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Evaluating the Openness of Municipal Protocols: Recommendations and Ratings for Latvian Council Meetings

40 out of 43 municipal protocols can be found in machine-readable format. Improvements are needed in the case of the minutes of Dobele, Ogre and Rēzekne council meetings, which are currently available in scanned format.

In six municipalities, the protocols need to be downloaded, as they are found in “.Doc” format, but on the websites of the other municipalities, the documents can be viewed in a browser window and downloads are not necessary, making the process easier.

Evaluating the openness of municipal protocols, no municipality has received the highest rating – 25 points. On the other hand, several municipalities have received a 24-point rating: Valkas, Bauskas, Alūksnes, Ādažu, Smiltenes, Ventspils, Rēzeknes, Dienvikkurzemes, Valmiera region, Jūrmala, Ventspils and the city of Riga.

The minutes of the council meetings of Talsi, Balva, Salaspils Tukuma, Augšdaugava district and Liepāja city councils were evaluated with 23 points.

Minutes of meetings of Cēsi, Krāslava, Saldus, Kuldīga, Mārupe, Sigulda and Varakļani counties, as well as Daugavpils city council, received a lower rating or 20 points.

The minutes of Aizkraukle county council meetings have an even lower rating, or 19 points, while the minutes of Ogre county council meetings are rated with 16 points.

“Delna” recommends that currently the most successful approach, which would allow residents to follow the work of the municipality, is the use of meeting protocol similar to a television program. It should outline the agenda of the meeting and the decision-making process in a concise manner. When the resident has familiarized himself with the protocol of the meeting and found the points of interest, it is recommended to watch the audio-visual recording of the meeting, which is almost always available in the same section of the municipality’s website as the protocol. It should be noted that meeting recordings are often even easier to find than minutes, as several municipalities also publish recordings on “YouTube”. Watching the recording of the meeting allows you to understand the activity of the deputies, to familiarize yourself with the questions and opinions expressed by the deputies in full, as well as to follow how the council’s work is organized.

2024-04-14 06:16:29

#municipalities #gaps #minutes #council #meetings

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