Bulgaria’s caretaker cabinet has fired acting head of the State Agency for Bulgarians Abroad Yordan Yanev and a review of the agency has been ordered by Deputy Prime Minister Iliyana Tsanova.
The dismissal of Yanev, announced on October 15 2014, followed media reports of an investigation by prosecutors that established more than 1000 cases of the agency issuing certificates of Bulgarian origin to foreigners seeking citizenship, without the proof required by law being submitted.
Yanev, who began at the agency in 1993 and rose to be deputy head, was appointed acting head in October 2013 when Rossen Ivanov resigned citing “personal reasons”.
A media statement by the cabinet said that Yanev had been dismissed because recommendations made by the Supreme Cassation Prosecution in January 2014 to correct irregularities in the issuing of certificates of Bulgarian origin had not been implemented.
A report by Tsanova said that the current management of the State Agency for Bulgarians had failed to ensure transparency in the agency’s work and there was a low level of control.
The General Inspectorate will investigate the agency, including its activities in 2014, and the results are scheduled to be ready by October 30.
Tsanova also has asked the Commission on Preventing and Combating Corruption to investigate the agency.
The Deputy Prime Minister’s report said that reform of the agency was needed and the next government should undertake this task.
A report on Bulgarian-language media in September described the agency as “leaderless” given that no one had been appointed its head since Ivanov’s departure in October 2013, while in September 2014, Yanev took a month’s sick leave.