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Committee: Social Integration Fund’s function requires improvements

Artuss Kaimiņš/flickr.com/Saeima
Deputies of Latvian Saeima’s Human Rights and Public Affairs Committee have supported amendments to the Social Integration Fund Law. Amendments are planned to help improve the fund’s function and supervision, BNN was informed by Saeima’s public relations press-service.

After interviewing representatives of the Social Integration Fund, Culture Ministry and NGOs, members of the committee pointed towards multiple problems found in the fund’s activities until now.

Participants of the discussion also stressed problems with the fund’s governance and structure, large bureaucratic burden in comparison with similar institutions, as well as the situation in which the fund allocates funding for NGOs and also competes with them for other funding sources, the parliament notes.

«The budget of the Social Integration Fund reaches EUR 11 million a year. After the committee’s meeting, it becomes clear there is little to no communication among the largest NGOs that have a great deal of interest in improving the fund’s activities. The committee is prepared to play the role of a round table to help resolve problems,» said the head of the committee Artuss Kaimiņš after the meeting. He stressed that the legislative draft submitted to the Saeima requires major improvements in order to implement the planned changes to the fund’s function. This is why an extended proposal submission term has been given – until March 2019.

The legislative draft submitted to the Saeima states that the Cabinet of Ministers is to approve the Social Integration Fund’s internal rules. Currently the fund’s council is responsible for this. It is also planned that when administering state budget programmes for social integration, the fund will answer to Culture Ministry.

The legislative draft also offers chancing the composition of the fund’s council by adding a representative of the State Chancellery. It is planned that members of the council will be able to elect the council chairman for a term of no more than five years. The same person will not be allowed to take this post for more than one term.

Before amendments can come to force, they have to be reviewed by the Saeima in three readings.


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