The Foreign Investors’ Council in Latvia (FICIL) has sent an open letter to the Ministry of Environmental Protection and Regional Development (VARAM) and the State Environmental Service (VVD) with an appeal to ensure openness in considering potential operators of the deposit system. FICIL underlines that the civil society and independent Latvian and foreign experts should be involved in this process, and that the public should be provided regular information about the progress and potential challenges of this process.

“The Foreign Investors’ Council in Latvia highly appreciate the efforts of the VARAM and VVD in preparing the amendments required in the Packaging Law and the Cabinet Regulations to implement the deposit system in Latvia, and in using these regulations to draft a procedure for reviewing the documents submitted by potential operators of the deposit system. A limited period of time has been allocated for the assessment of candidates, and the stakeholders, and the general public have a special interest in having a high quality deposit system that is implemented quickly and wisely. Thus, we invite the VVD to review the received bids by relying on the key principles of openness, transparency and fair competition,” explains Dace Cīrule, the Head of the Green Economy Development Working Group of FICIL.

To ensure compliance of the deposit system with the principles of the Extended Producer Responsibility, as well as the highest degree of openness during the operator selection procedure, FICIL invites the VVD to review all bids according to the best public procurement practices and key principles: fair and equitable competition, equal treatment of all tenderers and the best value for money.

During the assessment of tenderers, FICIL invites to apply the following principles: ensure the openness of the assessment process by publicly disclosing all participants of the assessment commission meetings and minutes; provide regular information to the public about the achieved progress, involved parties and discussed challenges, if any; considering the limited local expertise in creating and operating a deposit system, involve independent local and foreign experts in the assessment procedure; involve the civil society, incl. by inviting independent observers from Latvian and renown international environmental NGOs.