3.1 General description of the administrative system
State administration directed by the Cabinet of Ministers is performing administrative functions of the executive power (state administration functions). These functions are composed of separate administration tasks and responsibility for their realization. The State administration is organized in the single hierarchic system - no institution or administrative official may remain outside this system.
State administration principles: (1) State administration is governed by law and rights. It acts in the framework of the competence determined in normative acts. State administration can use its authority only corresponding to the point and objective of authorization. (2) State administration observes human rights in its activities. (3) State administration acts in the public interest. Public interest includes also proportionate observance of the rights and lawful interests of private individuals. (4) State administration, individual institutions or officials, in implementing the functions of State administration, does not have their own interests. (5) State administration in its activities has to observe the principles of good governance. Such principles include publicity with respect to private individuals and the public, the protection of data, the fair implementation of procedures within a reasonable time period and other regulations, the aim of which is to ensure that State administration observes the rights and lawful interests of private individuals. (6) State administration in its activities has to be regularly examined and improve the quality of services provided to the public. Its duty is to simplify and improve procedures for the benefit of private individuals. (7) The duty of State administration is to inform the public of its activities. This especially applies to that section of the public and to those private persons whose rights or lawful interests are or may be affected by the implemented or planned activities. (8) State administration has to be organised in a manner that is as convenient and accessible to private individuals as possible. (9) State administration has to be organised in compliance with the principle of subsidiarity. (10) State administration has to be organised as effectively as possible. The institutional system of State administration has to be regularly examined and, if necessary, improved. (11) State administration in its activities also have to observe the principles of law, which principles have been discovered, derived and developed in institutional or court practice, as well as in jurisprudence.
The Republic of Latvia as initial public person in state administration sector acts with the mediation of direct and indirect administrative bodies. Secondary or derived public person in state administration sector acts with the mediation of indirect administrative bodies.
Direct administrative bodies represent the Republic of Latvia which is responsible for the activities of the direct administrative bodies. Indirect administrative bodies acting in the sector which is in the autonomous competence of the respective secondary public person by law represents this public person.
Ministries are constitutional institutions as it is directly stated in the Constitution. Ministries have rights of a legal person. Ministries are central state administrative bodies which are directly subordinated to the Cabinet of Ministers. A Ministry as a part of state administration apparatus represents state power and acts on behalf of the Republic of Latvia.
A Ministry is the leading (superior) administrative body of the respective state administration sector; it is directly subordinated to the Minister which leads the ministry. The Minister - member of the Cabinet of Ministers implements the political control of the ministry. The Minister is responsible for the ministry's activities to Saeima. The Minister has to submit to The President of Ministers on the state account but in the respect of the administrative law he is self - dependent.
Ministry organizes and coordinates the implementation of laws and other normative acts; it takes part in the elaboration of the sector policy. Ministries can issue legal acts only in the framework of the law and rules of the Cabinet of Ministers. They are obligatory to the ministry and institutions under its subordination and supervision. The State Secretary is the administrative manager of the ministry and he is subordinated to the Minister.
State administrative bodies, which are not in hierarchic relations, cooperate to carry out their functions and tasks. The cooperation is gratis unless provided otherwise in the external normative act. Cooperating in long-term administrative bodies can conclude a joint agreement. Public persons are able to conclude the cooperation agreement. The cooperation can be - the participation of the official of the other administrative body in the implementation of the particular administration tasks, information exchange, and supplement of resolutions or otherwise. The cooperation can be rejected if it is not possible because of the actual or legal reasons; if another administrative body with the consumption of fewer resources can be involved or if the consumption of human and financial resources is higher than it is necessary for this cooperation.
Regarding the involvement of the society in state administration work please find chapter Public Participation.
Relevant legislative documents and institutions
State Administration Structure Law (adopted 06.06.2002), link to text in English: www.ttc.lv/index.php?&id=10&tid=59&l=LV&seid=down&itid=13801
Administrative Procedure Law (adopted 25.10.2001) Link to the text in English: www.ttc.lv/index.php?&id=10&tid=59&l=LV&seid=down&itid=13728
The Cabinet of Ministers and Chancellery of the Republic of Latvia www.mk.gov.lv
Home pages of the state institutions of the Republic of Latvia www.gov.lv