Police and other employees of Bulgaria’s Interior Ministry are facing “loyalty tests”, probably through the use of lie detectors, minister Tsvetlin Yovchev told a parliamentary committee on April 2 2014.
The intention is to test Interior Ministry employees’ loyalty to Bulgaria’s constitution and laws.
Yovchev did not say when the plan would come into effect, but said that the Institute of Psychology was working on developing the programme to be used.
“It will not be that difficult to formulate such questions.”
The idea is part of a long-term plan by Yovchev to cut petty crime. The plan was approved at a regular meeting of the cabinet on April 2.
He said that the measure was intended to ensure that employees would be loyal to the law and the objectives of the Interior Ministry.
Employees who failed the polygraph tests would be subjected to further checks, Yovchev said.
If these further checks confirmed that there were reasons to doubt the loyalty of employees, “by law it is clear what should happen to such people”.
“I think that this is a practice applied in many countries,” said Yovchev, though he did not say which ones.
“If we introduce such a practice, I think that it will seriously reduce any practices that are associated with employee disloyalty”.
Against a background of police protests in 2013 when Yovchev tried to introduce a system of rotating police around different metropolitan district offices, he was asked about possible internal resistance from police to the idea of the lie detector tests.
“If we are constantly guided by how someone or another would react to some measure, we will never get the result we want,” Yovchev said.
Yovchev also announced that a further five per cent of the administration of the Interior Ministry would be cut by mid-2014.