Bulgaria’s anti-corruption body found discrepancies in declarations of 738 people in power

Bulgaria’s anti-corruption commission said that it had found discrepancies in the statutory declarations of assets of 738 office-bearers at various levels of government.

The commission announced the results after carrying out, as required by law, a check of about 9000 people obliged to lodge declarations. The check covered declarations filed between January and September 2018.

It said that it had found discrepancies in declarations lodged by senior public officials in all categories within the scope of the law.

These included Cabinet ministers, members of Parliament, mayors, chairpersons of municipal councils, chief architects (a post equivalent to town planner) of municipalities, executive directors and managers of hospitals, rectors of universities, people authorised under the Public Procurement Act to conduct tender procedures and conclude contracts, head of state organisations that conduct financial management of European Union funds, heads of customs posts, directors of state forest and hunting holdings, heads and deputy heads of state agencies and commissions, among others.

The checks cover, in addition to the people obliged to lodge declarations, also “the person with whom they cohabit on a marital basis”, as well as children under the age of majority.

The commission said that it had found cases of non-compliance regarding 738 people obliged to file declarations.

The check established cases where people possessed or had acquired, but not declared, shareholdings, income from employment, bank deposits, collateral amounting to millions of leva or euro, property owned, and participation in management bodies of commercial companies, non-profit legal entities and activity as a sole trader.

As required by law, the commission had sent notifications in writing to those found to have not complied with the law, giving them 14 days to remedy the non-compliance.

This resulted in 637 people submitting corrective statements, 98 not lodging one, 35 submitting a corrective statement and also declaring to the commission that they do not want the commission to publish the information about the person they were living with, while three had filed corrective declarations, but these were incomplete, while they also told the commission they did not want it to publish the information about the person they were living with.

The commission said that the law required it to hand the matter over the National Revenue Agency for tax insurance litigation, in the event of a discrepancy remaining after the deadline for submitting a corrective declaration, of no less than 5000 leva.

Should the deadline pass and the non-compliance exceed 20 000 leva, the commission would proceed to an inspection of the assets of the person, the statement said.

(Photo: Vangelis Thomaidis)



The Sofia Globe staff

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