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Latvia's cabinet on November 29 approved complex plans for the gradual introduction of voluntary but official email accounts for everyone in the country.

The so-called "eAdrese" initiative would see various different branches of public administration, the armed forces, the judicial system and other official bodies phasing in the use of official email accounts to communicate with Latvian residents in an official capacity.

However, use of the new email addresses will be voluntary (except for businesses) and different bodies will start using the email addresses at different times.

The proposals were drawn up by the Environmental Protection and Regional Development Ministry and according to an official release will provide "a single solution for public administration. The purpose is to provide an electronic environment to guarantee safe and easy official communication between the state, local governments, judicial authorities and citizens / businesses."

"The centralized solution development, i.e. functionality, will be set up next year," the release said..

However, different deadlines for the different institutions will be issued separately and each department will need to inform the central staff at the Ministry about which staff will be responsible for setting up and running the "e-office solution."

It is promised that "Email address in the country will be operational from 1 June 2018" for reserve soldiers and government agencies, except the judiciary, which will only be required to start using the new accounts from 1 January 2020.

Entrepreneurs have the option of using the new email addresses "on a voluntary basis for one year from 1 January 2019 to 31 December, but starting from 1 January 2020 it will be mandatory in correspondence with the national authorities."

In contrast, ordinary people (as opposed to legal entities) "will be able to choose whether to use such a means of communication." 

The email accounts will be linked to the official government web portal

It's worth checking out, but we'll warn you in advance - the English language version of the site uses machine translation which can produce some extremely bizarre results.

In separate but related news, the Interior Ministry and Office of Citizenship and Migration said November 29 they were looking into why their online petition system had just crashed.


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