On Tuesday, 31 May, the Legal Affairs Committee conceptually supported the new Law on Official Publications, thereby discontinuing the publication of a printed version of the official newspaper Latvijas Vēstnesis.
According to the draft law, official information will be published on the www.vestnesis.lv website; this electronic version of Latvijas Vēstnesis will be regarded as an official publication with legally binding status. Thus this periodical, which will contain all the information that is currently available in the printed official newspaper Latvijas Vēstnesis will become more widely accessible and will be free of charge.
Authors of the draft law indicate that the electronic version of the official newspaper will be more user-friendly and available to a broader public. Discontinuing the printed version of the newspaper will reduce the time needed for compiling each issue and legislative acts will be included in the electronic version of the official newspaper within two weekdays.
Authors of the draft law state that after giving up the printed version and introducing the official electronic version of the newspaper, as well as after general optimisation, the total costs of the official newspaper and relevant systemisation of information will be reduced by approximately 37%.
Furthermore, this initiative is justified by the comparatively small number of subscribers. In 2010 there were only 510 subscribers, while the number of unique weekday visitors of the currently unofficial website of the newspaper exceeds 3,500.
Because certain clarifications must be included, the Committee decided to request the Saeima to set 1 September as the deadline for submitting proposals for amendments to the draft law to be considered in the second reading.
Saeima Press Service