Bylaws of the Ombudsman's Office
By Ombudsman of the Republic of Latvia
On 27 March 2012
Effective as from 02 April 2012
Bylaws of the Ombudsman’s Office
I. General Provisions
1.Ombudsman’s Office of the Republic of Latvia (hereinafter – the Office) is an institutionally and functionally independent, wholesome, autonomous subject of public law that ensures operation of Ombudsman of the Republic of Latvia within the scope of competence stipulated in the Ombudsman Law and other regulatory acts.
2.The Office is a legal entity derived from public law; it has its own corporate seal with depiction of the Supplemented Small Coat of Arms of the State of Latvia and full name of the Office.
3.The Office operates a State budget account with the State Treasury.
4.Operation of the Office is governed by the Ombudsman Law, these Bylaws and other applicable regulatory acts.
5.The key principles of operation of the Office are: justice; independence; accessibility; transparency; and responsibility. The Office is guided in their operation by the principle of good governance.
6.The Office is an entity committed to foster equal treatment pursuant to the Council Directive of European Union No 2000/43/EC of 29 June 2000 implementing the principle of equal treatment between persons irrespective of racial or ethnic origin; Council Directive No 2004/113/EC of 13 December 2004 implementing the principle of equal treatment between men and women in the access to and supply of goods and services; Council Directive No 2006/54/EC of 5 July 2006 on the implementation of the principle of equal opportunities and equal treatment of men and women in matters of employment and occupation.
7.The Office supervises implementation of the Convention pursuant to Section 2 of the Law of 28 January 2010 on Convention of the Rights of Persons with Special Needs.
8.The Office ensures monitoring of compulsory extradition of individuals pursuant to Section 50.7 of the Immigration Law of 31 October 2002.
II. Structure of the Office
9.The following structural units are operating in the Office:
9.1.Division of Civil and Political Rights;
9.2.Division of Social, Economical and Cultural Rights;
9.3.Division of Equality before Law;
9.4.Division of the Rights of Children;
9.5.Administrative Division, including Chancery as a structural unit;
9.6.Division of Communication and International Cooperation.
10.The staff-roll is approved by the Ombudsman in accordance with the established structure.
III.Organization of Work of the Office
11.The work of the Office is managed by the Ombudsman.
12.Functions and tasks of the Ombudsman are performed during his absence and uponhisassignment by a Deputy appointed from among the Heads of Divisions pursuant to Section 16 of the Ombudsman Law.
13.Heads of Sections report directly to the Ombudsman. The office of Deputy Head of Division is established in certain divisions, taking into consideration the scope of competence of the structural unit in question.
14.Functions of the heads of divisions are performed during their absence by deputy head of the concerned division or an official assigned by the Ombudsman.
15.The job duties, rights and responsibilities of the heads of divisions and their deputies are described in their respective office instructions and employment contracts.
IV. Tasks, Competences and Powers of Structural Units
16.The tasks of Division of Civil and Political rights include:
16.1.Performance of the tasks stipulated in the Ombudsman Law, subject to the goals and priorities prescribed by the Ombudsman’s strategies, in the field of protection and fostering of civil and political rights, including:
16.1.1.the right to life;
16.1.2.prohibition of torture, inhuman and degrading attitude, and punishment;
16.1.3.the right to liberty and security;
16.1.4.the right to procedural fairness;
16.1.5.the right to inviolability of privacy and family life;
16.1.6.the right to free movement on territory of the State;
16.1.7.the right to leave freely and return to the State;
16.1.8.the right of individual to legal status;
16.1.9.the freedom of thought, conscience. and religion;
16.1.10.the freedom of speech and expression;
16.1.11.the freedom of association;
16.1.12.the freedom of assembly;
16.1.13.the right to elect and to be elected;
16.1.14.the right to perform public service;
16.1.15.prohibition of extradition of an individual;
16.1.16.procedural guarantees to foreigners in case of extradition;
16.2.Participation in the monitoring of the process of compulsory extradition of an individual as stipulated in the Immigration Law;
16.3.Supervision of the implementation of international norms binding upon Latvia as well as implementation of national regulatory acts in the field of civil and political rights.
17.The tasks of Division of Social, Economical and Cultural Rights include:
17.1.Performance of the tasks stipulated in the Ombudsman Law, subject to the goals and priorities prescribed by the Ombudsman’s strategies, in the field of ensuring, protection, and fostering of social, economical and cultural rights, including:
17.1.1.the right to work;
17.1.2.the right to property;
17.1.3.the right to social security;
17.1.4.the right to housing;
17.1.5.the right to protection of health;
17.1.6.the right of persons with disabilities to recognition of disability and medicinal rehabilitation;
17.1.7.the right to education;
17.1.8.the freedom of scientific, artistic and other creative work;
17.1.9.the right to beneficial environment;
17.2.Fostering compliance with the principle of good governance in public administration;
17.3.Supervision of the implementation of international norms binding upon Latvia as well as implementation of national regulatory acts in the field of social, economical, and cultural rights.
18.The tasks of Division of Equality before Law include:
18.1.Performance of the tasks stipulated in the Ombudsman Law, subject to the goals and priorities prescribed by the Ombudsman’s strategies, in the field of fostering the principle of equal treatment;
18.2.Performance of the tasks stipulated in the Ombudsman Law, subject to the goals and priorities prescribed by the Ombudsman’s strategies, in the field of non-discrimination against persons on the basis of racial or national origin, gender, age, language, religion, social background or financial position, sexual orientation, health condition, political or other beliefs, or any other grounds whatsoever;
18.3.Fostering, protection and monitoring implementation of the UN Convention on the rights of persons with disabilities;
18.4.Provision of impartial legal aid to the victims of discrimination whenever a breach of discrimination prohibition is established;
18.5.Supervision of the implementation of international norms binding upon Latvia as well as implementation of national regulatory acts in the field of preventing breach of non- discrimination.
19.Division of the Rights of Children is responsible for securing, protecting and fostering the rights of children. Tasks of the division include:
19.1.Performance of the tasks stipulated in the Ombudsman Law, subject to the goals and priorities prescribed by the Ombudsman’s strategies, in the field of the rights of children, including:
19.1.1.the right of a child to identity;
19.1.2.the right of a child to grow up in family;
19.1.3.the right of a child to education;
19.1.4.the right of a child to means of subsistence;
19.1.5.the rights of orphans and children left without parental care;
19.1.6.the right of a child to be heard to;
19.1.7.the right of a child to recreation and leisure time;
19.1.8.the tasks specified in Clauses 16, 17, and 18 above whenever protection of the rights and interests of children are involved;
19.2.Supervision of the implementation of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child and other international norms binding upon Latvia as well as implementation of national regulatory acts in the field of the rights of children.
20.Implementation by divisions listed in Clauses 16 – 19 above of their duties shall include the following:
20.1.handling of applications concerning eventual infringements of human rights and the principle of good governance;
20.2.consulting of individuals on the matters of human rights;
20.3.handling of probation proceedings instituted by the Ombudsman;
20.4.investigation of the circumstances of the potential infringements of human rights and the principle of good governance;
20.5.reporting on the need to institute probation proceedings at the Ombudsman’s initiative in case of reasonably suspected infringements of human rights and the principle of good governance;
20.6.drafting of a legal opinion, statement or report on the issue in question;
20.7.drafting of recommendations regarding established infringements of human rights;
20.8.drafting of recommendations to the Saeima, the Cabinet, municipalities and other institutions regarding the enactment/amending of legal acts;
20.9.drafting of applications to the Constitutional Court;
20.10.fostering public awareness and understanding of human rights and the principle of good governance; vehicles established to protect such rights, and activities pursued by the Ombudsman, by means of arranging educational and informational events and impartial opinion surveys, and participating at the events organized by other institutions and non- governmental organizations;
20.11.cooperation with the Latvian as well as foreign organizations in the field of protection of human rights;
20.12.participation at meetings convened to manage setting and amending of the goals and priorities set forth in the Ombudsman’s strategies;
20.13.drafting statements, reports and annual accounts on activities of the concerned division in the manner and time set by the Ombudsman.
21.The rights stipulated in Section 21 of the Ombudsman Law shall be exercised by officials of the divisions listed in Clauses 16 – 19 above, within the scope of their competence, upon implementation of their official duties.
22.Heads of divisions listed in Clauses 16 – 19 above shall be authorized by the Ombudsman:
22.1.to sign replies to applications, notices of refusal to institute probation proceedings, or forwarding applications to other institutions competent to handle the matters in question; cover letters to documents drafted by their division, as well as documents drafted in relation to probation proceedings; requests for information; notices of extension of probation proceedings; notices of dismissal of probation proceedings; notices of completion of probation proceedings; follow-up requests regarding the issued recommendations;
22.2.to attend the meetings of Saeima commissions and the Cabinet; to take part in the work of btask force, and to express opinion, subject to prior conceptual approval by the Ombudsman;
22.3.to authorize any official of the division to attend the meetings of Saeima commissions and the Cabinet; to take part in the work of task force, and to express opinion, subject to prior conceptual approval by the Ombudsman.
23.The Administrative Division shall ensure administrative and commercial activities of the Office. The division shall have the following tasks:
23.1.monitor the work of Chancery;
23.2.perform human resource management function;
23.3.plan financial resources;
23.4.plan the indices of operational effectiveness;
23.5.keep the accounting records;
23.6.ensure internal control procedures;
23.8.ensure and provide economical attendance of operation of the Office.
24.The Chancery shall perform the following tasks:
24.1.schedule and coordinate day-to-day routine of the Ombudsman;
24.2.ensure circulation of information between the Ombudsman and the staff; between the Ombudsman and governmental authorities. legal and natural entities (visitors), and cooperation partners;
24.3.draft the internal regulations and instructions concerning the principal activities;
24.4.keep the internal records of organizational and directional documents;
24.5.arrange reception of customers;
24.6.organize circulation of documents;
24.7.organize handling, saving and archiving of clerical records;
24.8.keep the list of files.
25.Head of Administrative Department shall be authorized by the Ombudsman:
25.1. to approve plans for funding of the Office;
25.2. to approve financial and statistical accounts of the Office.
26.Division of Communication and International Cooperation shall perform the following tasks:
26.1.draft and implement communication strategies;
26.2.organize public events including provision of publicity of such events;
26.3.cooperate with mass media in reflecting activities of the Ombudsman;
26.4.conduct research, surveys and projects in the fields of operation of the Office;
26.5.arrange communication events information materials and campaigns in the fields of operation of the Office;
26.6.develop internal communication;
26.7.ensure support to the Ombudsman and the Office in international cooperation;
26.8.provide administration and maintenance of the Ombudsman’s website.
V. Final Provisions
27.Enactment of the present Bylaws shall render null and void the Decree of the Ombudsman’s Office No 1 of 01 March 2010.