Ministers will soon be able to 'dial it in'

Ministers will soon be able to attend government meetings via electronic communications if necessary, the LETA news agency reported Wednesday.

The State Chancellery has drawn up amendments to the Cabinet of Ministers Rules of Procedure, according to which ministers, in exceptional cases, will be able to attend the government's meetings via electronic communications - teleconferencing or videoconferencing.

Ministers will be able to use the opportunity if a given meeting of the government is not quorate, or if it turns out that a minister who is not in Latvia needs to participate in the particular meeting. Attending government's meetings via electronic communications will also be possible if an urgent matter is on the meeting's agenda.

In all cases a minister participates in a Cabinet meeting via electronic communications, or if the entire meeting is held by means of teleconferencing or videoconferencing, the State Chancellery will have to ensure that ministers' opinions expressed in writing be recorded in the e-portfolio system, and opinions expressed verbally are recorded on audio or video.

According to the State Chancellery's Director Martins Krievins, the amendments reflect the increasingly dynamic schedules of ministers, who often have to leave Latvia on foreign visits. The amendments will enable ministers to attend the government's meetings via electronic communications, and vote on matters discussed at these meetings.

The amendments to the Cabinet of Ministers' Rules of Procedure will be reviewed at a meeting of state secretaries.

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