News from the Ombudsman’s Office: May 2024

News and events of the Ombudsman’s Office in May 2024 (information in links available in Latvian)

Video tutorial: “What to write in a submission?”

The Ombudsman has developed a short and up-to-date video tutorial on ‘What to write in a submission?’, which follows on from the video published in 2022 entitled ‘How to write a submission?’ to facilitate successful communication with different institutions and organisations.

At the request of the Ombudsman, the Parliament shall eliminate unequal treatment in the procedure for receipt of maintenance payments

The Ombudsman’s call has been successful and unequal treatment has been remedied. The members of the Saeima unanimously supported the amendments to the Maintenance Guarantee Fund Law – in practice, this means that as of 1 September, young people acquiring education abroad and whose declared place of residence is still in Latvia, will also receive maintenance from the state.

The inability to provide a school bus must not be replaced by a boarding school

In preparation for the next school year, the Ombudsman invites local governments to improve school transport services in the interests of children, considering the opinions and needs of residents and educational institutions. In Ombudsman’s opinion, living in boarding houses as an alternative solution is particularly unacceptable.

At the request of the Ombudsman, the SSIA will change the practice of granting social benefits to ‘forever children’

The Ombudsman’s call resulted in a favourable outcome for parents of ‘forever children’, who are most often their guardians receiving state social benefits for children with disabilities since childhood who have reached the age of majority. The State Social Insurance Agency (SSIA) agrees with the Ombudsman’s proposal and will change the current procedure for granting benefits.

Violations of ethics of Orphan’s and Custody Courts will be reviewed by the Ethics Committee of local governments 

Last year the Ombudsman launched initiative that a unified approach should be established in all local governments in the examination of violations of ethics of the Orphan’s and Custody Court. It has been successful: the members of the Saeima (Parliament) adopted amendments to the Law on Orphan’s and Custody Courts, which provide for the examination of complaints regarding violations of ethics of employees of Orphan’s and Custody Courts by an ethics committee of the relevant local government.