Valdis Zatlers

Valdis Zatlers

Activities in the area of legislation

A petition before the Constitutional Court on amendments to the law on public procurement

On April 19, 2010, the Latvian Constitutional Court handed down its ruling on Case No. 2009-69-03, “On the correspondence of Article 83.2 of the law on public procurement and Article 12 of the law’s transition rules to Sections 1 and 92 of the Constitution,” declaring the disputed norm to be unconstitutional in relation to Section 92 of the Constitution.
President Valdis Zatlers petitioned the Constitutional Court on August 3, 2009, arguing that the fee that legislators had approved as a security for complaints filed against public procurement procedures limited the right enshrined in Section 92 of the Constitution, which guarantees the right of each individual to defend his or her rights and lawful interests.   The President argued that the right to dispute procurement procedures before the Procurement Oversight Bureau is a fundamental mechanism aimed at preventing the waste of state and local government financing, as well as at reducing the risk of corruption in the spending of state monies. Filing a complaint with the Procurement Oversight Bureau, he wrote, was the only effective resource – one that must be made available without incommensurate financial obstacles in the way.
On June 26, 2009, acting on the basis of Section 71 of the Constitution, President Zatlers vetoed amendments to the law on public procurement and returned them to the Saeima, instructing the speaker of the Saeima to note that the planned fee would be in violation of Section 92 of the Constitution. The Saeima overrode the President’s veto on July 16, 2009. Because the President could not veto them a second time, he proclaimed the law on July 30, 2009, and then turned to the Constitutional Court.
This is the first time that the President has filed a petition before the Constitutional Court to dispute the constitutionality of a law since the law on the Constitutional Court was adopted.
Inese Lībiņa-Egner
Legal Adviser to the President 
April 20, 2010