EUROPAM

European Public Accountability Mechanisms

Bulgaria

Country score (European Average*)
  • 91(66) Political Financing
  • 86(50) Financial Disclosure
  • 70(40) Conflict of Interest
  • 75(56) Freedom of Information
  • 67(63) Public Procurement

Country Facts

IncomeUpper middle
GNI per capita (2011 PPP $)17758.42
Population, total7127822.00
Urban population (% of total)74.27
Internet users (per 100 people)59.83
Life expectancy at birth (years)74.47
Mean years of schooling (years)10.8
Global Competitiveness Index4.5
Sources: World Bank, UNDP, WEF.

Political Financing

The Election Code 2014, Political Parties Act 2009 (amended 2015) and Election of Member of Parliament Act 2001 regulate the financing of political parties in Bulgaria.

There are a number of restrictions on the donations received. Donations to political parties and candidates are prohibited from foreign interests, corporations, trade unions, anonymous donors, religious institutions and sole traders. There are limits on the amount that can be donated from permitted donors.

Parties are entitled to public funding annually which is allocated based on the share of votes attained in the previous election, the level of representation in the elected body and the share of seats in the previous election. Public funding is earmarked for spending on the preparation and participation in elections.

There are regulations on spending. These include bans on vote buying, restrictions on the use of municipal-owned public transport vehicles for canvassing and limits on election spending.

Parties are required to report on the finances both generally and for elections. The identity of donors is included in the reports. The reports are publicly available. Reports are overseen and examined by the National Audit Office and the Sofia City Prosecutor’s Office. There are extensive provisions on sanctions covering fines, the loss of public funding, forfeiture, reregistration of the party and the loss of elected office.


Quantitative Data

Primary Metric

2012201520162017Trend
Bans and limits on private income9292100100
Public funding75756262
Regulations on spending100100100100
Reporting, oversight and sanctions100100100100

Values lie in range between 0 and 100, higher values implying higher legislation comprehensiveness


Qualitative Data

We are frequently reviewing and refining our data, so in case you notice any mistake in our assessment, feel free to send us an email by clicking the button ()

Bans and limits on private income

Bans on donations from foreign interests

Is there a ban on donations from foreign interests to political parties? Yes. Ban does not apply to donations from foreign individuals (Article 24.1 (4) Political Parties Act, 2005, amended 2016)
Is there a ban on donations from foreign interests to candidates? Yes. Art. 168 (1) An electoral campaign shall not be financed with/by: 3. financial resources from non-resident natural persons, with the exception of the persons who are nationals of another Member State of the European Union, who are enfranchised under this Code; 5. financial resources from foreign governments or from foreign State-owned enterprises, foreign commercial corporations or foreign non-profit organisations. (Art. 168.1 (3-5) Election Code 2014. amended 2016)

Bans on corporate donations

Is there a ban on corporate donations to political parties? Yes. Art. 24. (1) Political parties shall not receive: 1. anonymous donations in any form 2. funds from legal entities and sole traders; 3. funds from religious institutions; 4. funds from foreign governments, foreign state enterprises, foreign companies or non-profit organizations (Art 24.1 (2) Political Parties Act, 2005, amended 2016)
Is there a ban on corporate donations to candidates? Yes. Art. 168. (1) Party, coalition or initiative committee in connection with the election campaign can not obtain: 1. donations in any form; 2. funds from legal entities and sole traders; 3. funds from foreign individuals, except for individuals - citizens of another country - member of the European Union which have voting rights in the Code; 4. means of religious institutions; 5. funds from foreign governments or foreign state enterprises, foreign companies or foreign non-profit organizations (Art. 168.1 (2) Election Code 2014. amended 2016)
Is there a ban on donations from corporations with government contracts to political parties? Yes. The ban is general for all legal entities (Art 24.1 (2) Political Parties Act, 2005, amended 2015; Art. 168.1 (2) Election Code 2014. amended 2016)
Is there a ban on donations from corporations of partial government ownership to political parties? Yes. The ban is general for all legal entities (Art 24.1 (2) Political Parties Act, 2005, amended 2015; Art. 168.1 (2) Election Code 2014. amended 2016)
Is there a ban on donations from corporations with government contracts to candidates? Yes. The ban is general for all legal entities (Art 24.1 (2) Political Parties Act, 2005, amended 2015; Art. 168.1 (2) Election Code 2014. amended 2016)
Is there a ban on donations from corporations of partial government ownership to candidates? Yes. The ban is general for all legal entities (Art 24.1 (2) Political Parties Act, 2005, amended 2015; Art. 168.1 (2) Election Code 2014. amended 2016)

Bans on donations from trade unions

Is there a ban on donations from Trade Unions to political parties? Yes. Art 24. Political parties may not receive any funds from any legal persons. (P.7 GRECO 2010 Evaluation Report on Bulgaria, Transparency of Party Funding Theme 2 Art 24.1 (2) Political Parties Act, 2005, amended 2016)
Is there a ban on donations from Trade Unions to candidates? Yes. The ban provided in article 168 is general for all legal entities. According to article 49 of the Labour Code, Trade unions shall attain the status of legal person upon registration under the procedure established for registration of non-profit associations. (Art. 168.1 (2) Election Code 2014. amended 2016. Article 49 Labour Code, 1987, amended 2016)

Bans on anonymous donations

Is there a ban on anonymous donations to political parties? Yes. Political parties may not receive any anonymous donations in any form whatsoever; Art.‌ 24.‌ "Political parties shall not receive: 1.‌ anonymous donations [.‌.‌.‌]".‌ (Article 24.1 (1) Political Parties Act, 2005, amended 2016)
Is there a ban on anonymous donations to candidates? Yes. Art. 168. (1) Party, coalition or initiative committee in connection with the election campaign can not obtain: 1. donations in any form; (Art. 168.1 (1) Election Code 2014. amended 2016)

Other bans on donations

Is there a ban on state resources being given to or received by political parties or candidates (excluding regulated public funding)? Yes. Art.‌ 23.‌ "(1) The incomes of political parties shall be proceeds from: 1.‌ membership dues; 2.‌ own immovable property; 3.‌ donations and legacies from natural persons; 5.‌ (added in State Gazette No 73 2006) interest on cash deposit in banks and income from shares, when this is not in conflict with article 22; 6.‌ publishing activity, copy rights and use of intellectual property, as well as sale and distribution of printed, audio and audio-‌visual materials containing party propaganda.‌ (2) Political parties’ own incomes are also proceeds from fund raising events.‌ (3) Political parties may borrow loans from banks in the amount of up to two-‌thirds of the incomes accounted for before the National Audit Office for the preceding year.‌ (4) Included in the incomes per par.‌ 3 shall be the State subsidy and the proceeds per par.‌ 1, it.‌ 1, 2, 5 and 6 (5) Non-‌pecuniary incomes per par.‌ 1 shall be evaluated at fair market price in conformity with the Accounting Act [State actors are not among allowed donors] There is no explicit ban, but what the own income of the party can be comprised of is specified in Art. 23.1. The provisions on the state subsidy are regulated in Art. 26-28 PPA The same goes for candidates. Art. 150.1 lists with what sources an election campaign can be financed. There is a specific ban on the free use of administrative resources (the word includes staff, equipment, etc). Funding Sources Art. 162. (1) The party registered candidates can finance his campaign with: 1. The own funds of the party; 2. funds of candidates; 3. donations from individuals. (2) Coalition, registered candidates can finance his campaign with: 1. The own funds of the parties involved in it; 2. funds of candidates; 3. donations from individuals made of one of the parties in the coalition, determined under Art. 164, para. 2. (3) Steering Committee registered candidate may finance his campaign with: 1. The resources of the members of the Steering Committee; 2. funds of candidates; 3. donations from individuals made to the person designated under Art. 164, para. 1. Art. 167.3 In connection with the election campaign shall be prohibited free use of a public administrative resource. (Article 23(1); Article 24 Political Parties Act, 2005, amended 2016 Art. 162 and 167.3 Election Code 2014. amended 2016)
Is there a ban on any other form of donation? Yes. Political parties may not receive: 1. anonymous donations in any form 2. any funds from any legal persons and from any sole traders; 3. any funds from any religious institutions; 4. any funds from any foreign governments or from any foreign state-owned enterprises, foreign commercial corporations or foreign non-profit organizations. The Election Code provides for a ban on the free use of administrative resources (these includes institution's staff, equipment, etc.) (Article 24 Political Parties Act, 2005, amended 2016 Article 168.3 Election Code 2014, amended 2016)

Donation limits

Is there a limit on the amount a donor can contribute to a political party over a time period (not election specific)? Yes. The donation from any single natural person for one calendar year may not exceed BGN 10,000. (Article 23.2 Political Parties Act, 2005, amended 2016)
Is there a limit on the amount a donor can contribute to a political party in relation to an election? Yes. Art. 167. (1) The contribution by one natural person to one party or coalition may not exceed BGN 10,000 for one calendar year. (2) The contribution by one natural person to one nomination committee and the candidate or, respectively, candidates registered thereby may not exceed BGN 10,000 (Art. 167 Election Code 2014, amended 2016)
Is there a limit on the amount a donor can contribute to a candidate? Yes. Art. 167. (1) The contribution by one natural person to one party or coalition may not exceed BGN 10,000 for one calendar year. (2) The contribution by one natural person to one nomination committee and the candidate or, respectively, candidates registered thereby may not exceed BGN 10,000 (Article 167 Election Code 2014, amended 2016)

Public funding 

Eligibility criteria for direct public funding to political parties

Eligibility criteria for direct public funding to political parties: Share of votes in previous election Yes. A state subsidy shall furthermore be allocated annually to parties which are not represented in the National Assembly but which have received not less than 1 per cent of all valid votes at the latest parliamentary elections. (Article 26 Political Parties Act, 2005, amended 2016)
Eligibility criteria for direct public funding to political parties: Representation in elected body Yes. A state subsidy is available for parties which are registered at the Central Election Commission for participation in elections, which have participated in the latest parliamentary elections, and which have elected National Representatives. (Article 25 Political Parties Act, 2005, amended 2016)
Eligibility criteria for direct public funding to political parties: Participation in election Yes. A state subsidy is available for parties which are registered at the Central Election Commission for participation in elections, which have participated in the latest parliamentary elections, and which have elected National Representatives. (Article 25 Political Parties Act, 2005, amended 2016)
Eligibility criteria for direct public funding to political parties: Number of candidates No. Absent from legal framework
Eligibility criteria for direct public funding to political parties: Share of seats in previous election No. Absent from legal framework
Eligibility criteria for direct public funding to political parties: Share of votes in next election No. Absent from legal framework
Eligibility criteria for direct public funding to political parties: Registration as a political party No. Absent from legal framework
Eligibility criteria for direct public funding to political parties: Share of seats in next election No. Absent from legal framework
Eligibility criteria for direct public funding to political parties: Number of members No. Absent from legal framework
Eligibility criteria for direct public funding to political parties: Other No. Absent from legal framework

Allocation calculations for direct public funding to political parties

Allocation calculations for direct public funding to political parties: Proportional to votes received Yes. Art. 25 (2) (3) The total amount provided in the budget is allocated in proportion to the valid votes received by each party or coalition. (3) (amend. - SG. 68 of 2013) state subsidy granted to any coalition represented in the National Assembly, shall be distributed among the constituent parties according to the coalition agreement, and failing that is distributed proportionally to the number MPs from different parties. Ministry of Finance transfers the share of subsidy for each party in the account specified by. Art. 27.2 The way to provide funds to subsidize parties and coalitions shall be determined by the Minister of Finance. (Article 25 (2) (3) & Article 27 Political Parties Act, 2005, amended 2016)
Allocation calculations for direct public funding to political parties: Equal No. Absent from legal framework
Allocation calculations for direct public funding to political parties: Proportional to seats received No. Absent from legal framework
Allocation calculations for direct public funding to political parties: Flat rate by votes received No. Absent from legal framework
Allocation calculations for direct public funding to political parties: Share of expenses reimbursed No. Absent from legal framework
Allocation calculations for direct public funding to political parties: Proportional to candidates fielded No. Absent from legal framework
Allocation calculations for direct public funding to political parties: Number of members No. Absent from legal framework
Allocation calculations for direct public funding to political parties: Other No. Absent from legal framework

Earmarking provisions for direct public funding to political parties

Earmarking provisions for direct public funding to political parties: Campaign spending Yes. Political parties shall spend the funds thereof on preparation and participation in elections, to ensure the operation of party chapters, on organizational expenses for the conduct of events, and on other expenses inherent to the activity of the party. (Article 29 (1) Political Parties Act, 2005, amended 2016 & P. 6 GRECO 2010 Evaluation Report on Bulgaria, Transparency of Party Funding Theme 2)
Earmarking provisions for direct public funding to political parties: Ongoing party activities Yes. Political parties shall spend the funds thereof on preparation and participation in elections, to ensure the operation of party chapters, on organizational expenses for the conduct of events, and on other expenses inherent to the activity of the party. (Article 29 (1) Political Parties Act, 2005, amended 2016 & P. 6 GRECO 2010 Evaluation Report on Bulgaria, Transparency of Party Funding Theme 2)
Earmarking provisions for direct public funding to political parties: Intra-party institution No. Absent from legal framework
Earmarking provisions for direct public funding to political parties: Other No. Absent from legal framework

Allocation criteria for free or subsidized access to media for political parties

Allocation criteria for free or subsidized access to media for political parties: Equal Yes. Applies only to public media: Art. 189.(3) The Bulgarian National Television and Bulgarian National Radio report objectively and fairly manifestations of candidates from registered parties, coalitions and initiative committees, respecting their equal importance and based on rules adopted by the Central Election Commission. (Art. 189 (3) Election Code 2014. amended 2016)
Allocation criteria for free or subsidized access to media for political parties: Number of candidates No. Absent from legal framework
Allocation criteria for free or subsidized access to media for political parties: Share of seats No. Absent from legal framework
Allocation criteria for free or subsidized access to media for political parties: Share of votes in preceding election No. Absent from legal framework
Allocation criteria for free or subsidized access to media for political parties: Other Yes. Art. 192. (1) The order of presentation of candidates from registered parties, coalitions and initiative committees, in various forms of election campaign is determined by the Central Election Commission by lot. The draw takes place in the presence of authorized representatives of political parties, coalitions and initiative committees and representatives of the Bulgarian National Television and Bulgarian National Radio. Art. 193. (1) The election campaign programs of the Bulgarian National Television and Bulgarian National Radio opens and closes with clips of parties, coalitions and initiative committees for up to 40 seconds, which are broadcast free. (2) In elections for president and vice president of the republic election campaign programs of the Bulgarian National Television and Bulgarian National Radio opens and closes with references to the candidate pairs for up to three minutes for each of them are not paid. (3) Upon production of a new election for President and Vice President of the Republic in cases of art. 93, para. 4 of the Constitution, candidates have the right to make addresses in the programs of Bulgarian National Television and Bulgarian National Radio on the last day of the election campaign between the two rounds within 10 minutes, the order is determined by lot by an order determined by the Central Election Commission. The addresses are not paid. (4) The time of broadcast clips is determined by agreement between the Director General of the Bulgarian National Television, respectively of the Bulgarian National Radio, and authorized representatives of political parties, coalitions and initiative committees. Regional r adio and television center s Art. 196. (2) The Bulgarian National Television and Bulgarian National Radio provide a total of at least 60 minutes during radio and television programs, respectively in the programs of regional radio and television centers, free debates between representatives of parties, coalitions and initiative committees , registered candidates. (Article 192 - 196 Election Code 2014, amended 2016)
Are there provisions for free or subsidized access to media for candidates? No. Absent from legal framework

Are there provisions for any other form of indirect public funding?

Provisions for any other form of indirect public funding: Premises for campaign meetings No. Absent from legal framework
Provisions for any other form of indirect public funding: Space for campaign materials No. Absent from legal framework
Provisions for any other form of indirect public funding: Tax relief No. Absent from legal framework
Provisions for any other form of indirect public funding: Free or subsidised transport No. Absent from legal framework
Provisions for any other form of indirect public funding: Free or subsidised postage cost No. Absent from legal framework
Provisions for any other form of indirect public funding: Other No. Art. 31 (1) The State and the municipalities shall provide, in consideration of a rental charge, premises to the political parties which have a parliamentary group or a sufficient number of National Representatives to form a parliamentary group, for performance of the activities of the said parties ( Art. 31 (1) Political Parties Act, 2005, amended 2016 )
Is the provision of direct public funding to political parties related to gender equality among candidates? No. Absent from legal framework
Are there provisions for other financial advantages to encourage gender equality in political parties? No. absent from legal framework

Regulations on spending 

Is there a ban on vote buying? Yes. Art. 183 (2) Each item of campaign material shall contain a statement that vote buying and selling is a criminal offence, and the said statement shall occupy not less than 10 per cent of the face space of the campaign material and shall be boxed. In the audio and audiovisual materials, this statement shall be contained as an unambiguous and understandable message Vote bying is a criminal offence (Article 183(2) Election Code 2014. amended 2016 Art. 167-168 Criminal Code, 1968, amended 2016)
Are there bans on state resources being used in favour or against a political party or candidate? Yes. Art. 168.3 It shall be prohibited to use public administrative resources gratuitously in connection with the election campaign.. Art. 182.1 No canvassing shall be admissible at State and municipal offices, institutions, State-owned and municipal-owned enterprises and at commercial corporations wherein the State or a municipality holds a participating interest in the capital exceeding 50 per cent. (Article 168.3 and 182.1 Election Code 2014. amended 2016)
Are there limits on the amount a political party can spend? Yes. Limitis depends on the type of election (Article 165 Election Code, 2014, amended 2016)
Are there limits on the amount a candidate can spend? Yes. Limitis depends on the type of election (Article 165 Election Code, 2014, amended 2016)

Reporting, oversight and sanctions 

Reporting standards

Do political parties have to report regularly on their finances? Yes. Political parties shall draw up a financial statement on the last preceding calendar year according to the requirements established by Article 26 of the Accountancy Act. Control is exercised by the National Audit Office. (Article 34 (1) Poltical Parties Act, 2005, amended 2016)
Do political parties have to report on their finances in relation to election campaigns? Yes. Art. 172. (1) Within 30 days after election day, the person who represents the party or initiative committee, and persons representing the coalition submitted to the Court on paper and electronically report on revenues, expenditures and commitments for payment in connection with the election campaign, accompanied by a statement from their bank account. Report to apply declarations under Art. 169, para 1 and 3. (Article 172(1) Election Code 2014. amended 2016)
Do candidates have to report on their campaign finances? Yes. (3) The resources of the applicant or a member of the Steering Committee for the campaign are reported in the statement of the party, coalition or initiative committee under par. 1. The report applies the declaration of art. 169, para. 2. (Article 172(3) Election Code 2014. amended 2016)
Is information in reports from political parties and/​or candidates to be made public? Yes. Each political party shall create and keep a public register, recording therein: 1. the persons referred to in Item 3 of Article 23 (1) herein and the type, amount, value and purpose of the donation or legacy, devise and bequest made; 2. (amended, SG No. 9/2011) a declaration by the persons referred to in Item 3 of Article 23 (1) herein on the origin of the funds, in the cases where the donation is to an amount exceeding BGN 1,000; Article 34 (6) The National Audit Office published on its website by 15 April of the current year reports and declarations under par. 4 lists the names of the parties that have not submitted reports within the period under par. 4, and a list of parties that received a state subsidy in the previous year. Article 172 (5) the Court of Auditors published on the website statements of parties, coalitions and initiative committees under par. First 15 days of the deadline for their submission. (Article 29 (2) and Article 34 (6) Political Parties Act, 2005, amended 2016 Article 172 (5) Election Code, 2014, amended 2016 )
Must reports from political parties and/​or candidates reveal the identity of donors? Yes. "the financial statement should include (…) the names of donors…" P.10 (GRECO (2010) Evaluation Report on Bulgaria, Transparency of Party Funding (Theme II)) "any anonymous donations in any form whatsoever" Article 24(1), Political Party Act "Each political party shall create and keep a public register, recording therein (...) the persons referred to in Article 23, paragraph 1, item 3 herein and the type, amount, value and purpose of the donation or legacy, devise and bequest made" Article 29 (2.1), Political Party Act Article 171 (1) The National Audit Office creates a register of parties, coalitions of parties and initiative committees participating in the kind of election that is maintained until the next election of the same type. (2) The register under par. 1 during the election campaign shall publish: 3. The names of the donors, the type, purpose, size or value of the donations; 4. The names of the individuals who provided services free of charge or for a campaign, the duration of use, the type and description of items provided for use, the type of services; 5. The declaration of the origin of donations, declarations of origin of the funds of the candidates and members of the nomination committee and the declarations of individuals for property provided for free use items; (Article 24(1) & Article 29(2.1), Political Parties Ac, 2005, amended 2016 Article 171 (1) Election Code 2014. amended 2016 P. 10 GRECO 2010 Evaluation Report on Bulgaria , Transparency of Party Funding Theme 2)
Institutions receiving financial reports from political parties and/​or candidates
Institutions receiving financial reports from political parties and/​or candidates: Electoral Management Board No. Absent from legal framework
Institutions receiving financial reports from political parties and/​or candidates: Auditing agency Yes. Financial control over the activities of political parties and the management of the property thereto allocated shall be exercised by the National Audit Office. Within 30 days after polling day, the parties, the coalitions of parties and the nomination committees shall present a report in hard copy and in soft copy to the Bulgarian National Audit Office on the financial resources raised and spent and the payment obligations assumed thereby in connection with the election campaign, accompanied by a statement of the bank account thereof. (Article 33 - 34 Poltical Parties Act, 2005, amended 2016 Article 172 Election Code 2014. amended 2016)
Institutions receiving financial reports from political parties and/​or candidates: Ministry No. Absent from legal framework
Institutions receiving financial reports from political parties and/​or candidates: Special institution No. Absent from legal framework
Institutions receiving financial reports from political parties and/​or candidates: Court No. Absent from legal framework
Institutions receiving financial reports from political parties and/​or candidates: Other No. Absent from legal framework

Political finance oversight

Is it specified that a particular institution(s) is responsible for examining financial reports and/​or investigating violations?
Institution responsible for examining financial reports and/or investigating violations: Court No. Absent from legal framework
Institution responsible for examining financial reports and/or investigating violations: Ministry No. Absent from legal framework
Institution responsible for examining financial reports and/or investigating violations: Auditing agency Yes. National Audit office and the Sofia city Prosecutor's office - (2) (Amended, SG No. 6/2009) Where in the course of the audit the National Audit Office has ascertained any violations by a political party in the raising and spending of funds, in the management of the property as allocated or in the financial reporting, by decision of the National Audit Office the relevant part of the report, as well as the evidence taken, shall be transmitted to the Sofia City Prosecutor's Office within seven days after adoption of the said report. (Article 36 (1-2) Poltical Parties Act, 2005, amended 2016 Art. 172 Election Code 2014. amended 2016)
Institution responsible for examining financial reports and/or investigating violations: Electoral Management Body No. Absent from legal framework
Institution responsible for examining financial reports and/or investigating violations: Institution for this purpose No. Absent from legal framework
Institution responsible for examining financial reports and/or investigating violations: Other Yes. Sofia city Prosecutor's office - (2) (Amended, SG No. 6/2009) Where in the course of the audit the National Audit Office has ascertained any violations by a political party in the raising and spending of funds, in the management of the property as allocated or in the financial reporting, by decision of the National Audit Office the relevant part of the report, as well as the evidence taken, shall be transmitted to the Sofia City Prosecutor's Office within seven days after adoption of the said report. (Article 36 (1-2) Poltical Parties Act, 2005, amended 2016 Art. 172 Election Code 2014. amended 2016)
Other institutions with a formal role in political finance oversight
Institutions with a formal role in political finance oversight: Court Yes. Art. 40 (1) Sofia City Court orders the dissolution of a political party only where: 4. has not submitted their annual financial statements to the Court for two consecutive years; (Article 40 Poltical Parties Act, 2005, amended 2016)
Institutions with a formal role in political finance oversight: Ministry No. Absent from legal framework
Institutions with a formal role in political finance oversight: Auditing agency Yes. National Audit office and the Sofia city Prosecutor's office (Article 36 (1-2) Poltical Parties Act, 2005, amended 2016 Art. 172 Election Code 2014. amended 2016)
Institutions with a formal role in political finance oversight: EMB No. Absent from legal framework
Institutions with a formal role in political finance oversight: Institution for this purpose No. Absent from legal framework
Institutions with a formal role in political finance oversight: Other Yes. The National Revenue Agency shall carry out control activities in respect of the political parties which receive a state subsidy and which have failed to submit the statements thereof to the National Audit Office when due. (Article 35a Political Parties Act, 2005, amended 2016)
Sanctions for political finance infractions
Sanctions for political finance infractions: Fines Yes. Extensive fines for numerous actions listed in Part III of Election Code 2014. amended 2015 and Chapter 6 of Political Parties Act, 2005, amended 2015 (Part III, Art. 477-479 Election Code 2014. amended 2016 Chapter 6 Political Parties Act, 2005, amended 2016)
Sanctions for political finance infractions: Loss of public funding Yes. Upon non-submission or late submission of financial statements to the National Audit Office, political parties shall lose the entitlement thereof to a state subsidy until conduct of the next elections of National Representatives. (Article 36 (1) Political Parties Act, 2005, amended 2016)
Sanctions for political finance infractions: Penal/Criminal No. Absent from legal framework
Sanctions for political finance infractions: Forfeiture Yes. Art. 42. (1) Upon termination of a political party under Art. 38 1-3 the relevant authority shall determine the manner of disposal of its property. (2) Upon termination of a political party under Art. 38 pt. 4 and 5 passes its property to the state. State is liable for the obligations of the dissolved party to the amount of property received. (Article 42 Political Parties Act, 2005, amended 2016)
Sanctions for political finance infractions: Deregistration of party No. Absent from legal framework
Sanctions for political finance infractions: Loss of elected office No. Absent from legal framework
Sanctions for political finance infractions: Suspension of political party Yes. Under article 40 PPA paragraphs 1 and 4, the Sofia City Court is competent to pronounce the dissolution of a political party, i.‌a.‌ where it has committed systematic violations of the PPA or where it has failed to submit the annual financial statements to the National Audit Office for two successive years.‌ (Article 40 (1-4) Political Parties Act, 2005, amended 2016)
Sanctions for political finance infractions: Loss of nomination of candidate No. Absent from legal framework
Sanctions for political finance infractions: Loss of political rights No. Absent from legal framework
Sanctions for political finance infractions: Other No. Absent from legal framework

Qualitative data for 2017


Legislation

Political Parties Act, 2005, amended 2016 (English)pdf
Election Code, 2014, amended 2016 (English)pdf
Criminal Code, 1968, amended 2016 (Bulgarian)pdf
Labour Code, 1987, amended 2016 (Bulgarian)pdf

Financial Disclosure

Bulgaria’s financial disclosure legislation makes similar disclosure requirements for the Head of State, Ministers, and Members of Parliament. The Public Disclosure of Senior Public Official's Financial Interests Act (2000, last amended 2016) requires statements on real estate, movable assets, cash, debts, income from outside employment, gifts, and shares in private or public companies. Spouses and underaged children must be included in the disclosure. At the same time the Civil Servants Act (1999 last amended 2016) makes fewer requirements for Civil Servants, with them only having to declare income from outside employment and real estate. For all public officials, the Conflict of Interest Prevention and Ascertainment Act (2008, last amended 2016) further requires statements on circumstances which may lead to a conflict of interests.

All public officials make their fillings upon taking office and from then on both ad hoc and annually. The same sanctions are stipulated for all public officials in cases of late filling, non-filling or making false disclosures. These sanctions range from fines up to a 3-year prison sentence. The Head of State, Ministers, and MPs make their statements with the Chairperson of the Audit Office. The Audit Office also verifies submissions and their accuracy, and enforces sanctions. For Civil Servants however, only the depository is specified in form of the appointing authority while no verifying mechanisms exist. The financial declarations of high-level public officials are published on the website of the corresponding depository body upon authorization within set time-frames.


Quantitative Data

Primary Metric

2012201520162017Trend
Disclosure items77696973
Filing frequency94949494
Sanctions100100100100
Monitoring and Oversight88818181
Public access to declarations69757581

Alternative Metric

2012201520162017Trend
Head of State92929292
Ministers92929297
Members of Parliament92929291
Civil servants65595963

Values lie in range between 0 and 100, higher values implying higher legislation comprehensiveness


Qualitative Data

We are frequently reviewing and refining our data, so in case you notice any mistake in our assessment, feel free to send us an email by clicking the button ()

Head of State

Disclosure items

Spouses and children included in disclosure Yes. Spouses and underage children have to be included (Art. 2.3 Public Disclosure of Senior Public Official's Financial Interests Act (2000, last amended 2016))
Income and Assets
Real estate Yes. Real estate must be declared (Art. 3.1 (1) Public Disclosure of Senior Public Official's Financial Interests Act (2000, last amended 2016))
Movable assets Yes. Motor road, water and air vehicles must be declared (Art. 3.1 (2) Public Disclosure of Senior Public Official's Financial Interests Act (2000, last amended 2016))
Cash Yes. Cash, receivables and liabilities over BGN 5 thousand in local or foreign currency (Art. 3.1 (3) Public Disclosure of Senior Public Official's Financial Interests Act (2000, last amended 2016))
Loans and Debts Yes. Cash, receivables and liabilities over BGN 5 thousand in local or foreign currency (Art. 3.1 (3) Public Disclosure of Senior Public Official's Financial Interests Act (2000, last amended 2016))
Income from outside employment/assets Yes. income, other than those for the position occupied by the persons under Article 2, paragraph 1 (Definition of Senior Public Officials) and 3 (underage children and spouses), received during the preceding calendar year if they exceed BGN 2000. (Art. 3.1 (6) Public Disclosure of Senior Public Official's Financial Interests Act (2000, last amended 2016))
Incompatibilities
Gifts received as a public official Yes. Subject to declaration shall be security provided and expenses made by or in favour of [the head of state, children and spouses,] with their consent, when they are not paid by their own resources or by resources of the institution where they occupy a position, for: 1. education; 2. travelling outside the country; 3. other payments of a unit price over BGN 500. (Art. 3 (2) Public Disclosure of Senior Public Official's Financial Interests Act (2000, last amended 2016))
Private firm ownership and/or stock holdings Yes. securities, shares in limited liability companies and commandite companies, registered shares in joint-stock companies, also acquired through participation in privatisation transactions, other than cases of bond (mass) privatisation; (Art. 3 (1) 4 Public Disclosure of Senior Public Official's Financial Interests Act (2000, last amended 2016))
Ownership of state-owned enterprises (SOEs) Yes. securities, shares in limited liability companies and commandite companies, registered shares in joint-stock companies, also acquired through participation in privatisation transactions, other than cases of bond (mass) privatisation; (Art. 3 (1) 4 Public Disclosure of Senior Public Official's Financial Interests Act (2000, last amended 2016))
Holding government contracts Yes. There is no general requirement to declare government contracts, but a person holding public office must file a declaration stating contracts with any persons who or which carry out any activity in areas related to the decisions made by the public office holder within the range of the official powers or duties thereof. In the case of high-ranking public officials state-owned enterprises probably fall under this category in most of the cases (Art. 14 (1) 3 Conflict of Interest Prevention and Ascertainment Act (2008, last amended 2016))
Board member, advisor, or company officer of private firm Yes. A person holding public office must file a declaration stating circumstances which would lead to a conflict of interest, such as: participation in companies, in the board of directors or as an officer and in the management or control of legal persons NGOs and corporations, as well as conducting business as a sole trader. (Art. 14 (1) 1 Conflict of Interest Prevention and Ascertainment Act (2008, last amended 2016))
Post-employment No. Absent from legal framework.
Simultaneously holding policy-making position and policy-executing position No. Absent from legal framework.
Participating in official decision-making processes that affect private interests No. Absent from legal framework.
Concurrent employment of family members in public sector No. Absent from legal framework.

Filing frequency

Filing required upon taking office Yes. Income and assets must be disclosed within one month of assuming office. A person holding a senior public office shall submit a declaration of incompatibility within 7 days of his/her selection for the office. A person holding a senior public office shall submit a declartion of private interests within 30 days of taking office (Art. 4.1 (1) Public Disclosure of Senior Public Official's Financial Interests Act (2000, last amended 2016) Art. 13 and Art. 14 Conflict of Interest Prevention and Ascertainment Act (2008, last amended 2016))
Filing required upon leaving office Yes. Income and assets must be disclosed within one month of leaving office. (Art. 4.1 (1) Public Disclosure of Senior Public Official's Financial Interests Act (2000, last amended 2016))
Filing required annually Yes. In case of changes of income and assets over the last year must be submitted by 30 April of the current year. In case of no changes the Head of the National Audit Office should be notified with a letter by 30 April. (Art. 4.1 (2) and Art. 4.4 of Public Disclosure of Senior Public Official's Financial Interests Act (2000, last amended 2016))
Ad hoc filing required upon change in assets or conflicts of interest Yes. In case of changes of income and assets over the last year must be submitted by 30 April of the current year. In case of no changes the Head of the National Audit Office should be notified with a letter by 30 April. Changes to the declartions could be made by 31 May of the current year. A person holding a public office shall submit a declaration of changes in incompatibility and private interest circumstances within 7 days of the occurrence of the change. He/she can also submit an ad hoc declaration of a private interest. (Art. 4.1 (2), Art. 4.4 and 4.6 of Public Disclosure of Senior Public Official's Financial Interests Act (2000, last amended 2016) Article 15 and 16 Conflict of Interest Prevention and Ascertainment Act (2008, last amended 2016))

Sanctions

Sanctions stipulated for late filing (fines, administrative, and/or criminal) Yes. Late filing of the declaration of assets: 1000-1500 BGN, 2500-5000 for a second violation; Late filing of of the declaration of conflict of interest: 1000-3000 BGN, 3000-5000 BGN for a second violation (Art. 8 Public Disclosure of Senior Public Official's Financial Interests Act (2000, last amended 2016); Art. 34 Conflict of Interest Prevention and Ascertainment Act (2008, last amended 2016))
Sanctions stipulated for non-filing (fines, administrative, and/or criminal) Yes. Non-filing of the declaration of assets: 1000-1500 BGN, 2500-5000 for a second violation; Non-filing of of the declaration of conflict of interest: 1000-3000 BGN, 3000-5000 BGN for a second violation (Art. 8 Public Disclosure of Senior Public Official's Financial Interests Act (2000, last amended 2016); Art. 34 Conflict of Interest Prevention and Ascertainment Act (2008, last amended 2016))
Sanctions stipulated for false disclosure (fines, administrative, and/or criminal) Yes. A person who makes a false statement in a written declaration submitted to state authorities is subject to criminal liability. The criminal sanctions may range from 3-years imprisonment to a fine. They are imposed through criminal proceedings by a court of law. (Article 313 of the Penal Code (1968, last amended 2016))

Monitoring and Oversight

Depository body explicitly identified Yes. The depository body is the Chairman of the National Audit Office. The Declarations of conflict of interest are submitted to the Permanent Committee of the Parliament. (Art 5 Public Disclosure of Senior Public Official's Financial Interests Act (2000, last amended 2016) Art. 17.1 in conjunction with Art. 25.2 (1) Conflict of Interest Prevention and Ascertainment Act (2008, last amended 2016))
Enforcement body explicitly identified Yes. The Chairperson of the National Audit Office is the body in charge of the execution of the Public Disclosure of Senior Public Official's Financial Interests Act of 2000. In cases of unfulfilment of requirements on the declarations of conflict of interest the Permanent Committee of the Parliament notifies the Commission for Prevention and Ascertainment of Conflict of Interest (Art 5 Public Disclosure of Senior Public Official's Financial Interests Act (2000, amended 2015) Art. 18 in conjunction with Art. 25.2 (1) Conflict of Interest Prevention and Ascertainment Act (2008, last amended 2016))
Some agency assigned responsibility for verifying submission Yes. The National Audit Office is tasked with verifying submissions. In cases of unfulfilment of requirements on the declarations of conflict of interest the Permanent Committee of the Parliament notifies the Commission for Prevention and Ascertainment of Conflict of Interest. (Art 7 Public Disclosure of Senior Public Official's Financial Interests Act (2000, last amended 2016) Art. 18 in conjunction with Art. 25.2 (1) Conflict of Interest Prevention and Ascertainment Act (2008, last amended 2016))
Some agency assigned responsibility for verifying accuracy Yes. The National Audit Office officials shall be responsible for verifying the accuracy of income and asset declarations. In cases of unfulfilment of requirements on the declarations of conflict of interest the Permanent Committee of the Parliament notifies the Commission for Prevention and Ascertainment of Conflict of Interest. Then the Commission is in charge of investigating the notification. (Art 7 Public Disclosure of Senior Public Official's Financial Interests Act (2000, last amended 2016) Art. 18 in conjunction with Art. 25.2 (1) and Chapter 6 of Conflict of Interest Prevention and Ascertainment Act (2008, last amended 2016))

Public access to declarations

Public availability Yes. Income and asset declarations are publicly available on the internet web-page of the National Audit Office with respect to data protection rules. The declarations of conflict of interest are published on the website of the Permanent Committee of the Parliament with respect to data protection rules. (Art 6.1 Public Disclosure of Senior Public Official's Financial Interests Act (2000, last amended 2016) Art 17.2 in conjunction with Art. 25.2 (1) Conflict of Interest Prevention and Ascertainment Act (2008, last amended 2016))
Timing of information release specified Partially. Two months within the submission of the declarations of assets. (Art 6.2 Public Disclosure of Senior Public Official's Financial Interests Act (2000, last amended 2016))
Location(s) of access specified Yes. Income and asset declarations are publicly available on the internet web-page of the National Audit Office with respect to data protection rules. The declarations of conflict of interest are published on the website of the Permanent Committee of the Parliament with respect to data protection rules. (Art 6.1 Public Disclosure of Senior Public Official's Financial Interests Act (2000, last amended 2016) Art 17.2 in conjunction with Art. 25.2 (1) Conflict of Interest Prevention and Ascertainment Act (2008, last amended 2016))
Cost of access specified Yes. The access of free of costs. Income and asset declarations are publicly available on the internet web-page of the National Audit Office with respect to data protection rules. The declarations of conflict of interest are published on the website of the Permanent Committee of the Parliament with respect to data protection rules. (Art 6.1 Public Disclosure of Senior Public Official's Financial Interests Act (2000, last amended 2016) Art 17.2 in conjunction with Art. 25.2 (1) Conflict of Interest Prevention and Ascertainment Act (2008, last amended 2016))

Ministers

Disclosure items

Spouses and children included in disclosure Yes. Spouses and underage children have to be included (Art. 2.3 Public Disclosure of Senior Public Official's Financial Interests Act (2000, last amended 2016))
Income and Assets
Real estate Yes. Real estate must be declared (Art. 3.1 (1) Public Disclosure of Senior Public Official's Financial Interests Act (2000, last amended 2016))
Movable assets Yes. Motor road, water and air vehicles must be declared (Art. 3.1 (2) Public Disclosure of Senior Public Official's Financial Interests Act (2000, last amended 2016))
Cash Yes. Cash, receivables and liabilities over BGN 5 thousand in local or foreign currency (Art. 3.1 (3) Public Disclosure of Senior Public Official's Financial Interests Act (2000, last amended 2016))
Loans and Debts Yes. Cash, receivables and liabilities over BGN 5 thousand in local or foreign currency (Art. 3.1 (3) Public Disclosure of Senior Public Official's Financial Interests Act (2000, last amended 2016))
Income from outside employment/assets Yes. Income, other than those for the position occupied by the persons under Article 2, paragraph 1 (Definition of Senior Public Officials) and 3 (underage children and spouses), received during the preceding calendar year if they exceed BGN 2000. (Art. 3.1 (6) Public Disclosure of Senior Public Official's Financial Interests Act (2000, last amended 2016))
Incompatibilities
Gifts received as a public official Yes. Subject to declaration shall be security provided and expenses made by or in favour of [the head of state, children and spouses,] with their consent, when they are not paid by their own resources or by resources of the institution where they occupy a position, for: 1. education; 2. travelling outside the country; 3. other payments of a unit price over BGN 500. (Art. 3 (2) Public Disclosure of Senior Public Official's Financial Interests Act (2000, last amended 2016))
Private firm ownership and/or stock holdings Yes. securities, shares in limited liability companies and commandite companies, registered shares in joint-stock companies, also acquired through participation in privatisation transactions, other than cases of bond (mass) privatisation; (Art. 3 (1) 4 Public Disclosure of Senior Public Official's Financial Interests Act (2000, last amended 2016))
Ownership of state-owned enterprises (SOEs) Yes. securities, shares in limited liability companies and commandite companies, registered shares in joint-stock companies, also acquired through participation in privatisation transactions, other than cases of bond (mass) privatisation; (Art. 3 (1) 4 Public Disclosure of Senior Public Official's Financial Interests Act (2000, last amended 2016))
Holding government contracts Yes. There is no general requirement to declare government contracts, but a person holding public office must file a declaration stating contracts with any persons who or which carry out any activity in areas related to the decisions made by the public office holder within the range of the official powers or duties thereof. In the case of high-ranking public officials state-owned enterprises probably fall under this category in most of the cases (Art. 14 (1) 3 Conflict of Interest Prevention and Ascertainment Act (2008, last amended 2016))
Board member, advisor, or company officer of private firm Yes. A person holding public office must file a declaration stating circumstances which would lead to a conflict of interest, such as: participation in companies, in the board of directors or as an officer and in the management or control of legal persons NGOs and corporations, as well as conducting business as a sole trader. (Art. 14 (1) 1 Conflict of Interest Prevention and Ascertainment Act (2008, last amended 2016))
Post-employment No. Absent from legal framework.
Simultaneously holding policy-making position and policy-executing position No. Absent from legal framework.
Participating in official decision-making processes that affect private interests No. Absent from legal framework.
Concurrent employment of family members in public sector No. Absent from legal framework.

Filing frequency

Filing required upon taking office Yes. Income and assets must be disclosed within one month of assuming office. A person holding a senior public office shall submit a declaration of incompatibility within 7 days of his/her selection for the office. A person holding a senior public office shall submit a declartion of private interests within 30 days of taking office (Art. 4.1 (1) Public Disclosure of Senior Public Official's Financial Interests Act (2000, last amended 2016) Art. 13 and Art. 14 Conflict of Interest Prevention and Ascertainment Act (2008, last amended 2016))
Filing required upon leaving office Yes. Income and assets must be disclosed within one month of leaving office. (Art. 4.1 (1) Public Disclosure of Senior Public Official's Financial Interests Act (2000, last amended 2016))
Filing required annually Yes. In case of changes of income and assets over the last year must be submitted by 30 April of the current year. In case of no changes the Head of the National Audit Office should be notified with a letter by 30 April. (Art. 4.1 (2) and Art. 4.4 of Public Disclosure of Senior Public Official's Financial Interests Act (2000, last amended 2016))
Ad hoc filing required upon change in assets or conflicts of interest Yes. In case of changes of income and assets over the last year must be submitted by 30 April of the current year. In case of no changes the Head of the National Audit Office should be notified with a letter by 30 April. Changes to the declartions could be made by 31 May of the current year. A person holding a public office shall submit a declaration of changes in incompatibility and private interest circumstances within 7 days of the occurrence of the change. He/she can also submit an ad hoc declaration of a private interest. (Art. 4.1 (2), Art. 4.4 and 4.6 of Public Disclosure of Senior Public Official's Financial Interests Act (2000, last amended 2016) Article 15 and 16 Conflict of Interest Prevention and Ascertainment Act (2008, last amended 2016))

Sanctions

Sanctions stipulated for late filing (fines, administrative, and/or criminal) Yes. Late filing of the declaration of assets: 1000-1500 BGN, 2500-5000 for a second violation; Late filing of of the declaration of conflict of interest: 1000-3000 BGN, 3000-5000 BGN for a second violation (Art. 8 Public Disclosure of Senior Public Official's Financial Interests Act (2000, last amended 2016); Art. 34 Conflict of Interest Prevention and Ascertainment Act (2008, last amended 2016))
Sanctions stipulated for non-filing (fines, administrative, and/or criminal) Yes. Non-filing of the declaration of assets: 1000-1500 BGN, 2500-5000 for a second violation; Non-filing of of the declaration of conflict of interest: 1000-3000 BGN, 3000-5000 BGN for a second violation (Art. 8 Public Disclosure of Senior Public Official's Financial Interests Act (2000, last amended 2016); Art. 34 Conflict of Interest Prevention and Ascertainment Act (2008, last amended 2016))
Sanctions stipulated for false disclosure (fines, administrative, and/or criminal) Yes. A person who makes a false statement in a written declaration submitted to state authorities is subject to criminal liability. The criminal sanctions may range from 3-years imprisonment to a fine. They are imposed through criminal proceedings by a court of law. (Article 313 of the Penal Code (1968, last amended 2016))

Monitoring and Oversight

Depository body explicitly identified Yes. The depository body is the Chairman of the National Audit Office. The Declarations of conflict of interest of ministers are submitted to the Permanent Committee of the Parliament. The declarations of conflict of interest of deputy ministers are submitted to the Chief Inspectorate of the Council of Ministers (Art 5 Public Disclosure of Senior Public Official's Financial Interests Act (2000, last amended 2016) Art. 17.1 in conjunction with Art. 25.2 Conflict of Interest Prevention and Ascertainment Act (2008, last amended 2016))
Enforcement body explicitly identified Yes. The Chairperson of the National Audit Office is the body in charge of the execution of the Public Disclosure of Senior Public Official's Financial Interests Act of 2000. In cases of unfulfilment of requirements on the declarations of conflict of interest the Permanent Committee of the Parliament (or the Chief Inspectorate of the Council of Ministers for deputy ministers) notifies the Commission for Prevention and Ascertainment of Conflict of Interest (Art 5 Public Disclosure of Senior Public Official's Financial Interests Act (2000, amended 2015) Art. 18 in conjunction with Art. 25.2 Conflict of Interest Prevention and Ascertainment Act (2008, last amended 2016))
Some agency assigned responsibility for verifying submission Yes. The National Audit Office is tasked with verifying submissions. In cases of unfulfilment of requirements on the declarations of conflict of interest the Permanent Committee of the Parliament (or the Chief Inspectorate of the Council of Ministers for deputy ministers) notifies the Commission for Prevention and Ascertainment of Conflict of Interest. (Art 7 Public Disclosure of Senior Public Official's Financial Interests Act (2000, last amended 2016) Art. 18 in conjunction with Art. 25.2 Conflict of Interest Prevention and Ascertainment Act (2008, last amended 2016))
Some agency assigned responsibility for verifying accuracy Yes. The National Audit Office officials shall be responsible for verifying the accuracy of income and asset declarations. In cases of unfulfilment of requirements on the declarations of conflict of interest the Permanent Committee of the Parliament (or the Chief Inspectorate of the Council of Ministers for deputy ministers) notifies the Commission for Prevention and Ascertainment of Conflict of Interest. Then the Commission is in charge of investigating the notification. (Art 7 Public Disclosure of Senior Public Official's Financial Interests Act (2000, last amended 2016) Art. 18 in conjunction with Art. 25.2 and Chapter 6 of Conflict of Interest Prevention and Ascertainment Act (2008, last amended 2016))

Public access to declarations

Public availability Yes. Income and asset declarations are publicly available on the internet web-page of the National Audit Office with respect to data protection rules. The declarations of conflict of interest are published on the website of the Permanent Committee of the Parliament (or the Chief Inspectorate of the Council of Ministers for deputy ministers) with respect to data protection rules. (Art 6.1 Public Disclosure of Senior Public Official's Financial Interests Act (2000, last amended 2016) Art 17.2 in conjunction with Art. 25.2 Conflict of Interest Prevention and Ascertainment Act (2008, last amended 2016))
Timing of information release specified Yes. Two months within the submission of the declarations of assets. (Art 6.2 Public Disclosure of Senior Public Official's Financial Interests Act (2000, last amended 2016))
Location(s) of access specified Yes. Income and asset declarations are publicly available on the internet web-page of the National Audit Office with respect to data protection rules. The declarations of conflict of interest are published on the website of the Permanent Committee of the Parliament (or the Chief Inspectorate of the Council of Ministers for deputy ministers) with respect to data protection rules. (Art 6.1 Public Disclosure of Senior Public Official's Financial Interests Act (2000, last amended 2016) Art 17.2 in conjunction with Art. 25.2 Conflict of Interest Prevention and Ascertainment Act (2008, last amended 2016))
Cost of access specified Yes. The access of free of costs. Income and asset declarations are publicly available on the internet web-page of the National Audit Office with respect to data protection rules. The declarations of conflict of interest are published on the website of the Permanent Committee of the Parliament (or the Chief Inspectorate of the Council of Ministers for deputy ministers) with respect to data protection rules. (Art 6.1 Public Disclosure of Senior Public Official's Financial Interests Act (2000, last amended 2016) Art 17.2 in conjunction with Art. 25.2 Conflict of Interest Prevention and Ascertainment Act (2008, last amended 2016))

Members of Parliament

Disclosure items

Spouses and children included in disclosure Yes. Spouses and underage children have to be included (Art. 2.3 Public Disclosure of Senior Public Official's Financial Interests Act (2000, last amended 2016))
Income and Assets
Real estate Yes. Real estate must be declared (Art. 3.1 (1) Public Disclosure of Senior Public Official's Financial Interests Act (2000, last amended 2016))
Movable assets Yes. Motor road, water and air vehicles must be declared (Art. 3.1 (2) Public Disclosure of Senior Public Official's Financial Interests Act (2000, last amended 2016))
Cash Yes. Cash, receivables and liabilities over BGN 5 thousand in local or foreign currency (Art. 3.1 (3) Public Disclosure of Senior Public Official's Financial Interests Act (2000, last amended 2016))
Loans and Debts Yes. Cash, receivables and liabilities over BGN 5 thousand in local or foreign currency (Art. 3.1 (3) Public Disclosure of Senior Public Official's Financial Interests Act (2000, last amended 2016))
Income from outside employment/assets Yes. Income, other than those for the position occupied by the persons under Article 2, paragraph 1 (Definition of Senior Public Officials) and 3 (underage children and spouses), received during the preceding calendar year if they exceed BGN 2000. (Art. 3.1 (6) Public Disclosure of Senior Public Official's Financial Interests Act (2000, last amended 2016))
Incompatibilities
Gifts received as a public official No. Absent from legal framework.
Private firm ownership and/or stock holdings Yes. A person holding public office must file a declaration stating circumstances which would lead to a conflict of interest, such as: participation in companies, in the board of directors or as an officer and in the management or control of legal persons NGOs and corporations, as well as conducting business as a sole trader. A civil servant is required each year to declare in writing to the appointing authority any commercial, financial or other business interests that he/she or related parties have in connection with the functions of the administration in which they operate. (Art. 14 Conflict of Interest Prevention and Ascertainment Act (2008, last amended 2016))
Ownership of state-owned enterprises (SOEs) Yes. A person holding public office must file a declaration stating circumstances which would lead to a conflict of interest, such as: participation in companies, in the board of directors or as an officer and in the management or control of legal persons NGOs and corporations, as well as conducting business as a sole trader. A civil servant is required each year to declare in writing to the appointing authority any commercial, financial or other business interests that he/she or related parties have in connection with the functions of the administration in which they operate. (Art. 14 Conflict of Interest Prevention and Ascertainment Act (2008, last amended 2016))
Holding government contracts Yes. There is no general requirement to declare government contracts, but a person holding public office must file a declaration stating contracts with any persons who or which carry out any activity in areas related to the decisions made by the public office holder within the range of the official powers or duties thereof. In the case of high-ranking public officials state-owned enterprises probably fall under this category in most of the cases (Art. 14 (1) 3 Conflict of Interest Prevention and Ascertainment Act (2008, last amended 2016))
Board member, advisor, or company officer of private firm Yes. A person holding public office must file a declaration stating circumstances which would lead to a conflict of interest, such as: participation in companies, in the board of directors or as an officer and in the management or control of legal persons NGOs and corporations, as well as conducting business as a sole trader. (Art. 14 (1) 1 Conflict of Interest Prevention and Ascertainment Act (2008, last amended 2016))
Post-employment No. Within one year after vacating office, any public office holder, with the exception of a person referred to in Items 1, 2, 3, 6, 11, 12 and 12 of Article 3 herein, shall not have the right to conclude employment contracts or other contracts for the fulfilment of management or control functions with any commercial corporations or co-operatives in respect of which the said office holder has performed any actions involving disposition, regulation or control or has concluded any contracts therewith during the last year of execution of the official powers or duties thereof, nor to be a partner, to hold interests or shares, to be a managing director or member of a management or supervisory body of any such commercial corporations or co-operatives. (2) The limitations shall furthermore apply to any commercial corporations having close links with the corporations referred to in Paragraph (1). (Art. 21 Conflict of Interest Prevention and Ascertainment Act (2008, last amended 2016))
Simultaneously holding policy-making position and policy-executing position No. Absent from legal framework.
Participating in official decision-making processes that affect private interests No. Absent from legal framework.
Concurrent employment of family members in public sector No. Absent from legal framework.

Filing frequency

Filing required upon taking office Yes. Income and assets must be disclosed within one month of assuming office. A person holding a senior public office shall submit a declaration of incompatibility within 7 days of his/her selection for the office. A person holding a senior public office shall submit a declartion of private interests within 30 days of taking office (Art. 4.1 (1) Public Disclosure of Senior Public Official's Financial Interests Act (2000, last amended 2016) Art. 13 and Art. 14 Conflict of Interest Prevention and Ascertainment Act (2008, last amended 2016))
Filing required upon leaving office Yes. Income and assets must be disclosed within one month of leaving office. (Art. 4.1 (1) Public Disclosure of Senior Public Official's Financial Interests Act (2000, last amended 2016))
Filing required annually Yes. In case of changes of income and assets over the last year must be submitted by 30 April of the current year. In case of no changes the Head of the National Audit Office should be notified with a letter by 30 April. (Art. 4.1 (2) and Art. 4.4 of Public Disclosure of Senior Public Official's Financial Interests Act (2000, last amended 2016))
Ad hoc filing required upon change in assets or conflicts of interest Yes. In case of changes of income and assets over the last year must be submitted by 30 April of the current year. In case of no changes the Head of the National Audit Office should be notified with a letter by 30 April. Changes to the declartions could be made by 31 May of the current year. A person holding a public office shall submit a declaration of changes in incompatibility and private interest circumstances within 7 days of the occurrence of the change. He/she can also submit an ad hoc declaration of a private interest. (Art. 4.1 (2), Art. 4.4 and 4.6 of Public Disclosure of Senior Public Official's Financial Interests Act (2000, last amended 2016) Article 15 and 16 Conflict of Interest Prevention and Ascertainment Act (2008, last amended 2016))

Sanctions

Sanctions stipulated for late filing (fines, administrative, and/or criminal) Yes. Late filing of the declaration of assets: 1000-1500 BGN, 2500-5000 for a second violation; Late filing of of the declaration of conflict of interest: 1000-3000 BGN, 3000-5000 BGN for a second violation (Art. 8 Public Disclosure of Senior Public Official's Financial Interests Act (2000, last amended 2016); Art. 34 Conflict of Interest Prevention and Ascertainment Act (2008, last amended 2016))
Sanctions stipulated for non-filing (fines, administrative, and/or criminal) Yes. Non-filing of the declaration of assets: 1000-1500 BGN, 2500-5000 for a second violation; Non-filing of of the declaration of conflict of interest: 1000-3000 BGN, 3000-5000 BGN for a second violation (Art. 8 Public Disclosure of Senior Public Official's Financial Interests Act (2000, last amended 2016); Art. 34 Conflict of Interest Prevention and Ascertainment Act (2008, last amended 2016))
Sanctions stipulated for false disclosure (fines, administrative, and/or criminal) Yes. A person who makes a false statement in a written declaration submitted to state authorities is subject to criminal liability. The criminal sanctions may range from 3-years imprisonment to a fine. They are imposed through criminal proceedings by a court of law. (Article 313 of the Penal Code (1968, last amended 2016))

Monitoring and Oversight

Depository body explicitly identified Yes. The depository body is the Chairman of the National Audit Office. The Declarations of conflict of interest are submitted to the Permanent Committee of the Parliament. (Art 5 Public Disclosure of Senior Public Official's Financial Interests Act (2000, last amended 2016) Art. 17.1 in conjunction with Art. 25.2 (1) Conflict of Interest Prevention and Ascertainment Act (2008, last amended 2016))
Enforcement body explicitly identified Yes. The Chairperson of the National Audit Office is the body in charge of the execution of the Public Disclosure of Senior Public Official's Financial Interests Act of 2000. In cases of unfulfilment of requirements on the declarations of conflict of interest the Permanent Committee of the Parliament notifies the Commission for Prevention and Ascertainment of Conflict of Interest (Art 5 Public Disclosure of Senior Public Official's Financial Interests Act (2000, amended 2015) Art. 18 in conjunction with Art. 25.2 (1) Conflict of Interest Prevention and Ascertainment Act (2008, last amended 2016))
Some agency assigned responsibility for verifying submission Yes. The National Audit Office is tasked with verifying submissions. In cases of unfulfilment of requirements on the declarations of conflict of interest the Permanent Committee of the Parliament notifies the Commission for Prevention and Ascertainment of Conflict of Interest. (Art 7 Public Disclosure of Senior Public Official's Financial Interests Act (2000, last amended 2016) Art. 18 in conjunction with Art. 25.2 (1) Conflict of Interest Prevention and Ascertainment Act (2008, last amended 2016))
Some agency assigned responsibility for verifying accuracy Yes. The National Audit Office officials shall be responsible for verifying the accuracy of income and asset declarations. In cases of unfulfilment of requirements on the declarations of conflict of interest the Permanent Committee of the Parliament notifies the Commission for Prevention and Ascertainment of Conflict of Interest. Then the Commission is in charge of investigating the notification. (Art 7 Public Disclosure of Senior Public Official's Financial Interests Act (2000, last amended 2016) Art. 18 in conjunction with Art. 25.2 (1) and Chapter 6 of Conflict of Interest Prevention and Ascertainment Act (2008, last amended 2016))

Public access to declarations

Public availability Yes. Income and asset declarations are publicly available on the internet web-page of the National Audit Office with respect to data protection rules. The declarations of conflict of interest are published on the website of the Permanent Committee of the Parliament with respect to data protection rules. (Art 6.1 Public Disclosure of Senior Public Official's Financial Interests Act (2000, last amended 2016) Art 17.2 in conjunction with Art. 25.2 (1) Conflict of Interest Prevention and Ascertainment Act (2008, last amended 2016))
Timing of information release specified Partially. Two months within the submission of the declarations of assets. (Art 6.2 Public Disclosure of Senior Public Official's Financial Interests Act (2000, last amended 2016))
Location(s) of access specified Yes. Income and asset declarations are publicly available on the internet web-page of the National Audit Office with respect to data protection rules. The declarations of conflict of interest are published on the website of the Permanent Committee of the Parliament with respect to data protection rules. (Art 6.1 Public Disclosure of Senior Public Official's Financial Interests Act (2000, last amended 2016) Art 17.2 in conjunction with Art. 25.2 (1) Conflict of Interest Prevention and Ascertainment Act (2008, last amended 2016))
Cost of access specified Yes. The access of free of costs. Income and asset declarations are publicly available on the internet web-page of the National Audit Office with respect to data protection rules. The declarations of conflict of interest are published on the website of the Permanent Committee of the Parliament with respect to data protection rules. (Art 6.1 Public Disclosure of Senior Public Official's Financial Interests Act (2000, last amended 2016) Art 17.2 in conjunction with Art. 25.2 (1) Conflict of Interest Prevention and Ascertainment Act (2008, last amended 2016))

Civil servants

Disclosure items

Spouses and children included in disclosure No. Absent from legal framework.
Income and Assets
Real estate Yes. Upon taking office, each civil servant shall be obligated to disclose the financial interests thereof to the appointing authority, including real estate (Art. 29 Civil Servants Act (adopted 1999, last amended 2016) Annex to the Ordinance on documents required for taking public office (adopted 2011, last amended 2012))
Movable assets No. Absent from legal framework.
Cash No. Absent from legal framework.
Loans and Debts No. Absent from legal framework.
Income from outside employment/assets Yes. Upon taking office, each civil servant shall be obligated to disclose the financial interests thereof to the appointing authority, including income from outside employment (Art. 29 Civil Servants Act (adopted 1999, last amended 2016) Annex to the Ordinance on documents required for taking public office (adopted 2011, last amended 2012))
Incompatibilities
Gifts received as a public official Yes. Having a private interest includes also financial and non-financial benefit. Benefit include also obtaining or receiving a promise to obtain a job, a position, a gift, a reward.. (Article 2(3) of the Conflict of Interest Prevention and Ascertainment Act 2008, amended 2016)
Private firm ownership and/or stock holdings Yes. A person holding a public position cannot hold offices or carry out activities that are incompatible with his public office and the Constitution. He/she should declare any circumstances which would lead to a conflict of interest, such as: participation in companies, board of directors or management of NGOs and corporations, as well as conducting business as a sole trader. (Art. 6 and Art. 14.1 (1) Conflict of Interest Prevention and Ascertainment Act (2008, last amended 2016))
Ownership of state-owned enterprises (SOEs) Yes. A person holding a public position shall not have the right to dispose of state or municipal property, to spend budgetary resources, including funds from funds belonging to the European Union or granted by the European Union to the Bulgarian State, to issue certificates, licenses or licenses or to carry out control of these activities in the interest of non-profit legal persons, commercial companies or cooperatives in which it or related with him, persons are members of a management or controlling body, managers, partners or hold shares or shares. A person holding a public position shall not be entitled to carry out the activities under para. 1 and in the interest of non-profit legal entities, commercial companies or cooperatives in which it was a member of a management or controlling body, a manager, a partner, or holding shares or shares 12 months prior to the date of his election or appointment or while in office. (Art. 9 Conflict of Interest Prevention and Ascertainment Act (2008, last amended 2016))
Holding government contracts Yes. A person holding a public position cannot represent the country in cases, where he-she has a private interest in the decision. He must declare contracts with any persons who or which carry out any activity in areas related to his/her official powers or duties. (Art. 6 and Art. 14.1 (3) Conflict of Interest Prevention and Ascertainment Act (2008, last amended 2016))
Board member, advisor, or company officer of private firm Yes. A person holding a public position cannot hold offices or carry out activities that are incompatible with his public office and the Constitution. He/she should declare any circumstances which would lead to a conflict of interest, such as: participation in companies, board of directors or management of NGOs and corporations, as well as conducting business as a sole trader. (Art. 6 and Art. 14.1 (1) Conflict of Interest Prevention and Ascertainment Act (2008, last amended 2016))
Post-employment Yes. A person holding a public position may not use or authorize the use in private interest of information, obtained in the performance of his or her duties or duties while in office, and one year after leaving, unless otherwise provided in a special law. (Art. 10 Conflict of Interest Prevention and Ascertainment Act (2008, last amended 2016))
Simultaneously holding policy-making position and policy-executing position No. Absent from legal framework.
Participating in official decision-making processes that affect private interests Yes. A person holding a public position cannot represent the country in cases, where he-she has a private interest in the decision. A person holding a public position shall not be entitled to participate in the preparation, negotiating, accepting, issuing or enacting acts, performing control or investigative functions or imposing sanctions in private interest. Such a person is not entitled to conclude contracts or perform other activities in the private interest in performance of his powers or duties. He must declare contracts with any persons who or which carry out any activity in areas related to his/her official powers or duties. (Art. 6, 8 and Art. 14.1 (3) Conflict of Interest Prevention and Ascertainment Act (2008, last amended 2016))
Concurrent employment of family members in public sector No. Absent from legal framework.

Filing frequency

Filing required upon taking office Yes. Income and assets declaration is submitted upon taking office A person holding public office shall submit a declaration of incompatibility within 7 days of his/her selection for the office. A person holding public office shall submit a declaration of private interests within 30 days of taking office (Art. 29.1 Civil Servants Act (adopted 1999, last amended 2016) Art. 13 and Art. 14 Conflict of Interest Prevention and Ascertainment Act (2008, last amended 2016))
Filing required upon leaving office No. Absent from legal framework.
Filing required annually Yes. Civil servants must submit income and asset declarations annually before the 30th day of April. If there are no changes, the civil servant shall notify its employer with a letter (Article 29.2 and 29.4 of the Civil Servants Act, 1999 (adopted 1999, last amended 2016))
Ad hoc filing required upon change in assets or conflicts of interest Yes. A person holding a public office shall submit a declaration of changes in incompatibility and private interest circumstances within 7 days of the occurrence of the change. He/she can also submit an ad hoc declaration of a private interest. (Article 15 and 16 Conflict of Interest Prevention and Ascertainment Act (2008, last amended 2016))

Sanctions

Sanctions stipulated for late filing (fines, administrative, and/or criminal) Yes. Late filing of of the declaration of conflict of interest: 1000-3000 BGN, 3000-5000 BGN for a second violation ( Art. 34 Conflict of Interest Prevention and Ascertainment Act (2008, last amended 2016))
Sanctions stipulated for non-filing (fines, administrative, and/or criminal) Yes. Non-filing of of the declaration of conflict of interest: 1000-3000 BGN, 3000-5000 BGN for a second violation ( Art. 34 Conflict of Interest Prevention and Ascertainment Act (2008, last amended 2016))
Sanctions stipulated for false disclosure (fines, administrative, and/or criminal) Yes. A person who makes a false statement in a written declaration submitted to state authorities is subject to criminal liability. The criminal sanctions may range from 3-years imprisonment to a fine. They are imposed through criminal proceedings by a court of law. (Article 313 of the Penal Code (1968, last amended 2016))

Monitoring and Oversight

Depository body explicitly identified Yes. The declaration of assets and conflict of interest are submitted to the appointing institution. (Article 29 of the Civil Servants Act (adopted 1999, last amended 2016) Art. 17.1 in conjunction with Art. 25.2 (1) Conflict of Interest Prevention and Ascertainment Act (2008, last amended 2016))
Enforcement body explicitly identified No. No clear enforcement body for the declarations of assets. In cases of unfulfilment of requirements on the declarations of conflict of interest the appointing institution notifies the Commission for Prevention and Ascertainment of Conflict of Interest (Art. 18 in conjunction with Art. 25.2 (1) Conflict of Interest Prevention and Ascertainment Act (2008, last amended 2016))
Some agency assigned responsibility for verifying submission No. No clear enforcement body for the declarations of assets. In cases of unfulfilment of requirements on the declarations of conflict of interest the appointing institution notifies the Commission for Prevention and Ascertainment of Conflict of Interest (Art. 18 in conjunction with Art. 25.2 (1) Conflict of Interest Prevention and Ascertainment Act (2008, last amended 2016))
Some agency assigned responsibility for verifying accuracy No. No clear enforcement body for the declarations of assets. In cases of unfulfilment of requirements on the declarations of conflict of interest the appointing institution notifies the Commission for Prevention and Ascertainment of Conflict of Interest (Art. 18 in conjunction with Art. 25.2 (1) Conflict of Interest Prevention and Ascertainment Act (2008, last amended 2016))

Public access to declarations

Public availability Yes. The declarations of interests shall be published on the internet web-page of the appointing institution (not enforced). (Article 17 of the Conflict of Interest Prevention and Ascertainment Act (2008, last amended 2016))
Timing of information release specified No. Absent from legal framework.
Location(s) of access specified Yes. The declarations of interests shall be published on the internet web-page of the appointing institution (not enforced). (Article 17 of the Conflict of Interest Prevention and Ascertainment Act (2008, last amended 2016))
Cost of access specified Yes. The declarations of interests shall be published on the internet web-page of the appointing institution (not enforced). (Art 17 Conflict of Interest Prevention and Ascertainment Act (2008, last amended 2016))

Qualitative data for 2017


Legislation

Civil Servants Act, 1999, amended 2016 (Bulgarian)pdf
Conflict of Interest Prevention and Ascertainment Act 2008, amended 2016 (Bulgarian)pdf
Penal Code, 1968, amended 2015 (Bulgarian)pdf
Public Disclosure of Senior Public Official's Financial Interests Act 2000, amended 2016 (Bulgarian)pdf

Conflict of Interest

Both the Bulgarian Constitution (1991, last amended in 2007) and the Conflict of Interest Prevention and Ascertainment Act (2008, as last amended in 2016) regulate that the Head of State, Ministers, and Members of Parliament must generally avoid conflicts of interests. Additionally, it is not allowed to accept gifts or to hold a post which is incompatible with the status of public official. This limitation puts a particular focus on the possible involvement in the management or supervision of private companies. They also may not use any information obtained in their position to serve private interests for one year after ending tenure. The same rules apply to Civil Servants, as laid down in the Code of Conduct for employees of the state (2004). Here Civil Servants are explicitly prevented from being unlimited partners, directors, managers, or advisors of a commercial company.

While no sanctions are specified for violating behavior of the Head of State, Ministers and MPs may face fines ranging from BGN 1.000 to BGN 10.000. Civil Servants mainly face disciplinary sanctions ranging from reprimand to discharge. The Commission for Prevention and Ascertainment of Conflict of Interest serves as the monitoring and enforcement body for Head of State and Ministers, while the Anti-Corruption, Conflicts of Interest and Parliamentary Ethics Committee is tasked with these functions for MPs. While no monitoring body is specified for Civil Servants, the Appointing Authority becomes active as enforcement body.


Quantitative Data

Primary Metric

2012201520162017Trend
Restrictions52777780
Sanctions67424242
Monitoring and Oversight50888888

Alternative Metric

2012201520162017Trend
Head of State49606060
Ministers62828282
Members of Parliament52797982
Civil servants62545454

Values lie in range between 0 and 100, higher values implying higher legislation comprehensiveness


Qualitative Data

We are frequently reviewing and refining our data, so in case you notice any mistake in our assessment, feel free to send us an email by clicking the button ()

Head of State

Restrictions

General restriction on conflict of interest No. Absent from legal framework.
Accepting gifts Yes. Having a private interest includes also financial and non-financial benefit. Benefit include also obtaining or receiving a promise to obtain a job, a position, a gift, a reward. Members of the National Assembly, acting as such, shall not accept gifts, other than representational ones and with an approximate value of Nomore than one tenth of their basic remunerations for the respective month. Gifts of greater value shall be submitted to the National Assembly and shall be published in the Public Registry of the National Assembly. (Article 2(3) of the Conflict of Interest Prevention and Ascertainment Act 2008, amended 2016 Article 145(2) of the Rules of Organisation and Procedure of the National Assembly (2014, amended 2016))
Private firm ownership and/or stock holdings Yes. The President and the Vice President shall not engage in any other state, public or economic activity, nor shall they participate in the leadership of any political party. (Article 95 (2) of the Constitution (1991, last amended in 2007))
Ownership of state-owned enterprises (SOEs) Yes. The President and the Vice President shall not engage in any other state, public or economic activity, nor shall they participate in the leadership of any political party. (Article 95 (2) of the Constitution (1991, last amended in 2007))
Holding government contracts Yes. The President and the Vice President shall not engage in any other state, public or economic activity, nor shall they participate in the leadership of any political party. (Article 95 (2) of the Constitution (1991, last amended in 2007))
Board member, advisor, or company officer of private firm Yes. The President and the Vice President shall not engage in any other state, public or economic activity, nor shall they participate in the leadership of any political party. He has to make a declaration on:participation in commercial corporations, in management or supervisory bodies of not-for-profit legal entities or of co-operatives, as well as carrying on business as a sole trader at the date of election or appointment and twelve months prior to the date of election (Article 95 (2) of the Constitution (1991, last amended in 2007) Article 14(1) of the Conflict of Interest Prevention and Ascertainment Act 2008, amended 2016)
Post-employment Yes. A public office holder shall not have the right to use or to authorise the use in a private interest of any information obtained in the execution of the official powers or duties thereof, for the duration of holding office and one year after vacating office, unless otherwise provided for in a special law. (Article 10(1) of the Conflict of Interest Prevention and Ascertainment Act 2008, amended 2016)
Simultaneously holding policy-making position and policy-executing position Yes. The President and the Vice President shall not serve as Members of the National Assembly or engage in any other state, public activity, nor shall they participate in the leadership of any political party. (Article 95 (2) of the Constitution (1991, last amended in 2007))
Participating in official decision-making processes that affect private interests Yes. A public office holder may not represent the State or a municipality where there is a private interest in the taking of a particular decision. A public office holder shall not have the right to vote in a private interest. A public office holder shall not have the right to use the official status thereof in order to exert influence in a private interest on other authorities or persons. A public office holder shall be obligated to suspend himself or herself from the execution of the powers thereof or of an official duty where a private interest exists on a particular occasion. (Article 6-7-19 of the Conflict of Interest Prevention and Ascertainment Act 2008, amended 2016)
Assisting family or friends in obtaining employment in public sector No. Absent from legal framework.

Sanctions

Fines are stipulated for violations of COI regulations restricting behavior No. The President and Vice President shall not be held liable for actions committed in the performance of their duties, except for high treason, or a violation of the Constitution (Article 103(1) of the Consitution (1991, last amended in 2007))
Administrative sanctions are stipulated for violations of COI regulations restricting behavior No. The President and Vice President shall not be held liable for actions committed in the performance of their duties, except for high treason, or a violation of the Constitution (Article 103(1) of the Consitution (1991, last amended in 2007))
Penal sanctions are stipulated for violations of COI regulations restricting behavior No. The President and Vice President shall not be held liable for actions committed in the performance of their duties, except for high treason, or a violation of the Constitution (Article 103(1) of the Consitution (1991, last amended in 2007))

Monitoring and Oversight

Monitoring body specified (guidance, training, data tracking) Yes. The Commission shall keep and maintain: 1. a register of the alerts of a conflict of interest as received and of the decisions on ascertainment of a conflict of interest as issued; 2. a register of the written statements of administrative violations as drawn up and of the penalty decrees as issued. (Article 22i of the Conflict of Interest Prevention and Ascertainment Act 2008, amended 2016)
Enforcement body specified (sanctions, hearings) Yes. Conflict of interest in respect of public office holders shall be ascertained by the Commission for Prevention and Ascertainment of Conflict of Interest, an indipendent body (Article 22a of the Conflict of Interest Prevention and Ascertainment Act 2008, amended 2016)

Ministers

Restrictions

General restriction on conflict of interest No. Absent from legal framework.
Accepting gifts Yes. Having a private interest includes also financial and non-financial benefit. Benefit include also obtaining or receiving a promise to obtain a job, a position, a gift, a reward. (Article 2(3) of the Conflict of Interest Prevention and Ascertainment Act 2008, amended 2016)
Private firm ownership and/or stock holdings Yes. A member of the Council of Ministers shall not hold a post or engage in any activity incompatible with the status of a Member of the National Assembly. Member of the National Assembly shall not occupy another state post, nor shall engage in any other activity (Article 113-68 of the Constitution (1991, last amended in 2007))
Ownership of state-owned enterprises (SOEs) Yes. A member of the Council of Ministers shall not hold a post or engage in any activity incompatible with the status of a Member of the National Assembly. Member of the National Assembly shall not occupy another state post, nor shall engage in any other activity (Article 113-68 of the Constitution (1991, last amended in 2007))
Holding government contracts Yes. A member of the Council of Ministers shall not hold a post or engage in any activity incompatible with the status of a Member of the National Assembly. Member of the National Assembly shall not occupy another state post, nor shall engage in any other activity (Article 113-68 of the Constitution (1991, last amended in 2007))
Board member, advisor, or company officer of private firm Yes. A member of the Council of Ministers shall not hold a post or engage in any activity incompatible with the status of a Member of the National Assembly. Member of the National Assembly shall not occupy another state post, nor shall engage in any other activity. They has to make a declaration on:participation in commercial corporations, in management or supervisory bodies of not-for-profit legal entities or of co-operatives, as well as carrying on business as a sole trader at the date of election or appointment and twelve months prior to the date of election (Article 113-68 of the Constitution (1991, last amended in 2007) Article 14(1) of the Conflict of Interest Prevention and Ascertainment Act 2008, amended 2016)
Post-employment Yes. A public office holder shall not have the right to use or to authorise the use in a private interest of any information obtained in the execution of the official powers or duties thereof, for the duration of holding office and one year after vacating office, unless otherwise provided for in a special law. (Article 10(1) of the Conflict of Interest Prevention and Ascertainment Act 2008, amended 2016)
Simultaneously holding policy-making position and policy-executing position Yes. A member of the Council of Ministers shall not hold a post or engage in any activity incompatible with the status of a Member of the National Assembly. Member of the National Assembly shall not occupy another state post. (Article 113-68 of the Constitution (1991, last amended in 2007))
Participating in official decision-making processes that affect private interests Yes. A public office holder may not represent the State or a municipality where there is a private interest in the taking of a particular decision. A public office holder shall not have the right to vote in a private interest. A public office holder shall not have the right to use the official status thereof in order to exert influence in a private interest on other authorities or persons. A public office holder shall be obligated to suspend himself or herself from the execution of the powers thereof or of an official duty where a private interest exists on a particular occasion. (Article 6-7-19 of the Conflict of Interest Prevention and Ascertainment Act 2008, amended 2016)
Assisting family or friends in obtaining employment in public sector No. Absent from legal framework.

Sanctions

Fines are stipulated for violations of COI regulations restricting behavior Yes. Any public office holder, who violates any provision shall be liable to a fine of BGN 5,000 or exceeding this amount but not exceeding BGN 7,000. Any repeated violation shall be punishable by a fine of BGN 7,000 or exceeding this amount but not exceeding BGN 10,000. For failure to make an ad hoc declaration of private interest, administrative fines ranging from BGN 7 000/EUR 3 500 to BGN 10 000/EUR 5 000 are imposed, while failure to file a declaration of incompatibilities and other declarations of private interests is subject to fines ranging from BGN 1 000/EUR 500 to BGN 4 000/EUR 2 000 (BGN 3 000/EUR 1 500 to BGN 5 000/EUR 2 500 – in case of a repeated violation) (Article 35 of the Conflict of Interest Prevention and Ascertainment Act 2008, amended 2016)
Administrative sanctions are stipulated for violations of COI regulations restricting behavior Yes. Any public office holder, who violates any provision shall be liable to a fine of BGN 5,000 or exceeding this amount but not exceeding BGN 7,000. Any repeated violation shall be punishable by a fine of BGN 7,000 or exceeding this amount but not exceeding BGN 10,000. For failure to make an ad hoc declaration of private interest, administrative fines ranging from BGN 7 000/EUR 3 500 to BGN 10 000/EUR 5 000 are imposed, while failure to file a declaration of incompatibilities and other declarations of private interests is subject to fines ranging from BGN 1 000/EUR 500 to BGN 4 000/EUR 2 000 (BGN 3 000/EUR 1 500 to BGN 5 000/EUR 2 500 – in case of a repeated violation) (Article 35 of the Conflict of Interest Prevention and Ascertainment Act 2008, amended 2016)
Penal sanctions are stipulated for violations of COI regulations restricting behavior No. Absent from legal framework.

Monitoring and Oversight

Monitoring body specified (guidance, training, data tracking) Yes. The Commission shall keep and maintain: 1. a register of the alerts of a conflict of interest as received and of the decisions on ascertainment of a conflict of interest as issued; 2. a register of the written statements of administrative violations as drawn up and of the penalty decrees as issued. (Article 22i of the Conflict of Interest Prevention and Ascertainment Act 2008, amended 2016)
Enforcement body specified (sanctions, hearings) Yes. Conflict of interest in respect of public office holders shall be ascertained by the Commission for Prevention and Ascertainment of Conflict of Interest, an indipendent body (Article 22a of the Conflict of Interest Prevention and Ascertainment Act 2008, amended 2016)

Members of Parliament

Restrictions

General restriction on conflict of interest No. Absent from legal framework.
Accepting gifts Yes. Having a private interest includes also financial and non-financial benefit. Benefit include also obtaining or receiving a promise to obtain a job, a position, a gift, a reward. (Article 2(3) of the Conflict of Interest Prevention and Ascertainment Act 2008, amended 2016)
Private firm ownership and/or stock holdings Yes. Member of the National Assembly shall not occupy another state post, nor shall engage in any other activity (Article 68 of the Consitution (1991, last amended in 2007))
Ownership of state-owned enterprises (SOEs) Yes. Member of the National Assembly shall not occupy another state post, nor shall engage in any other activity (Article 68 of the Consitution (1991, last amended in 2007))
Holding government contracts Yes. Member of the National Assembly shall not occupy another state post, nor shall engage in any other activity (Article 68 of the Consitution (1991, last amended in 2007))
Board member, advisor, or company officer of private firm Yes. Member of the National Assembly shall not occupy another state post, nor shall engage in any other activity. They has to make a declaration on:participation in commercial corporations, in management or supervisory bodies of not-for-profit legal entities or of co-operatives, as well as carrying on business as a sole trader at the date of election or appointment and twelve months prior to the date of election (Article 68 of the Consitution (1991, last amended in 2007) Article 14(1) of the Conflict of Interest Prevention and Ascertainment Act 2008, amended 2016)
Post-employment Yes. A public office holder shall not have the right to use or to authorise the use in a private interest of any information obtained in the execution of the official powers or duties thereof, for the duration of holding office and one year after vacating office, unless otherwise provided for in a special law. (Article 10(1) of the Conflict of Interest Prevention and Ascertainment Act 2008, amended 2016)
Simultaneously holding policy-making position and policy-executing position Yes. Member of the National Assembly shall not occupy another state post (Article 68 of the Consitution (1991, last amended in 2007))
Participating in official decision-making processes that affect private interests Yes. A public office holder may not represent the State or a municipality where there is a private interest in the taking of a particular decision. A public office holder shall not have the right to vote in a private interest. A public office holder shall not have the right to use the official status thereof in order to exert influence in a private interest on other authorities or persons. A public office holder shall be obligated to suspend himself or herself from the execution of the powers thereof or of an official duty where a private interest exists on a particular occasion. (Article 6-7-19 of the Conflict of Interest Prevention and Ascertainment Act 2008, amended 2016)
Assisting family or friends in obtaining employment in public sector No. Absent from legal framework.

Sanctions

Fines are stipulated for violations of COI regulations restricting behavior Yes. Any public office holder, who violates any provision shall be liable to a fine of BGN 5,000 or exceeding this amount but not exceeding BGN 7,000. Any repeated violation shall be punishable by a fine of BGN 7,000 or exceeding this amount but not exceeding BGN 10,000. For failure to make an ad hoc declaration of private interest, administrative fines ranging from BGN 7 000/EUR 3 500 to BGN 10 000/EUR 5 000 are imposed, while failure to file a declaration of incompatibilities and other declarations of private interests is subject to fines ranging from BGN 1 000/EUR 500 to BGN 4 000/EUR 2 000 (BGN 3 000/EUR 1 500 to BGN 5 000/EUR 2 500 – in case of a repeated violation) (Article 35 of the Conflict of Interest Prevention and Ascertainment Act 2008, amended 2016)
Administrative sanctions are stipulated for violations of COI regulations restricting behavior Yes. Any public office holder, who violates any provision shall be liable to a fine of BGN 5,000 or exceeding this amount but not exceeding BGN 7,000. Any repeated violation shall be punishable by a fine of BGN 7,000 or exceeding this amount but not exceeding BGN 10,000. For failure to make an ad hoc declaration of private interest, administrative fines ranging from BGN 7 000/EUR 3 500 to BGN 10 000/EUR 5 000 are imposed, while failure to file a declaration of incompatibilities and other declarations of private interests is subject to fines ranging from BGN 1 000/EUR 500 to BGN 4 000/EUR 2 000 (BGN 3 000/EUR 1 500 to BGN 5 000/EUR 2 500 – in case of a repeated violation) (Article 35 of the Conflict of Interest Prevention and Ascertainment Act 2008, amended 2016)
Penal sanctions are stipulated for violations of COI regulations restricting behavior No. Absent from legal framework.

Monitoring and Oversight

Monitoring body specified (guidance, training, data tracking) Yes. The Anti-Corruption, Conflicts of Interest and Parliamentary Ethics Committee, which is formed on the parity principle and comprises two MPs per faction, supervises the fulfilment by MPs of the obligation to file the declarations of incompatibilities and of private interests. The Committee monitors MPs’ compliance with the incompatibility rules and, in case of a suspicion, is to send an MP’s declaration to the Commission for Prevention and Ascertainment of Conflicts of Interest for examination The Commission shall keep and maintain: 1. a register of the alerts of a conflict of interest as received and of the decisions on ascertainment of a conflict of interest as issued; 2. a register of the written statements of administrative violations as drawn up and of the penalty decrees as issued. (Article 22i of the Conflict of Interest Prevention and Ascertainment Act 2008, amended 2016)
Enforcement body specified (sanctions, hearings) Yes. Conflict of interest in respect of public office holders shall be ascertained by the Commission for Prevention and Ascertainment of Conflict of Interest, an indipendent body (Article 22a of the Conflict of Interest Prevention and Ascertainment Act 2008, amended 2016)

Civil servants

Restrictions

General restriction on conflict of interest No. Absent from legal framework.
Accepting gifts Yes. The employee is not allowed to request and accept gifts, money, benefits or other benefits that may affect the performance of his duties on its decisions, or violate his professional approach to certain issues. (3) The employee may not accept gifts or benefits that may be perceived as a reward for doing work that comes into his duties. (Article 8(2-3) of the Code of Conduct for employees of the state (2004))
Private firm ownership and/or stock holdings Yes. Shall be inelegible: any person who is a sole trader, an unlimited partner in a commercial corporation, a managing director, a business attorney, a commercial agent, a managerial agent, , a broker, a liquidator or a trustee in bankruptcy, a member of a management or supervisory body of a commercial corporation or cooperative. (Article 7(2) of the Civil Servants Act (1999, as last amended in 2016))
Ownership of state-owned enterprises (SOEs) Yes. The employee is not allowed to be placed on financial dependence or other commitment by outside individuals or organizations (Article 8(2) of the Code of Conduct for employees of the state (2004))
Holding government contracts Yes. The employee is not allowed to be placed on financial dependence or other commitment by outside individuals or organizations (Article 8(2) of the Code of Conduct for employees of the state (2004))
Board member, advisor, or company officer of private firm Yes. Shall be inelegible: any person who is a sole trader, an unlimited partner in a commercial corporation, a managing director, a business attorney, a commercial agent, a managerial agent, , a broker, a liquidator or a trustee in bankruptcy, a member of a management or supervisory body of a commercial corporation or cooperative (Article 7(2) of the Civil Servants Act (1999, as last amended in 2016))
Post-employment Yes. The employees who left the state administration must not misuse the information, which has become known in connection with the position they occupied, or the functions they performed. (Article 13(3) of the Code of Conduct for employees of the state (2004))
Simultaneously holding policy-making position and policy-executing position Yes. Shall be inelegible: any person who is a National Representative; any person who is councillor in a Municipal Council - applicable solely to the relevant municipal administration. The following persons shall not be civil servants: 1. those who are single-person authorities or deputies thereof; 2. those who are members of collegial authorities; 3. those who are members of political cabinets, or advisors and experts to such cabinets, excluding the head of the public relations unit; 4. persons performing technical functions within the administration. (Articles 3-7(2) of the Civil Servants Act (1999, as last amended in 2016))
Participating in official decision-making processes that affect private interests Yes. The employee may not participate in the discussion, preparation, making and implementation of decisions when he or related persons are interested in the respective decision or when there is a interested persons causing justifiable doubts as to his impartiality (Article 13(3) of the Code of Conduct for employees of the state (2004))
Assisting family or friends in obtaining employment in public sector No. Absent from legal framework.

Sanctions

Fines are stipulated for violations of COI regulations restricting behavior No. Absent from legal framework.
Administrative sanctions are stipulated for violations of COI regulations restricting behavior Yes. The following disciplinary sanctions may be imposed: 1. reprimand; 2. censure; 3. deferral of promotion to a higher rank for one year; 4. demotion to a lower rank for a period ranging from six months to one year; 5. discharge. The appointing authority shall terminate the civil-service relationship without notice where a conflict of interest has been ascertained by an effective act under the Conflict of Interest Prevention and Ascertainment Act. (Articles 90(1)-107 of the Civil Servants Act (1999, as last amended in 2016))
Penal sanctions are stipulated for violations of COI regulations restricting behavior No. Absent from legal framework.

Monitoring and Oversight

Monitoring body specified (guidance, training, data tracking) No. Absent from legal framework.
Enforcement body specified (sanctions, hearings) Yes. Appointing Authority (Article 107 of the Civil Servants Act (1999, as last amended in 2016))

Qualitative data for 2017


Legislation

Civil Servants Act, 1999, amended 2016 (English)pdf
Code of Conduct for employees of the state, 2004 (English)pdf
Conflict of Interest Prevention and Ascertainment Act 2008, amended 2016 (English)pdf
Constitution, 1991, amended in 2015 (English)pdf
Rules of Organisation and Procedure of the National Assembly, 2014, amended 2016 (English)pdf

Freedom of Information

Bulgaria's 1991 Constitution provides that access to information is a fundamental freedom. Several pieces of legislation help define this right. First, the Access to Public Information Act (2000, amended 2016) regulates the access to, and re-use of, public sector information. The act applies to state bodies, their regional offices, local self-goverment bodies, public law organizations, and organizations funded by state monies.

The 2000 Act itself provides that government agencies may withhold classified information pertaining to topics like state secrets and ongoing government negotiations. The Protection of Classified Information Act (2002, amended 2016) governs the definition, maintenance, and release of classified information. There is a public interest test whereby exemptions to disclosure may be overridden in cases where the public interest outweighs the prohibition on disclosure.

Appeals can be addressed to the administrative courts or the Supreme Administrative Court. There is no appeals process through public bodies or an independent non-judicial mechanism, such as an information commissioner.

There are administrative sanctions and fines specified for disclosure violations by both individuals and organizations.

Agencies are obliged to appoint officials in their administration, who shall be directly responsible for the provision of public information. Sanctions are applied by the Ministry of Justice, but there is no organization mandated with overseeing FOI implementation.


Quantitative Data

Primary Metric

2012201520162017Trend
Scope and Coverage93939393
Information access and release100100100100
Exceptions and Overrides67676767
Sanctions for non-compliance67676767
Monitoring and Oversight50505050

Values lie in range between 0 and 100, higher values implying higher legislation comprehensiveness


Qualitative Data

We are frequently reviewing and refining our data, so in case you notice any mistake in our assessment, feel free to send us an email by clicking the button ()

Scope and Coverage

Scope of disclosure

Existence of legal right to access Yes. Everyone has the right to seek, obtain and disseminate information without having to demonstrate legal need for information. This right cannot be exercised to the detriment of the rights and reputation of other citizens, entities and organizations, the national security, public order, public health and moral standards. Furthermore, the citizens of the country are granted with the right to access government information from the government agencies and other state agencies regarding any matter of legitimate interest which does not constitute a state or official secret and does not affect the rights of the others. (Article 41 of the Bulgarian Constitution, 1991, amended 2015)
"Information" or "Documents" is defined Yes. (3) Public sector information shall be any kind of information materialized on paper, electronic or other carrier, including if it was held as audio or video record, and collected or generated by a public sector organization. (Article 2 of the Access to Public Information Act, 2000, amended 2016)
Proactive disclosure is specified Yes. Art. 15а. (New, SG No. 104/2008) (1) Information under Art. 15 shall be published on the Internet sites of the administrative structures within the system of the executive power. (2) In the access to information subsection of the Internet site under subart. 1, the data under Art. 15, subart. 1, item 4 and subart 2, as well as internal rules related to the access to information and the procedure for access to the public registers maintained by the administrative structures within the system of the executive power, shall be published. (Article 15a of the Access to Public Information Act, 2000, amended 2016)

Coverage of public and private sectors

Executive branch Yes. Art. 3. (1) (Amended SG No. 104/2008) This act shall apply to access to public information that is created by or kept with the state bodies, their regional offices, and the local selfgovernance bodies of the Republic of Bulgaria, hereinafter referred to as "the bodies". (3) (New, SG No. 49/2007; Amended, SG No. 104/2008) Public sector organizations shall be obliged to provide public sector information for reuse, excluding the cases prescribed by that law. (4) (New, SG No. 49/2007) A public sector organization is any state body, local selfgovernment body, public law organization, as well as their subordinates. (Article 3 of the Access to Public Information Act, 2000, amended 2011)
Legislative branch Yes. Art. 3. (1) (Amended SG No. 104/2008) This act shall apply to access to public information that is created by or kept with the state bodies, their regional offices, and the local selfgovernance bodies of the Republic of Bulgaria, hereinafter referred to as "the bodies". (3) (New, SG No. 49/2007; Amended, SG No. 104/2008) Public sector organizations shall be obliged to provide public sector information for reuse, excluding the cases prescribed by that law. (Article 3 of the Access to Public Information Act, 2000, amended 2016)
Judicial branch Yes. (4) The public sector is subject to this rules. (Article 3 of the Access to Public Information Act, 2000, amended 2016)
Other public bodies, including organizations engaging in public/private partnerships. Yes. (2) (Amended SG No. 104/2008) This act shall also apply to the access to public information, which is created by and kept with: 1. bodies, subject to the public law, other than those under subart. 1, including public law organizations; 2. individuals and legal entities as far as only their activities financed with funds from the consolidated state budget, subsidies from the European Union funds or allocated through EU projects and programs, are concerned. (Article 3 of the Access to Public Information Act, 2000, amended 2016)
Private sector No. Absent from legal framework.

Access to specific documents (subject to reactive and/or proactive disclosure)

Draft legal instruments Yes. The government agencies which are preparing drafts on legal acts, shall first publish those drafts on the respective government agency’s internet website and prior the draft’s official promulgation, along with the draft’s brief and motives. Within 14 days of the draft’s online publication, all interested parties may make proposals and suggest alterations to the draft of the legal act. (Article 26 of the Law on Statutory Instruments, 1973, amended 2016)
Enacted legal instruments Yes. All legal acts are required to be promulgated and come into force three days after their publication. All enacted legal instruments shall be promulgated. The laws, Ministerial decrees and decrees of Ministers and Head of other government agencies shall be promulgated in one issue of the Bulgarian State Gazette, while the European Union Regulations shall be promulgated in the EU Official Gazette in Bulgarian language. All texts of statutory administrative acts shall be authenticated and promulgated in the State Gazette, except for the acts of the municipal councils which shall be published through the local press or other suitable means. The access to official information contained in normative acts is being provided to the public through the legal acts’ promulgation. In request for access to official information, the government agencies are obliged to state the number, the date and the title of the issue where the information was published. (Article 5 of the Constitution, 1991, amended 2015 Articles 37 and 38 of the Law on Statutory Instruments, 1973, amended 2016 Article 78 of the Administrative Procedure Code, 2006, amended 2016 Article 12 of the Access to Public Information Act, 2000, amended 2016 )
Annual budgets Yes. The structure of the state budget shall be defined by a Ministerial decree within one month from the promulgation of the Annual State Budget Act in the State Gazette. The latter is promulgated annually in the State Gazette. (According to Article 79 of Public Finance Act, 2013, amended 2016)
Annual chart of accounts (actual expenditures) Yes. There is no explicit provision requiring the government entities to publish their chart of accouts and to allow citizens to request such information, however access to administrative public information is not restricted. (Article 11 of the Access to Public Information Act, 2000, amended 2016)
Annual reports of public entities and programs Yes. The public agencies are required to publish annual reports on the application for access to public information, as well as the agencies’ functions and structure. Article 16 expands this duty and requires the Minister of the State Administration and Administrative Reform to publish an annual summary containing a description of his powers and data on the organization, functions and responsibilities of the administration managed and other key issues. The government entities are required to prepare reports regarding the state of their administration and publish them on the respective internet website or make it public by other means by February 28 of each calendar year. (Article 15 and 16 of the Access to Public Information Act, 2000, amended 2016 Article 62 of the Administration Act, 1998, amended 2016)

Information access and release

Procedural access

Universal access (agencies, citizens and non-citizens) Yes. Art. 4. (1) Any citizen of the Republic of Bulgaria is entitled to access to public information subject to the conditions and the procedure set forth in this act, unless another act provides for a special procedure to seek, receive and impart such information. (2) Foreign citizens and individuals with no citizenship shall enjoy the right under subart. 1 in the Republic of Bulgaria. (3) Legal entities shall enjoy the right under subart. 1 too. (4) (New, SG No. 49/2007) Persons under subart. 1, 2, 3 shall have the right of reuse of public sector information. (Article 4 of the Access to Public Information Act, 2000, amended 2016)
Type of request is specified (written, electronic, oral) Yes. Art. 24. (1) The request for granting access to public information shall be made in the form of a written application or verbal request. (2) The application is deemed written also in cases where it is sent electronically subject to conditions determined by the respective body. (3) Where the applicant is not granted access to public information requested in oral form, or he/she considers the disclosed public information insufficient, he/she may file a written application. (Article 24 of the Access to Public Information Act, 2000, amended 2016)
Assistance to requesters must be provided by law (includes barriers due to language differences, illiteracy, complexity of requests, etc.) Yes. (4) Persons with impaired sight, hearing or speech are entitled to request access in a form that corresponds to their ability to communicate. (Article 26 of the Access to Public Information Act, 2000, amended 2016)
Cost of access is specified (free, request fees, photocopying costs, other administrative costs) Yes. The access to public information must be provided free of charge and if an expense is incurret for the release of the information, the requesting party shall be charged for the costs incurred. (Article 20 of the Access to Public Information Act, 2000, amended 2016)

Deadlines for release of information

20-day response deadline Yes. Answers to inquiries must be provided as soon as possible and no later than 14 days of the date of registration of the inquiry. (Article 28 of the Access to Public Information Act, 2000, amended 2016)
Agency granted right to extend response time Yes. The time period for response by the government agency may be extended with 10 days if the information requested is of substantial volume. The explicit criteria for allowing extended reposnse time of additional 14 days from the initial request, is specified. (Articles 30 & 31 of the Access to Public Information Act, 2000, amended 2016)
Maximum total response time of no more than 40 days Yes. The initial response time must be no more than 14 days and according to Article 30 this term can be extended with additional 10 days in case the information requested is of substantial volume. Where the information requested concerns a third party whose consent is necessary for the information to be released, the initial 14-day period may be extended with additional 14 days. The extensions allowed together with the initial 14-day response time allow a maximum response time of 28 days. (Articles 28, 30 & 31 of Access to Public Information Act, 2000, amended 2016)

Exceptions and Overrides

Exemptions to disclosure

Existence of secrecy/states secrets law Yes. Classified information is available only to people who “need to know” and becomes available to everyone only after the expiration of the time limits for protection. (Protection of Classified Information Act, 2002, amended 2016)
Existence of personal privacy/data law Yes. Personal Data Protection Act, 2002, amended 2015 (Personal Data Protection Act, 2002, amended 2016)
Specific exemptions to disclosure Yes. Information may be withheld by the government agencies if it is classified and constitutes state or other protected secret, relates to preparatory work of an act of the agencies and has no significance in itself (opinions, comments), is related to ongoing negotiations led by the government agency or where the disclosure of such information may result in unfair competition. (Articles 7, 13 and 17 of the Access to Public Information Act, 2000, amended 2016)
Public Interest test: Specified exemptions to disclosure may be overridden in cases where disclosure of information benefits the public interest.

Appeals

Appeals allowed within public entities No. Absent from legal framework.
Independent, non-judicial appeals mechanism, e.g., information commissioner. Does not include Ombudsman unless appeals decisions are binding. No. Absent from legal framework.
Judicial appeals mechanism Yes. Appeals can be addressed to the administrative courts or the Supreme Administrative Court. (Article 40 of the Access to Public Information Act, 2000, amended 2016)

Sanctions for non-compliance

Administrative sanctions are specified for violations of disclosure requirements Yes. Violations of the Act will be subject to administrative sanctions provided by the Administrative Violations and Penalties Act. Public censure or a temporary deprivation of the right to practice a certain profession or activity is allowed Administrative sanctions are applied to the government and its agencies for the failure to provide information. (Article 44 of Access to Public Information Act, 2000, amended 2016 Articles 13-16 & 28(3) of the Administrative Procedure Code, 2006, amended 2016)
Fines are specified for violations of disclosure requirements Yes. Fines are levied on the government or its agencies for the failure to provide information. Specifically, the fines range from 50 to 2,000 leva, depending upon who violated the law. (Article 42 of Access to Public Information Act, 2000, amended 2016)
Criminal sanctions are specified for violations of disclosure requirements No. Absent from legal framework.

Monitoring and Oversight

Information officers must be appointed in public agencies Yes. The administrative entities are required to publish the name, address, telephone numbers and the working hours of the point of contact for FOI requests. § 18. The bodies under art. 3, subart. 1 are obliged to appoint officials in the respective administration, who shall be directly responsible for the provision of public information, as well as to establish a proper place for reading the provided information, within six months after this act becomes effective. (Article 15 of the Access to Public Information Act, 2000, amended 2016 Final provisions to the Access to Public Information Amendment Act (Promulgated – SG. No. 49/2007), Section 18, included in the Access to Public Information Act, 2000, amended 2011)
Public body that is responsible for applying sanctions Yes. Art. 43. (Amended, SG No. 49/2007) (1) The violations under this act shall be found by an authorized official, appointed by the Minister of Justice, in the cases set forth in Art. 3, subart. 2 or the respective agency in the rest of the cases.The violations under Art. 15d, para. 2 shall be established by the officials authorized by the Chairman of the State Agency "Electronic control". (2) The penalty acts shall be issued as follows: 1. under art. 42, subart.1 by the respective agency under Art. 3, subart. 1 or by an authorized official; 2. under art. 42, subart. 2 – by the persons and the procedure set forth by art. 306 of the Administrative Procedure Code; 3. under art. 42, subart. 3 on Art. 14, 15, 15a, 15b, Art. 15c, para. 3 and Art. 31, para. 3 by the respective body, and in the cases when the liable entity is from the ones specified in art. 3, para. 2 by the Minister of Justice or by an employee authorized by him; 4. under art. 42, subart. 4 on Art. 15d, para. 2 by the Chairperson of the State Agency for Electronic Management or by officials authorized by him. (Article 43 of the Access to Public Information Act, 2000, amended 2016)
Public body that is responsible for public outreach (raising public awareness) No. Absent from legal framework.
Nodal agency for RTI (implementation support/compliance within public sector). Does not include Ombudsman. No. Absent from legal framework.
Ombudsman involvement in implementation is specified by law No. Absent from legal framework.
Reporting of data and/or implementation is required Yes. Art. 16. (1) The State Agency for Electronic Governance prepares a three-yearly summary report on the availability of re-use information provided by public sector organizations, the conditions under which it is provided and the legal remedies. Public sector organizations send annually to the administration of the Council of Ministers reports on these circumstances. (2) The report shall be made public and shall be made available to the European Commission. (Article 16 of the Access to Public Information Act, 2000, amended 2016)

Qualitative data for 2017


Legislation

Constitution, 1991, amended 2015 (Bulgarian)pdf
Access to Public Information Act, 2000, amended 2016 (Bulgarian)pdf
Law on Statutory Instruments, 1973, amended 2016 (Bulgarian)pdf
Administrative Procedure Code, 2006, amended 2016 (Bulgarian)pdf
Administration Act, 1998, amended 2016 (Bulgarian)pdf
Public Finance Act, 2014, amended 2015 (Bulgarian)pdf
Protection of Classified Information Act, 2002, amended 2016 (Bulgarian)pdf
Personal Data Protection Act, 2002, amended 2016 (Bulgarian)pdf

Public Procurement

The Bulgarian public procurement system is regulated by the Public Procurement Act of 2004, followed by further secondary legislation. The public procurement body is the Public Procurement Agency, located under the Ministry of Economy, Energy and Tourism.

The lowest minimum thresholds for conducting a public procurement tender are:

         BGN 30000 (ca. EUR 15000) for goods  

         BGN 50000 (ca. EUR 25000) for works

         BGN 30000 (ca. EUR 15000) for services

The minimum number of bidders is 5 for restricted procedures and 3 for negotiated procedures. The minimum submission period is 35 days for open procedures, 30 days for restricted procedures and 30 for negotiated procedures from dispatch date. The final beneficial owners do not have to be disclosed when placing a bid.

There is no preferential treatment. However, SMEs were advantaged before 2009. Furthermore, there are several options for bid exclusion: abnormally low offer price, and also criminal conviction for economic/financial crimes, bankruptcy, conflict of interest etc.

In the bid evaluation phase, there are conflict of interest restrictions on the composition of the evaluation committee. There is also a requirement that some part of the evaluation committee be independent of the contracting authority.

There is a payable fee in case of an arbitration procedure (the amounts are set out in the Rules and Statutes of the Arbitration Court of Bulgaria). 


Quantitative Data

Primary Metric

2012201520162017Trend
Scope767539
Information availability858597
Evaluation1009494
Open competition838375
Institutional arrangements292929

Values lie in range between 0 and 100, higher values implying higher legislation comprehensiveness


Qualitative Data

We are frequently reviewing and refining our data, so in case you notice any mistake in our assessment, feel free to send us an email by clicking the button ()

Scope

Threshold - lowest PP

What is the minimum contract value above which the Public Procurement Act is applied? (Product type GOODS) BGN 30000. The contracting authorities shall apply the order for awarding through collecting offers with a call or invitation to certain persons, where the public procurements have prognosis value: 1. in public works – from BGN 50,000 to BGN 270,000; 2. in supplies and services, with the exception of the services under Annex No 2 – from BGN 30,000 to BGN 70,000. (Public Procurement Act of 2016 (Prom. SG. 13/16 Feb 2016, suppl. SG. 34/3 May 2016) Article 20 (3))
What is the minimum contract value above which the Public Procurement Act is applied? (Product type WORKS) BGN 50000. The contracting authorities shall apply the order for awarding through collecting offers with a call or invitation to certain persons, where the public procurements have prognosis value: 1. in public works – from BGN 50,000 to BGN 270,000; 2. in supplies and services, with the exception of the services under Annex No 2 – from BGN 30,000 to BGN 70,000. (Public Procurement Act of 2016 (Prom. SG. 13/16 Feb 2016, suppl. SG. 34/3 May 2016) Article 20 (3))
What is the minimum contract value above which the Public Procurement Act is applied? (Product type SERVICES) BGN 30000. The contracting authorities shall apply the order for awarding through collecting offers with a call or invitation to certain persons, where the public procurements have prognosis value: 1. in public works – from BGN 50,000 to BGN 270,000; 2. in supplies and services, with the exception of the services under Annex No 2 – from BGN 30,000 to BGN 70,000. (Public Procurement Act of 2016 (Prom. SG. 13/16 Feb 2016, suppl. SG. 34/3 May 2016) Article 20 (3))

Threshold - by PP type

What are the minimum application thresholds for the procurement type? (Entity: PUBLIC SECTOR) BGN 264033. The procedures under Art. 18, Para. 1, p. 1 - 11 shall apply where: 1. public contracting authorities, as well as their partnerships award public procurements with prognosis value, larger or equal to: a) BGN 5,000,000 - for public works; b) BGN 264,033 - for supply and services; c) BGN 500,000 – for services under Annex No 2. (Public Procurement Act of 2016 (Prom. SG. 13/16 Feb 2016, suppl. SG. 34/3 May 2016) Article 20 (1) 1)
What are the minimum application thresholds for the procurement type? (Entity: UTILITIES) BGN 817524. Public procurement awards by contracting authorities operating in the water, energy, transport and postal sectors fall under Part III, Chapter Fifteen of the Public Procurement Act of 2016. The procedures under Art. 18, Para. 1, p. 1 - 11 shall apply where: sector contracting authorities shall award public procurements with prognosis value larger or equal to: a) BGN 5,000,000 - for public works; b) BGN 817,524 – for supplies and services; c) BGN 1,000,000 – for services under Annex No 2. According to Article 123 'sector activities' shall be the ones, connected to: 1. natural gas and heating energy; 2. electric energy; 3. water supply; 4. transport services; 5. exploitation of geographic area; 6. post services. (Public Procurement Act of 2016 (Prom. SG. 13/16 Feb 2016, suppl. SG. 34/3 May 2016) Articles 20 (1) 3 and 123 )
What are the minimum application thresholds for the procurement type? (Entity: DEFENCE) BGN 264033. The procedures under Art. 18, Para. 1, p. 1 - 11 shall apply where: public contracting authorities, working in the area of defence, shall award public procurements with prognosis value, larger or equal to: a) BGN 5,000,000 – for public works; b) BGN 264,033 – for services and supplies, which include products under Annex No 3; c) BGN 408,762 – for supplies, which include products outside the scope of Annex No 3; d) BGN 500,000 - for services under Annex No 2. Furthermore, public and sector contracting authorities shall award procurements in the areas of defence and security with prognosis value, larger or equal to: a) BGN 817,524 – for supplies of military equipment, including parts, components and/or mounting elements for it, including equipment, included in the list of the products, related to defence, adopted under Art. 2, Para. 1 of the Act on the Export Control of Defence - Related Products and Dual Use Items and Technologies; b) BGN 817,524 - for supply of sensitive equipment, including parts, components and/or mounting elements for it; c) BGN 817,524 – for supplies, directly related to equipment under letters "a" and "b" for each and every element of its life cycle; d) BGN 5,000,000 – for public works, directly connected to the equipment under letters "a" and "b" for each every of the elements of its life cycle; e) BGN 817,524 – for services of specific military purposes or for sensitive services; f) BGN 5,000,000 - for public works for specific military purposes or for sensitive public works. (Public Procurement Act of 2016 (Prom. SG. 13/16 Feb 2016, suppl. SG. 34/3 May 2016) Article 20 (1) 2 and 4)

Threshold - by product type

What are the minimum application thresholds for the procurement type? (Product type GOODS) BGN 264033. The procedures under Art. 18, Para. 1, p. 1 - 11 shall apply where: 1. public contracting authorities, as well as their partnerships award public procurements with prognosis value, larger or equal to: a) BGN 5,000,000 - for public works; b) BGN 264,033 - for supply and services; c) BGN 500,000 – for services under Annex No 2. (Public Procurement Act of 2016 (Prom. SG. 13/16 Feb 2016, suppl. SG. 34/3 May 2016) Article 20 (1) 1)
What are the minimum application thresholds for the procurement type? (Product type WORKS) BGN 5000000. The procedures under Art. 18, Para. 1, p. 1 - 11 shall apply where: 1. public contracting authorities, as well as their partnerships award public procurements with prognosis value, larger or equal to: a) BGN 5,000,000 - for public works; b) BGN 264,033 - for supply and services; c) BGN 500,000 – for services under Annex No 2. (Public Procurement Act of 2016 (Prom. SG. 13/16 Feb 2016, suppl. SG. 34/3 May 2016) Article 20 (1) 1)
What are the minimum application thresholds for the procurement type? (Product type SERVICES) BGN 264033. The procedures under Art. 18, Para. 1, p. 1 - 11 shall apply where: 1. public contracting authorities, as well as their partnerships award public procurements with prognosis value, larger or equal to: a) BGN 5,000,000 - for public works; b) BGN 264,033 - for supply and services; c) BGN 500,000 – for services under Annex No 2. (Public Procurement Act of 2016 (Prom. SG. 13/16 Feb 2016, suppl. SG. 34/3 May 2016) Article 20 (1) 1)

Information availability

Publishing and record keeping

Is there a requirement that tender documents must published in full? Yes. Contracting authorities shall provide unlimited, complete, free and direct access through electronic media to the documentation for the public procurement from the date of: 1. publishing the notice in the Official Journal of the EU; 2. publication of the notice in the Register of public procurements, where it is not subject to publication under p. 1; or 3. sending the call for confirmation of interest. In the notice or call for confirmation of interest the internet address shall be indicated, at which the public procurement documentation is accessible. The public procurement documentation shall contain: 1. technical specifications; 2. investment and other projects, where they are required for preparation of the offer; 3. methods for defining the complex assessment of the offer, where applicable; 4. document forms, as well as instruction for their preparation; 5. draft contract. (Public Procurement Act of 2016 (Prom. SG. 13/16 Feb 2016, suppl. SG. 34/3 May 2016) Article 31 and 32 (1))
Are any of these documents published online at a central place? Yes. Website of the Public Procurement Agency at http://rop3-app1.aop.bg:7778/portal/page?_pageid=93,1&_dad=portal&_schema=PORTAL (<>)
Is it mandatory to keep all of these records? -Public notices of bidding opportunities, -Bidding documents and addenda, -Bid opening records, -Bid evaluation reports, -Formal appeals by bidders and outcomes, -Final signed contract documents and addenda and amendments, -Claims and dispute resolutions, -Final payments, -Disbursement data (as required by the country’s financial management system) Yes. All these records should be available in the Public Procurement Register. In addition, the contracting authorities shall be obliged to maintain a buyer ’s profile, which is a separate part of their electronic pages or of another internet address, for which publicity is provided. In the buyer's profile the following shall be published in the form of electronic documents: 1. all the decisions, notices and invitations, related to opening, awarding, fulfillment and termination of the public procurements; 2. the documentations for public procurements with the exception of the cases, in which because of technical reasons or such, related to protection of information, provision of unlimited, complete and direct access is impossibly through electronic means; 3. the explanations, provided by the contracting authorities in relation to public procurements; 4. the protocols and final reports of the commissions for conducting the procedures; 5. the contracts for public procurements and the framework agreements, including the Annexes to them; 6. additional agreements about amendments of the public procurement contracts and framework agreements; 7. notices for collecting offers and invitations to certain persons; 8. the opinions of the Public Procurement Agency in relation to realized preliminary control by it. The procedure and the terms for publication of the documents in the buyer ’ s profile shall be determined by the Rules on the implementation of the act. Furthermore, the contracting authority shall submit the decisions under Art. 22, Para. 1, p. 3 – 10 within 3 day term from their issuance. The decisions shall indicate the relation to the electronic file in the buyer ’ s profile, where the protocols and the final reports of the commission or of the jury have been published. (Public Procurement Act of 2016 (Prom. SG. 13/16 Feb 2016, suppl. SG. 34/3 May 2016) Articles 42 and 43)
Are contracts awarded within a framework agreement published (ie mini contracts)? Yes. The contracting authorities shall send for publishing a notice for awarding a procurement within the term up to 30 days after signing a contract for public procurement or a framework agreement. In cases of procurements awarded on the basis of a framework agreement the contracting authorities shall publish a summarized information about the signed contracts within the term of up to 30 days after the end of each quarterly. Additionally, Part C, Section I of Annex No 5 to Art. 23, Para. 5, p. 2, letter "b" - which covers the minimum information (that must be published in the EU Official Journal) that the notice for awarding the procurement must contain - provides that in multiple awarded procurements (separate positions, framework agreements with multiple contractors) the following information is provided for each awarded procurement: number of received offers, indicating a) number of offers, submitted by the participants – SMEs ; b) number of offers, submitted by foreign participants; c) number of received offers electronically. (Public Procurement Act of 2016 (Prom. SG. 13/16 Feb 2016, suppl. SG. 34/3 May 2016) Article 155 and provision n. 7 of Part C, Section I of Annex No 5 to Art. 23, Para. 5, p. 2, letter "b" )

Sub-contracting

Is it mandatory to publish information on subcontractors (ie names) in some cases? Yes. Where the participant, determined for contractor is not the contracting authority and must apply Para. 10 and 11 of Art. 175, he shall prepare an notice under a standard form, which shall contain at least the information under Annex No 18. The notice under Art. 175 Para. 2 shall be published in PPR and in the EU Official Journal, while observing Art. 156, Para. 2 and 3. In the cases under Para. 2 of Art. 175, the subcontractors shall be selected while observing the principles of transparency and competition. The applicants and participants shall indicate in the application or the offer the subcontractors and the part of the procurement, which will be awarded to them if they intend to use such. In this case they must produce an evidence for the undertaken obligations by the subcontractors. Subcontractors must meet the relevant selection criteria according to the type and part of the procurement, which they will fulfill and for them the grounds for removal from the procedure must not be present. The contracting authority shall request a change of a subcontractor, which fails to meet the appropriate conditions. (Public Procurement Act of 2016 (Prom. SG. 13/16 Feb 2016, suppl. SG. 34/3 May 2016) Article 66 (1) (2) (3), Article 174 (1) (4) and Article 175 (1) (2) (3) (4); Annex No 18 to Art. 175, Para. 2; Part C, Section I, 11, 15)
If yes, what is the threshold for publication (i.e. the % of total contract value subcontracted)? For example, if the threshold is 75%, and you have subcontracted out only 40% of your contract, no disclosure is required. Consultant will insert 75% in the short answer column.If yes, what is the threshold for publication (i.e. the % of total contract value subcontracted)? 0%. In the notice for public procurement, the contracting authority may determine a part of the public procurement, which may be fulfilled by subcontractors, by determining the minimal and maximum percentage of the procurement value, but not more than 30%. (Public Procurement Act of 2016 (Prom. SG. 13/16 Feb 2016, suppl. SG. 34/3 May 2016) Article 174 (1))

Evaluation

Preferential treatment

Is there a ban on mentioning specific companies or brands in tender specification/call for tender? Yes. The technical specifications must provide equal access of the applicants or participants to the procedure for awarding the public procurement and not create unreasonable obstacles before awarding the public procurement in conditions of competition. The technical specifications shall not contain a concrete model, source or specific process, which characterizes the products or services, offered by a concrete potential contractor, not a trade mark, patent, type or concrete origin or production, which would lead to advantage or elimination of certain persons or products. Upon exception, where it is impossible the procurements product to be described exactly enough and in an understandable way under Art. 48, Para. 1, it is admitted similar indication, where the words "or equivalent" shall be added. (Public Procurement Act of 2016 (Prom. SG. 13/16 Feb 2016, suppl. SG. 34/3 May 2016) Article 49 (1) (2))
Is there a preferential treatment for small-to-medium enterprises (SMEs)? No. There used to be preferential treatment for small and medium-sized enterprises, but it applied until the 1st day of January 2007. According to this provision, the price tendered by an SME shall be treated as the lowest if exceeding the lowest price by another candidate in public procurements awarded in 2004-2006. The Public Procurement Act of 2016, on the other hand, only makes reference to SMEs in Annex № 4 to Art. 23, Para 5 p. 2, letter "a", that covers aspects regarding notices of public contracting authorities. The provisions that mention SMEs state that information concerning the number of tenders received from economic operators which are SMEs, as well as whether the successful tenderer is an SME should be included in contract award notices. (Public Procurement Act of 2016 (Prom. SG. 13/16 Feb 2016, suppl. SG. 34/3 May 2016) Annex № 4 to Art. 23, Para 5 p. 2, letter "a", Part D, 10a, 12a and Part F, 11)
Is there a preferential treatment for local/national companies? (companies from other EU MS are considered foreign companies) No. The public procurements are awarded in compliance with the principles of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU) and more specially the ones for free movement of goods, freedom of establishment and freedom to provide services and mutual recognition, as well as the principles, comprising from them: 1. equality and non-admittance of discrimination; 2. free competition; 3. proportionality; 4. publicity and transparency. Moreover, any applicant or participant in a procedure for awarding public procurement may be any Bulgarian or foreign natural or legal person or their partnerships, as well as any other formation, which has the right to fulfill public works, supply or services under the legislation of the state in which it is established. (Public Procurement Act of 2016 (Prom. SG. 13/16 Feb 2016, suppl. SG. 34/3 May 2016) Article 2 (1), and Article 10 (1))
Is there a specific set of rules for green/sustainable procurement? Yes. The contracting authorities may include in the requirements for implementation of the procurement special conditions, related economic or social aspects of the implementation, innovations, environment protection or of employment.The contracting authority shall require form the participants to declare that their offers have been prepared while observing the obligations, related to taxes and securities, environment protection, employment protection and conditions at labour, which are in force in the country, or in the state where the public works is to be performed or the services to be provided and which are applicable to the public works or the provided services. Additionally, the contracting authority may define criteria, on the basis of which he may establish that the applicants or participant possess the needed human and technical resources, as well as with experience to fulfill the procurement while observing a suitable quality standard. In that sense, it may require from the applicant or participant to apply systems, standards and certain measures for environment protection, while fulfilling the procurement. In case that the contracting authority requires provision of certificates, which certify the compliance of the applicant or participant with certain systems or standards for environment protection, he shall indicate the ecological and audit scheme of the EU (EMAS) or the standards for protection of the environment through the relevant European or international standards. The contracting authority shall have the right to refer also to other systems for ecological management, recognized in compliance with Art. 45 of Regulation (EC) No 1221/2009 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 25 November 2009 on the voluntary participation by organisations in a Community eco-management and audit scheme (EMAS), repealing Regulation (EC) No 761/2001 and Commission Decisions 2001/681/EC and 2006/193/EC (OJ, L 342/1 of 22 December 2009), or other standards for ecological management, based on the relevant European or international standards of accredited bodies. Finally, an offer shall not be accepted, where it is found that the proposed price in it or costs are more than 20% more favorable than the average values of the relevant offers in the other offers, because norms and rules have not bee observed, related to environment protection, social and labour law, applicable collective agreements and/or provision of the international ecological, social and labour law, which are listed in Annex No 10. (Public Procurement Act of 2016 (Prom. SG. 13/16 Feb 2016, suppl. SG. 34/3 May 2016) Article 47 (1) (3), Article 63 (1) 6 and 11, Article 64 (4), Article 72 (4), Article 107 2b, Article 115, and Annex No 10 to Art. 115)

Bid evaluation

Are there restrictions on allowable grounds for tenderer exclusion? Yes. The contracting shall remove from participation in a procedure for awarding public procurement an applicant or participant, where: 1. he has been convicted with an enforced verdict, unless he has been rehabilitated for a crime under Art. 108a, Art. 159a – 159d, Art. 172, Art. 192a, Art. 194 - 217, Art. 219 - 252, Art. 253 - 260, Art . 301 – 307, Art. 321, 321a and Art. 352 – 353f of the Penal Code; 2. he has been convicted with an enforced verdict, unless he has been rehabilitated for a crime, analogical of the ones under p. 1 in another Member State or third state; 3. he has obligations for taxes and obligatory security contributions in the meaning of Art. 162, Para. 2, p. 1 of the Tax-Insurance Procedure Code and the interests on them, to the state or to the Municipality of the central office of the contracting authority and of the applicant or participant, or analogical obligations, established by an act of a competent body, under the legislation of the state, in which the applicant or participant has been established unless rescheduling has been admitted, delay or guaranty of the obligations or the obligation is under an act, which has not been enforced; 4. there is a inequality in the cases under Art. 44, Para. 5; 5. it has been established that: a) he has produced a document with untrue contents, related to certification of the lack of grounds for removal or fulfillment of the selection criteria; b) he has not produced required information, related to certifying lack of grounds for removal or fulfillment of the selection criteria; 6. it is established with an enforced penal decree or judicial decision that in fulfillment of a public procurement contract he has violated Art. 118, Art. 128, Art. 245 and Art. 301 - 305 о f the Labour Code, or analogical obligations, established by an act of a competent body, under the legislation of the state, in which the applicant or participant has been established; 7. there is conflict of interests, which cannot be removed. (2) The grounds under Para. 1, p. 1, 2 and 7 shall refer to the persons, who represent the participant of applicant, the members of management or supervision bodies, and to other persons, who have powers to exercise control in decision taking by these bodies. (3) Para. 1, p. 3 shall not apply, where: 1. it is needed to be protected especially important state or public interests; 2. the amount of the unpaid due taxes or social-security contributions is not more than 1% of the sum of the annual total turnover for the last finished financial year. Furthermore, Article 55 lists the grounds for un-obligatory tenderer exclusion. (Public Procurement Act of 2016 (Prom. SG. 13/16 Feb 2016, suppl. SG. 34/3 May 2016) Articles 54 and 55)
Are some bids automatically excluded? e.g., lowest/highest price; unusually low price, etc. No. This applies to abnormally low tenders. Where a proposal in an offer of a participant, related to price or costs, which is subject to evaluation, is by more than 20% more favorable than the average value of the offers of the other participants in the same evaluation indicator, the contracting authority shall require a detailed written justification about the way of its formation, which is produced within 5 day term from receiving the request. The received justification shall be evaluated in relation to its completeness and subjectivity concerning the circumstances under paragraph 2 of Article 72, to which the participant refers. If needed, from the participant may be required clarifying information. The justification may not be accepted and the participant be removed only where the produced evidences are not sufficient to justify the offered price or costs. Moreover, where the commission establishes that the tender of a tenderer is abnormally low because of non compliance with norms and rules related to environment protection, social and labour law, or even that the tenderer has obtained State aid on legal grounds which cannot be proven within the time limit as fixed, the commission may propose rejection of the tender and exclusion of the tenderer. (Public Procurement Act of 2016 (Prom. SG. 13/16 Feb 2016, suppl. SG. 34/3 May 2016) Article 72)
Is scoring criteria published? Yes. All the criteria applied in the evaluation of tenders, and where the criterion of the most economically advantageous tender applies, also the criteria for arrival at an integral evaluation, are explicitly mentioned at the contract notice, which is publicly available electronically and through the Official Journal of the EU. (Public Procurement Act of 2016 (Prom. SG. 13/16 Feb 2016, suppl. SG. 34/3 May 2016) Anne x № 4 to Ar t. 23, Para 5 p. 2, letter "a", Part B, 8, Part C, 18, )
Are decisions always made by a committee? Yes. The contracting authority shall appoint a commission for performing the selection, consideration and evaluation of the offers and conducting negotiation and dialogue. The commission shall contain odd number of members. In relation to the commission members, there should not be conflict of interest with the applicants or participants. The commission actions shall be recorded, where the results of its operation shall be reflected in a report. The commission decision shall be taken by majority of its members. Where a commission member is against the taken decision, he shall sign the record with reservation and shall attach his grounds in writing. The rules for the commission operation shall be determined by the Rules on the implementation of the act. Furthermore, in the procedure type 'competition for a project' the competition shall be conducted by jury, which shall be independent in decision taking or expressing opinions. In relation to the jury members, there should not be a conflict of interest with the applicants or participants. (Public Procurement Act of 2016 (Prom. SG. 13/16 Feb 2016, suppl. SG. 34/3 May 2016) Article 80 (7) and Article 103)
Are there regulations on evaluation committee composition to prevent conflict of interest? Yes. In relation to the commission members, there should not be conflict of interest with the applicants or participants. (Public Procurement Act of 2016 (Prom. SG. 13/16 Feb 2016, suppl. SG. 34/3 May 2016) Article 103 (2))
Is some part of evaluation committee mandatorily independent of contracting authority? No. Although it cannot be said that the evaluation committee is mandatorily independent of the contracting authority, the Public Procurement Act of 2016 does mention that in the 'competition for a project' procedure, the contracting authority shall award contracts in the areas of city and village public planning, architecture, engineering activity or data processing a plan or project, through an independent board on the basis of a conducted competition with or without awarding prices. The competition for a project may be open or restricted. The competition shall be conducted by jury, which shall be independent in decision taking or expressing opinions. In relation to the jury members, there should not be a conflict of interest with the applicants or participants. Moreover, the Act expressily states that in preparation of awarding a public procurement, the contracting authority may conduct market consultations, by searching advice from independent experts or bodies, or market players. (Public Procurement Act of 2016 (Prom. SG. 13/16 Feb 2016, suppl. SG. 34/3 May 2016) Articles 18 (8), 44 (1), 80 (7))
Are scoring results publicly available? Yes. The contracting authorities shall be liable for the correct forecasting, planning, conducting, finalization and accounting the results of the public procurement. Depending on the type and stage of the procedure, the contracting authorities shall issue, amongst others, the decision for grading the participants in a competition for a project and/or for awarding and/or other payments in a competition for a project. The procedures under the Public Procurement Act 2016 shall finish with a decision about: 1. determining a contractor upon a public procurement contract, including upon a contract, signed on the basis of a framework agreement, DSP or qualification system; 2. determining contractors upon a framework agreement; 3. grading of participants and/or awarding prices and/or other payments in a competition for a project; 4. termination of the procedure. Furthermore, when conducting an electronic tender, the contracting authority has to ensure that it shall be organized in a way which gives possibility to each participant to define his relative place in the grading at any moment. (Public Procurement Act of 2016 (Prom. SG. 13/16 Feb 2016, suppl. SG. 34/3 May 2016) Articles 5 (1), 22 (1) (5) 6.c) , 42, 90 (10) and 108)
Does the law specify under which conditions the tender can be cancelled? Yes. The contracting authority shall terminate the procedure with a grounded decision, where: 1. no offer, participation application, or competitive project has been submitted, or no participant for negotiations has appeared; 2. all the offers or participation applications do not meet the conditions for presentation, including for form, way and term, or are inappropriate; 3. all the competition projects do not meet the preliminary announced conditions by the contracting authority; 4. the first and second graded participants refuse to sign a contract; 5. violations have been found in its opening and conducting, which cannot be removed, without this changing the conditions, in which the procedure is announced; 6. because failure to fulfill some of the conditions under Art. 112, Para. 1, no public procurement contract shall be signed; 7. all the offers, which meet the preliminary announced conditions by the contracting authority exceed the financial resource, which he may provide; 8. the need for conducting the procedure or for awarding the contract falls as a result of a substantial change in the circumstances or in impossibility to be provided financing for fulfillment of the procurement because of reasons, which the contracting authority could not envisage; 9. substantial changes are needed in the conditions of the announced procurement, which would change the circle of the interested persons. The contracting authority may also terminate the procedure with a grounded decision, where: 1. only one offer, participation application or competition project has been submitted; 2. there is only one appropriate participation application or one suitable offer; 3. there is only one competition project, which meets the preliminary announced conditions by the contracting authority; 4. the participant, graded at the first place: a) refuses to sign a contract; b) fails to fulfill some of the conditions under Art. 112, Para. 1, or c) fails to prove that there are no grounds for removal from the procedure. (Public Procurement Act of 2016 (Prom. SG. 13/16 Feb 2016, suppl. SG. 34/3 May 2016) Article 110)

Open competition

CFT publication

Does the law specify the location for publicizing open calls for tenders? Yes. Public Procurement Register (PPR) and the "Official Journal" of the European Union (thresholds apply) (Public Procurement Act of 2016 (Prom. SG. 13/16 Feb 2016, suppl. SG. 34/3 May 2016) Articles 36 and 156)
Does the law specify the location for publicizing restricted calls for tenders? Yes. Public Procurement Register (PPR) and the "Official Journal" of the European Union (thresholds apply) (Public Procurement Act of 2016 (Prom. SG. 13/16 Feb 2016, suppl. SG. 34/3 May 2016) Articles 36 and 156)
Does the law specify the location for publicizing negotiated calls for tenders? Yes. Public Procurement Register (PPR) and the "Official Journal" of the European Union (thresholds apply) (Public Procurement Act of 2016 (Prom. SG. 13/16 Feb 2016, suppl. SG. 34/3 May 2016) Articles 36 and 156)

Minimum # of bidders

What is the minimum number of bidders for restricted procedures? 5. (Public Procurement Act of 2016 (Prom. SG. 13/16 Feb 2016, suppl. SG. 34/3 May 2016) Article 105 (3))
What is the minimum number of bidders for negotiated procedures? 3. (Public Procurement Act of 2016 (Prom. SG. 13/16 Feb 2016, suppl. SG. 34/3 May 2016) Article 105 (3))
What is the minimum number of bidders for competitive dialogue procedures? 3. (Public Procurement Act of 2016 (Prom. SG. 13/16 Feb 2016, suppl. SG. 34/3 May 2016) Article 105 (3))

Bidding period length

What are the minimum number of days for open procedures? 35. The minimum term for receiving offers in an open procedure shall be 35 days from the date of sending the public procurement notice for publication. (Public Procurement Act of 2016 (Prom. SG. 13/16 Feb 2016, suppl. SG. 34/3 May 2016) Article 74 (1))
What are the minimum number of days for restricted procedures? 30. The minimum term for receiving application for participation in a restricted procedure shall be 30 days from the date of submission of: 1. the public procurement notice for publication, or 2. invitation for confirmation of interest, where for notice of opening the procedure an notice of preliminary information has been used. The minimum term for receiving offers in a restricted procedure shall be 30 days from the date of submission of the invitation for sending offers (Public Procurement Act of 2016 (Prom. SG. 13/16 Feb 2016, suppl. SG. 34/3 May 2016) Article 75 (2))
What are the minimum number of days  for competitive negotiated procedures? 30. The minimal term for receiving of applications for participation in the procedure shall be 30 days from the date of sending: 1. the public procurement notice for publication, or 2. invitation for confirmation of interest – where for announcing the opening of the procedure an notice is used for preliminary information. The minimal term for receiving initial offers shall be 30 days from the date of submitting the invitation under Para. 4. (Public Procurement Act of 2016 (Prom. SG. 13/16 Feb 2016, suppl. SG. 34/3 May 2016) Article 76 (3))

Institutional arrangements

Institutions and regulations

Does the law specify the main EXCEPTIONS preventing the application of the Public Procurement Act for tenders/organisations? Yes. The act shall not apply: 1. to public procurement and competitions for a project, which must be awarded on rules, established in an international agreement, signed while observing the provision of TFEU, between the Republic of Bulgaria and one or more third countries or their autonomic areas for supply, services or public works of sites, intended for joint realization or exploitation by the parties, signed it; 2. to public procurement and competition for project, which are awarded under the rules of an international organization or international financing institution, where they are wholly financed by the relevant organization or institution; in public procurement and competition for a project, co-financed by more than 50% by an international organization or international financing institution, the parties negotiate the applicable procedure for awarding the procurements; 3. to public procurement and competition for a project, which are awarded in absence of procedures for awarding a public procurement, established by an international organization in its rules; 4. with acquiring or renting – notwithstanding what financial funds – of land, existing buildings or other immovable properties or right over them; 5. with procurements for buying programme time or provision of programmes, which are awarded to providers of media services; 6. in arbitrage and conciliation services; 7. to legal services, related to: a) representation of a client of a l a wy e r ’ s company or by a lawyer in arbitrage or conciliation procedure in a Member State, third state or before an international arbitrage or conciliating institution or in a procedure before the court, jurisdiction or public body of a Member State or third country or before international court, jurisdiction or institution; b) provision of legal advice by a l a wy e r ’ s company or by a lawyer in the preparation of a procedure under letter "a", as well as provision of legal advice on issued, which may become subject to the procedures under letter "a"; c) establishment and certification of documents, which are performed mandatory by a notary; d) provision by persons, determined by a court or competent body or under the law, where the fulfillment of the services is under the supervision of the court or the competent body; e) exercising function of state power, including services on judicial enforcement, provided by a bailiff; 8. with financial services, related to emitting, sale, purchase or transfer of securities or other financial instruments, including services, provided in relation to undertaking and management of the state debt, services, provided in relation to management of the system of a single account and fiscal reserve, services, provided by the Bulgarian National Bank, operations, carried out with the European Financial Stability Facility (EFSF) and the European Stability Mechanism; 9. for loans, notwithstanding if they are related to emitting, sale, purchase or transfer of securities or other financial instruments; 10. in labour legal relations in the meaning of § 1, p. 26 of the Additional Provisions of the Income Taxes on Natural Persons Act; 11. in services, related to the civil defence, civil protection and prevention of dangers, which are provided by non-profitable legal persons and which fall in the scope of codes of the CPV 75250000-3, 75251000-0, 75251100-1, 75251110-4, 75251120-7, 75252000-7, 75222000-8; 98113100-9 and 85143000-3 with exception of the services of ambulances for carriage of patients; 12. in public services for passenger carriage by railway transport or by underground, where they are awarded according to Regulation (EC) No 1370/2007 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 23 October 2007 on public passenger transport services by rail and by road and repealing Council Regulations (EEC) Nos 1191/69 and 1107/70 (OJ, L 315/1 of 3 December 2007); 13. in public procurements and competition for a project, related to the defence and security areas, for which the provision of Part Four shall not apply: a) awarding of which is related to provision of information, whose disclosure contradicts to the basic interests of the country security, under Art. 345, Para. 1, letter "a" of the TFEU, or b) where the contracting authority is obliged to award and/or organize the procurement in specific procedure rules under international agreements or contracts, signed while observing the provision of TFEU between the Republic of Bulgaria on one part and one or more third parties, or their autonomous areas - on the other for supply, services or public works, intended for joint realization or exploitation by the signed parties, or c) awarded to undertakings of a Member State or of a third country in fulfillment of international agreement or contracts, related to deployment of troops, or d) where the contracting authority is obliged to award them or organize in compliance with rules, established by an international organization, or e) awarded under rules of an international organization or international financing institution, where they are thoroughly financed by the relevant organization or institution; in public procurement and competitions for a project, co-financed by more than 50% from an international organization or international financing institution, the parties shall negotiate the applicable procedure for awarding the procurement, or f) where the protection of basic interests, related to security of the country cannot be guaranteed through setting requirements, directed to protection of the information, which the contracting authority must produce in a procedure of awarding a public procurement under this act or through other measures with smaller level of intervention, or g) the fulfillment of which is accompanied by special security measures in compliance with the legislation in force in view to protection of basic interests of the country security; 14. in public procurement for services, awarded by contracting authority to a public contracting authority or of partnership of such contracting authorities which have exclusive rights for provision of the relevant service under a compatible act, legislative normative act or published administrative act with the provisions of the TFEU; 15. for procurement for services for scientific research and development activity, where some of the following conditions is not fulfilled: a) the benefits occur wholly for the contracting authority in order to use them while performing its activity; b) the provided service is paid thoroughly by the contracting authority; 16. for the services under obligatory social security; 17. for insurance contracts, covering liability for nuclear damage in implementing the Vienna Convention on Civil Liability for Nuclear Damage, drawn up in Vienna on 21 September 1988 ( ratified by an act – SG, 64/1994) (publ. – SG, 76/1994; corr. 91/1994) and of the Safe Use of Nuclear Power Act; 18. (new - SG 34/16) contracts for services, supplies or construction works, concluded by a contracting authority under Art. 7, items 1 and 5, related to construction of engineering facilities hindering border crossings in order to protect state borders. (Public Procurement Act of 2016 (Prom. SG. 13/16 Feb 2016, suppl. SG. 34/3 May 2016) Articles 13, 14 and 15)
Does the law specify the main types of institutions that must apply the Public Procurement Act? Yes. Public contracting authorities shall be: 1. the President of the Republic of Bulgaria; 2. the President of the National Assembly; 3. the Prime Minister; 4. the Ministers; 5. the Ombudsman of the republic of Bulgaria; 6. The Governor of the Bulgarian National Bank; 7. the President of the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Bulgaria, the administrative heads of the judiciary bodies, which govern independent budgets, as well as the administrative heads of Prosecutions in the Country; 8. the Regional Governors; 9. Municipality Mayors, of regions, of City Halls, as well as Deputy Mayors, where they are budgetary spending units; 10. the Chairpersons of state agencies; 11. the Chairpersons of the state commissions; 12. the Executive Directors of executive agencies; 13. heads of state institutions, established by an act or a Council of Ministers Decree, including separate structures of the executive, where they are legal persons and budgetary spending units; 14. representatives of public-legal organizations; 15. heads of diplomatic and counselor representations of the Republic of Bulgaria abroad, as well as the permanent representations of the Republic of Bulgaria at the international organizations; 16. the representing medical establishments – trade companies under Art. 36 – 37 of the Medical Establishments Act, owned by the state and/or municipalities, of which more than 50% of the revenues are from the state and/or the municipal budget, and of the budget of the National Healthinsurance Fund; 17. heads of central bodies for purchases, established for satisfaction of the needs of the public contracting authorities. (Public Procurement Act of 2016 (Prom. SG. 13/16 Feb 2016, suppl. SG. 34/3 May 2016) Article 5)
Does the law specify the main procedure types or procurement methods permitted? Yes. Public procurements covered under Article 18 (1) of the Public Procurement Act of 2016 shall be awarded by means of conduct of: 1. open procedure; 2. restricted procedure; 3. competition procedure with agreement; 4. agreement with preliminary calls for participation; 5. negotiation with publication of call for procurement; 6. competition dialogue; 7. partnership for innovations; 8. agreement without preliminary call of proposals; 9. agreements without preliminary call for participation; 10. agreement without publication of call for procurement; 11. competition for a project; 12. public competition; 13. direct agreement. (Public Procurement Act of 2016 (Prom. SG. 13/16 Feb 2016, suppl. SG. 34/3 May 2016) Article 18 (1))
Is there a procurement arbitration court dedicated to public procurement cases? No. Every decision of the contracting authorities shall be subject of appeal under Chapter Twenty-Seven of the Public Procurement Act 2016 in a procedure for: 1. awarding a public procurement, including by signing a framework agreement, dynamic system for purchases or qualification systems; 2. signing a framework agreement; 3. creating a dynamic system for purchases or qualification systems; 4. competition for a project. The decisions under paragraph 1 of Article 196 shall be appealed before the Competition Protection Commission about their legality, including for presence of discrimination, economic, financial, technical or qualification requirements in the notice, documentation or in every other document, related to the procedure. Furthermore, the Competition Protection Commission decision shall be subject to appeal before the 3 judge panel of the Supreme Administrative Court within 14 day term from its notification of the parties (Public Procurement Act of 2016 (Prom. SG. 13/16 Feb 2016, suppl. SG. 34/3 May 2016) Articles 196 (1) (3) and 216 (1))
Is there a procurement regulatory body dedicated to public procurement? Yes. The Minister of Finance shall carry out the state policy in the area of public procurements through the Public Procurement Agency (the “Agency”) which shall be a legal person at budgetary spending with central office in Sofia. The Agency shall be directed and represented by executive director, who shall be appointed by the Minister of Finance. (Public Procurement Act of 2016 (Prom. SG. 13/16 Feb 2016, suppl. SG. 34/3 May 2016) Article 227 and 228)
Does the law specify procurement advisors' profession (i.e. degree to be obtained, official list of members of the professional association) and its role in the tendering process (e.g. right to draft tender documentations, conduct market research identifying bidders)? No. The Act only mentions that the contracting authority shall appoint a commission for performing the selection, consideration and evaluation of the offers and conducting negotiation and dialogue. The Act further states that the commission shall contain an odd number of members, who should not have any conflict of interest with the applicants or participants. (Public Procurement Act of 2016 (Prom. SG. 13/16 Feb 2016, suppl. SG. 34/3 May 2016) Article 103)
Is disclosure of final, beneficial owners required for placing a bid? No. (No mention in law)

Complaints

Is there a fee for arbitration procedure? Yes. For the procedures under Chapter Twenty Seven before the Competition Protection Commission and before the Supreme Administrative Court state fees and costs shall be due. The state fees shall be defined by a tariff, approved by the Council of Ministers. (Public Procurement Act of 2016 (Prom. SG. 13/16 Feb 2016, suppl. SG. 34/3 May 2016) Article 220 (1))
Is there a ban on contract signature until arbitration court decision (first instance court)? Yes. An appeal against a decision, action or lack of action of the contracting authority with the exception of the ones against the decision for selection of a contractor, shall not stop the awarding procedure of a public procurement, unless where a temporary measure of "termination of the procedure" has been requested. Where with the appeal the temporary measure under paragraph 1 of Article 203 is requested, the procedure for awarding the public procurement shall stop by the enforcement of: 1. the determination, by which the request for a temporary measure is rejected, or 2. the decision on the appeal, if the temporary measure has been imposed. An appeal against the decision of selection of a contractor shall stop the procedure for awarding a public procurement by the final settlement of the dispute, unless where a preliminary fulfillment is admitted, or where the decision has been taken in a procedure, opened under Art. 79, Para. 1, p. 4, Art. 138, Para. 1, Art. 164, Para. 1, p. 3 and 4, or Art. 182, Para. 1, p. 1. (Public Procurement Act of 2016 (Prom. SG. 13/16 Feb 2016, suppl. SG. 34/3 May 2016) Article 203 (1) (3) (4))
What is the maximum number of days until arbitration court decision from filing a complaint in the case of awarded contracts? 30. The Competition Protection Commission shall pronounce on the appeal within 1 month term from formation of the procedure for public procurement at the value of Art. 20, Para. 1 and in the remaining cases – within 15 day term from formation of the procedure. The decision with the grounds shall be drawn up and shall be announced within 7 day term latest from pronunciation on the appeal. (Public Procurement Act of 2016 (Prom. SG. 13/16 Feb 2016, suppl. SG. 34/3 May 2016) Article 212)
Is there a requirement to publicly release arbitration court decisions ? Yes. The contracting authorities shall be obliged to notify the Public Procurement Agency about the result from the appeal in the cases under Art. 221, Para. 3, p. 2 within 7 days from the enforcement of the decision of the Competition Protection Commission. On the other hand, where the procedure to which the notification refers under Art. 221, Para. 1 has been terminated with an enforced decision and a new procedure has been opened related thoroughly or partially with the same subject, within 3 days from opening the procedure. (Public Procurement Act of 2016 (Prom. SG. 13/16 Feb 2016, suppl. SG. 34/3 May 2016) Article 222 (1))

Qualitative data for 2017


Legislation

Public Procurement Act of 2004, amended 2014 (English)pdf
Public Procurement Act of 2004, amended 2015 (English)pdf
Public Procurement Act 2016 (English)pdf
Implementing Regulations of the Bulgarian PP law 2006 as amended 2014 (Bulgarian)pdf
Implementing Regulations of the Bulgarian PP law 2016 (Bulgarian)pdf