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SORAINEN Latvia Advises on European Commission Complaint

SORAINEN's Latvia office has advised the Association Sabiedriba par atklatibu – Delna ("Delna"), the Latvian branch of the global coalition against corruption, Transparency International, in a pro bono matter concerning the Latvian authorities’ plans to purchase speed cameras outside of public procurement procedure boundaries.

Back on September 25, 2012, the Cabinet of Ministers of Latvia decided to allow the country's Public Procurement Law to be bypassed if the Ministry of the Interior decided to purchase speed cameras from a German company, Vitronic Dr.-Ing.Stein Bildverarbeitungssysteme. Delna intended to file an application with the Constitutional Court and to request that the European Commission assess the legality of this decision. SORAINEN Latvia provided Delna with pro bono legal advice in the matter. The constitutional application failed, however, because Latvian law bars NGO from filing applications directly, and it did not gain the necessary support from Parliament members necessary to require them to do it.

However, the complaint regarding the possible infringement of public procurement rules by the Latvian authorities caught the attention of the Commission. And in addition, Delna, again in cooperation with SORAINEN, held a press conference informing the media about the alleged non-compliance of the authorities with regard to the so called “security exemption” rule under Directive 2014/18/EC.

The Ministry of the Interior eventually decided not to proceed with the purchase of the speed cameras from Vitronic, officially on a financial basis.

On April 8, 2014, after investigating the case, the European Commission provided a response to Delna's complaint. However, since the Latvian authorities had not implemented the project and had not purchased the speed cameras, the investigation against Latvia was closed. Nevertheless, the Commission informed the Latvian authorities that Article 14 of Directive 2014/18/EC should be strictly interpreted, and the Commission expressed its intention to monitor future applications of this exception by the Latvian authorities.

SORAINEN Partner Agris Repss advised Delna through the process, with assistance by Senior Associate Raivo Raudzeps and Associate Andris Taurins.

 

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Last modified onWednesday, 14 May 2014 07:32
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