralised and sustainable ICT environment and address issues.
The manual also includes recommendations on how to better implement ICT infrastructure matching in new municipalities in order to find the most efficient solution and a single digital environment. VARAM recommend that municipalities carry out inventory of ICT resources in all municipal structures and schedule ICT audits and resources to draw up estimates of the necessary changes in the 2021 budget. m. Recommendation to complete the infrastructure breakdown work by 31 December 2021. For ICT adaptation, the Ministry also foresees a target grant, assisted activities for ICT reform in municipalities include the purchase of new software and additional licensing if they include integrated state-sharing ICT solutions, such as a record-keeping system with e-address integration, the purchase of new techniques and the provision of a server designed to move the new municipalities into a single area. training of staff in the use of new solutions should also be supported.
Similarly, recommendations for measures in the organisation of the activities of the local government following the merger are included, including the organisation of the council meeting, the local government coat of arms, property change, the development of local government regulations and binding events, the planning of the county area, the re-registration of movable and immovable property, the granting of addresses, the organisation of proceedings and other matters within the competence of local governments.
The methodology is invited to BE consulted on the Internet site.
The information was prepared by:
Public relations department
Ministry of Environmental Protection and Regional Development
Tel. 20200305; 67026533,