Bulgaria deputy minister resigns after mismanagement charges pressed
Bulgarian Deputy Transport Minister Anton Ginev tendered his resignation on June 14 after the prosecutor’s office said that he was charged with large-scale intentional mismanagement of state funds. In a terse statement, the Cabinet’s media service said that Ginev’s resignation has been accepted by Prime Minister Boiko Borissov and said that Ginev cited “personal reasons” for his resignation.
The prosecutor’s office said that the charges against Ginev concerned a contract awarded by the National Railways Infrastructure Company in 2007, when Ginev was the company’s executive director, to carry out repairs on the railway station in the town of Rousse on the Danube River.
The company claimed at that time that the urgent need to repair the station – a claim that the prosecutor’s office has challenged – prevented a public procurement tender, and the contract was awarded after negotiations with three companies that were invited to selected by the National Railways Infrastructure Company.
The total value of the contract was estimated at 3.1 million leva (about 1.6 million euro), well above the threshold that requires a public tender, according to the prosecutors. Two companies submitted incomplete offers and the contract was awarded to a company “controlled” by MP Ilia Iliev, the prosecutor’s office said.
Shortly after signing the contract, Ginev authorised the payment of 927 000 leva to Iliev’s company even though work on the project was yet to start. Iliev’s company carried out no repairs under the contract and Ginev made no attempt to recover the funds, thus making this a case of intentional mismanagement, the prosecutor’s office said.
(Palace of Justice in Sofia. Photo: Clive Leviev-Sawyer)