Fiscal Discipline Council (hereinafter - the Council) is an independent collegial body established to monitor the compliance with the rules of the fiscal discipline.
The Council has the responsibility for the following:
- monitor the compliance with the Fiscal Discipline Law (hereinafter - FDL) provisions in the budget framework law and the annual state budget law during their preparation, execution, and amendment;
- verify, if the fiscal balance and the expenditure growth provisions have been properly applied, including an independent assessment of the potential GDP and nominal GDP, and the calculation of the structural balance;
- monitor the compliance with the FDL conditions with the estimated summary fiscal indicators during the execution of the annual state budget law, the consolidated local government budget, and derived public person budgets;
- prepare opinion regarding the major departures from the balance condition permitted during a severe economic downturn;
- prepare an opinion on the fiscal safety reserve to counter the prevailing fiscal risks for the state;
- prepare a monitoring report for fiscal discipline and, if necessary, an irregularity report;
- prepare and submit to the Saeima and the Cabinet of Ministers opinions regarding issues of fiscal policy and macro-economic development, as necessary to ensure the compliance with the FDL;
- endorse the Ministry of Finance macroeconomic forecasts twice a year – while preparing the Stability programme, and the annual state budget and while preparing the medium-term budget framework
- prepare interim report (opinion) on Stability programme;
- prepare the reports stipulated by FDL to assess and analyze the fiscal policy sustainability of the country.
The Council provides Saeima with the annual fiscal discipline monitoring report, attaching it to the draft budget framework law, Meanwhile, the Council shall issue an irregularity report immediately after detecting the irregularity, including in the report the recommendations for rectifying the irregularity. Both types of reports shall be published on the Ministry of Finance website as well, and all Council’s decisions shall be made public.
The Council shall have the right to request and receive information from public authorities necessary for discharging the Council’s duties, to cooperate with state and local government bodies, legal entities and individuals, as well as foreign institutions, invite experts and other specialists to participate in and provide views on the Council meetings. Similarly, the Council has the right to provide the Ministry of Finance and the Cabinet of Ministers recommendations on the budget framework law and the annual state budget law formulation, as well as provide suggestions to the Cabinet on the necessary amendments to the laws and regulations related to the fiscal discipline-of the State.
The Council started its operations on 1 January 2014. In turn, the Council's first meeting on 25 February 2014, at which the Chairman was elected Janis Platais, former advisor of the Finance Minister on public financial management issues and the Deputy Chairman was elected Ingars Eriņš, proffesor of the Riga Technical University. On 30 January 2017 the Chairman and Deputy Chairman were re-elected for another three year period.
Taking into account that on 23 April 2015, Saeima dismissed Inesis Feiferis from the Council member position in accordance with his free will, on 3 September 2015 Saeima approved Andžs Ūbelis for a term of six years.
Taking into account Paragraph 9 of the Transition rules of the Fiscal discipline law on 22 December 2016 Saeima has approved Mārtiņš Kazāks and Morten Hansen as the Council members for the second term.
Taking into account that on 6 September 2018, Saeima dismissed Mārtiņš Kazāks from the Council member position due to his appointment as the Bank of Latvia Council member, on 11 October 2018 Saeima approved professor of Latvia University Dr.habil.oec. Inna Šteinbuka for a term of six years.
At the end of 2019, the term of office of three members of the Council - Jānis Platais, Ingars Eriņš and Ulo Kāsiks expired. On March 5, 2020, the Saeima elected Mārtiņš Āboliņš, Andrejs Jakobsons. Saeima reelected Ulo Kāsiks as a member of the Council on March 16, 2020.
Since January 1, 2020, the Council has been chaired by a professor Inna Šteinbuka, her deputy is Morten Hansen, head of the Economics Department of the Riga School of Economics. In the Council also works public finance expert Anžs Ūbelis.
On September 9, 2021, the Saeima approved Ivars Golsts as a member of the Council for six years because the term of office of Anžs Ūbelis expired.
On December 31, 2022, Morten Hansen's term of office expired, and starting from January 1, 2023, the Deputy Chair of the Council is Mārtiņš Āboliņš.
Historically, the first composition of the Council, which started work on January 1, 2014, was Ingars Eriņš, Inesis Feiferis, Mortens Hansens, Mārtiņš Kazāks, Ulo Kāsiks and Jānis Platais.
In March 2020, the Council's Expert Panel was established to promote a constant and regular exchange of ideas in the areas of the Council's activities, creating a dialogue with experts in public affairs.
Its members are: Aldis Austers, Arnis Kaktiņš, Jānis Platais, Igors Ludboržs, Anžs Ūbelis and Morten Hansen.