At the end of September 2022, an international conference “Insolvency Goes Digital” organised by the Insolvency Control Service (ICS) was held in honour of the institution's 20-year anniversary. The aim of this event was to discuss with foreign experts how in recent years digitalization has impacted insolvency proceeding as well as their supervision. National speakers presented the Electronic Insolvency Accounting System (EMUS), the electronic auction site E-auctions, the system for selecting applicants for the position of administrators involving both EMUS and the Court 's Information System. After the conference our national experts concluded that future objectives of digitalization defined by Europe have already been for the most part achieved in Latvia.
Special guest Catherine Bridge Zoller, Senior Counsel on Restructuring and Insolvency at the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), reported on the digitisation of insolvency from emerging market economy countries where the EBRD is investing. As future challenges in the area of digitisation of insolvency proceedings, she mentioned the management of electronic judicial cases, e-commerce and e-auctions in insolvency, digital reporting (by insolvency administrators), interconnection of different data points: courts, administrative authorities, insolvency regulators, insolvency administrators, collected data and statistical analysis, more deliberate and targeted insolvency policy and decision-making, as well as greater transparency for all: creditors, debtors, shareholders, investors, the state.
Director of ICS's First Supervisory Department, Mrs. Agnese Barojana presented in the conference in detail the Electronic Insolvency Accounting System which is managed by ICS. Mrs. Barojana emphasised that EMUS amongst its other functions serves as a "central data point" providing data for high quality policy development and promoting greater transparency in insolvency proceedings.
Mrs. Karīna Paturska, ICS's Director of the Legal Department presented how the selection procedure for the position of insolvency administrator in insolvency proceedings occurs with the automated interconnection provided by EMUS and the Court's Information System. After the conference, she does not hide her pleasure by saying,
I have real pride in the accomplishments of my colleagues. We all remember that the beginning of our digital journey was not smooth sailing, but we have gone a long way and we can now say that we are ahead leading by example ofthe rest of Europe.
Deputy Head of Information Systems Development Division of the Information Systems and Technology Department of the Court Administratrion Mr. Aivars Švābe revealed the principles and benefits of the electronic system “E-auctions”
At the conference there were also speakers from the Czech Republic, Poland and Lithuania. The head of the Audit, Accounting, Property Evaluation, and Insolvency Management Authority of the Ministry of Finance of the Republic of Lithuania, Mr. Tadas Paulavičius, shared the experience of transforming Lithuania's insolvency system into a modern and customer-oriented system. Deputy Director of the Polish Department of Economic Rights, Judge Emil Szczepanik reflected whether successful digitization has borders. Dr. Ondřej Zezulka, representative of the Legislative Department of the Czech Ministry of Justice, shared practical experience and provided an insight into how digitisation is being implemented in the area of insolvency in the Czech Republic.
Mrs. Inese Šteina, Director of the ICS, concludes:
We feel proud to have taken such huge strides in digitalizing the insolvency process in Latvia, and now being able to help other European countries embark on this process. These past 5 years have certainly been challenging, but thanks to our resourceful and capable teams at both Insolvency Control Service and the Court Administration, we have managed to achieve our targets.
Overall, around 200 members from different European countries joined the conference remotely.
After the conference Mrs. Catherine Bridge Zoller, acknowledged that the experience has been very helping to raise her awareness of digital processes in the context of insolvency proceedings.