EUROPAM

European Public Accountability Mechanisms

Bulgaria

Country score (European Average*)
  • 92(67) Political Financing
  • 84(50) Financial Disclosure
  • 69(41) Conflict of Interest
  • 75(56) Freedom of Information
  • 74(65) Public Procurement

Country Facts

IncomeUpper middle
GNI per capita (2011 PPP $)16,790
Population, total7,177,991
Urban population (% of total)73.9
Internet users (per 100 people)55.5
Life expectancy at birth (years)74.3
Mean years of schooling (years)10.6
Global Competitiveness Index4.3
Sources: World Bank, UNDP, WEF.

Political Financing

The Election Code 2013, Politicial Parties Act 2009 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

201220152016Trend
Bans and limits on private income9292100
Public funding757562
Regulations on spending100100100
Reporting, oversight and sanctions100100100

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 2015)
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. funds from foreign individuals, except for individuals - citizens of another country - member of the European Union which have voting rights in the Code; 5. funds from foreign governments or foreign state enterprises, foreign companies or foreign non-profit organizations. (Art. 168.1 (3-5) Election Code 2014. amended 2015)

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 2015)
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 2015)
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 2015)
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 2015)
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 2015)
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 2015)

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 2015)
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 2015. Article 49 Labour Code)

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 2015)
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 2015)

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 Sour ces 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 2015 Art. 162 and 167.3 Election Code 2014. amended 2015)
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 2015 Article 168.3 Election Code 2014, amended 2015)

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 2015)
Is there a limit on the amount a donor can contribute to a political party in relation to an election? Yes. Art. 167. (1) donation from an individual for a party or coalition may not exceed more than 10 000 lev for one calendar year. (2) donation from an individual to an initiative committee for registration candidate, respectively candidates may not exceed more than 10 000 lev (Art. 167 Election Code 2014, amended 2015)
Is there a limit on the amount a donor can contribute to a candidate? Yes. Art. 167. (1) donation from an individual for a party or coalition may not exceed more than 10 000 lev for one calendar year. (2) donation from an individual to an initiative committee for registration candidate, respectively candidates may not exceed more than 10 000 lev (Article 167 Election Code 2014, amended 2015)

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 2015)
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 2015)
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 2015)
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 2015)
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 2015 & 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 2015 & 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 2015)
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 2015)
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 municipalities rent to political parties that have a parliamentary group or a sufficient number of MPs to form such facilities to carry out their activities. ( Art. 31 (1) Political Parties Act, 2005, amended 2015 )
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 campaign materials contain information that buying and selling votes is a crime, the information takes no less than 10 percent of the face area of campaign materials and is located in a separate area. In audio and audio-visual materials that information is as clear and understandable message. Vote bying is a criminal offence (Article 183(2) Election Code 2014. amended 2015 Art. 167-168 Criminal Code, 1968, amended 2015)
Are there bans on state resources being used in favour or against a political party or candidate? Yes. Art. 168.3 In connection with the election campaign shall be prohibited free use of a public administrative resource. Art. 183.2 shall not be allowed canvassing in state and municipal agencies, institutions, state and municipal enterprises and companies with more than 50 per cent state or municipal participation in the capital. (Article 168.3 and 183.2 Election Code 2014. amended 2015)
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 2015)
Are there limits on the amount a candidate can spend? Yes. Limitis depends on the type of election (Article 165 Election Code, 2014, amended 2015)

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 2015)
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 2015)
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 2015)
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 2015 Article 172 (5) Election Code, 2014, amended 2015 )
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 2015 Article 171 (1) Election Code 2014. amended 2015 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 2015 Article 172 Election Code 2014. amended 2015)
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 2015 Art. 172 Election Code 2014. amended 2015)
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 2015)
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 2015)
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 2015)
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 2015)
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 2015 Chapter 6 Political Parties Act, 2005, amended 2015)
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 2015)
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 2015)
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 2015)
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 2016


Legislation

Political Parties Act, 2005, amended 2015 (Bulgarian)pdf
Election Code, 2014, amended 2015 (Bulgarian)pdf
Criminal Code, 1968, amended 2015 (Bulgarian)pdf
Labour Code, 1987, amended 2015 (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 2007) 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 2014) makes fewer requirements for Civil Servants, with them only having to declare income from outside employment. For all public officials, the Conflict of Interest Prevention and Ascertainment Act (2008, last amended 2010) 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. All financial declarations are published on the website of the corresponding depository body upon authorization within set time-frames. 


Quantitative Data

Primary Metric

201220152016Trend
Disclosure items776969
Filing frequency949494
Sanctions100100100
Monitoring and Oversight888181
Public access to declarations697575

Alternative Metric

201220152016Trend
Head of State929292
Ministers929292
Members of Parliament929292
Civil servants655959

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 2015))
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 2015))
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 2015))
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 2015))
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 2015))
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 500. (Art. 3 (1) 5 Public Disclosure of Senior Public Official's Financial Interests Act (2000, last amended 2015))
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 2015))
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 2015))
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 2015))
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 2015))
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 2015))
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 one month before assuming office. A person holding a public office shall submit a declaration of conflicts of interest under article 12, paragraph 1 within 7 days of his/her selection for the office. (Art. 4(1)1, Public Disclosure of Senior Public Official's Financial Interests Act (2000, last amended 2015) Art. 13 Conflict of Interest Prevention and Ascertainment Act (2008, last amended 2015))
Filing required upon leaving office Yes. Income and assets must be disclosed upon leaving office. (Art. 4(1)1, Public Disclosure of Senior Public Official's Financial Interests Act (2000, last amended 2015))
Filing required annually Yes. Income and asset declarations must be submitted annually. (Art. 4(1)1, Public Disclosure of Senior Public Official's Financial Interests Act (2000, last amended 2015))
Ad hoc filing required upon change in assets or conflicts of interest Yes. Further information upon changes in income and assets may be submitted, but it is not a requirement. A person holding a public office shall submit a declaration of conflicts of interest under Article 12, para. 3 within 7 days of the occurrence of the change and where he/she has a private interest with regards to fulfillment of his/her right or obligation related to the office. (Articles 4(4) and 4(6) of the Public Disclosure of Senior Public Official's Financial Interests Act (2000, last amended 2015) Article 15 and 16 Conflict of Interest Prevention and Ascertainment Act (2008, last amended 2015))

Sanctions

Sanctions stipulated for late filing (fines, administrative, and/or criminal) Yes. Financial Disclosure: 1000-1500 BGN, 2500-5000 for repeated violation; Conflict of Interest: 1000-3000 BGN, 3000-5000 BGN for repeated violation (Art. 8 Public Disclosure of Senior Public Official's Financial Interests Act (2000, last amended 2007); Art. 34 Conflict of Interest Prevention and Ascertainment Act (2008, last amended 2015))
Sanctions stipulated for non-filing (fines, administrative, and/or criminal) Yes. Non-filing shall be punished by fines. (Articles 35, 36 and 37 Conflict of Interest Prevention and Ascertainment Act (2008, last amended 2015))
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 2015))

Monitoring and Oversight

Depository body explicitly identified Yes. The depository body is the Chairperson of the Audit Office. (Art 5 Public Disclosure of Senior Public Official's Financial Interests Act (2000, last amended 2015))
Enforcement body explicitly identified Yes. The Chairperson of the Audit Office is the body in charge of the execution of the Public Disclosure of Senior Public Official's Financial Interests Act of 2000. (Art 5 Public Disclosure of Senior Public Official's Financial Interests Act (2000, amended 2015))
Some agency assigned responsibility for verifying submission Yes. The National Audit Office is tasked with verifying submissions. (Art 7 Public Disclosure of Senior Public Official's Financial Interests Act (2000, last amended 2007))
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. (Art 7 Public Disclosure of Senior Public Official's Financial Interests Act (2000, last amended 2015))

Public access to declarations

Public availability Yes. Income and asset declarations are publicly available upon authorization. The declarations of interests shall be published on the internet web-page of the depository public bodies. (Art 6 Public Disclosure of Senior Public Official's Financial Interests Act (2000, last amended 2015) Art 17 Conflict of Interest Prevention and Ascertainment Act (2008, last amended 2015))
Timing of information release specified No. Absent from legal framework.
Location(s) of access specified Yes. Income and asset declarations are available in the public register which is established with the Chairperson of the Audit Office. Declarations of interests shall be published on the internet web-page of the depository public bodies. (Art 3 and 5 of the Public Disclosure of Senior Public Official's Financial Interests Act (2000, last amended 2015) Art 17 Conflict of Interest Prevention and Ascertainment Act (2008, last amended 2015))
Cost of access specified Yes. Income and asset declarations are available in the public register which is established with the Chairperson of the Audit Office. Declarations of interests shall be published on the internet web-page of the depository public bodies. (Art 3 and 5 of the Public Disclosure of Senior Public Official's Financial Interests Act (2000, last amended 2015) Art 17 Conflict of Interest Prevention and Ascertainment Act (2008, last amended 2015))

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 2015))
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 2015))
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 2015))
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 2015))
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 2015))
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 500. (Art. 3 (1) 5 Public Disclosure of Senior Public Official's Financial Interests Act (2000, last amended 2015))
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 2015))
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 2015))
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 2015))
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 2015))
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 2015))
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 one month before assuming office. A person holding a public office shall submit a declaration of conflicts of interest under article 12, paragraph 1 within 7 days of his/her selection for the office. (Art. 4(1)1, Public Disclosure of Senior Public Official's Financial Interests Act (2000, last amended 2015) Art. 13 Conflict of Interest Prevention and Ascertainment Act (2008, last amended 2015))
Filing required upon leaving office Yes. Income and assets must be disclosed upon leaving office. (Art. 4(1)1, Public Disclosure of Senior Public Official's Financial Interests Act (2000, last amended 2015))
Filing required annually Yes. Income and asset declarations must be submitted annually. (Art. 4(1)1, Public Disclosure of Senior Public Official's Financial Interests Act (2000, last amended 2015))
Ad hoc filing required upon change in assets or conflicts of interest Yes. Further information upon changes in income and assets may be submitted, but it is not a requirement. A person holding a public office shall submit a declaration of conflicts of interest under Article 12, para. 3 within 7 days of the occurrence of the change and where he/she has a private interest with regards to fulfillment of his/her right or obligation related to the office. (Articles 4(4) and 4(6) of the Public Disclosure of Senior Public Official's Financial Interests Act (2000, last amended 2015) Article 15 and 16 Conflict of Interest Prevention and Ascertainment Act (2008, last amended 2015))

Sanctions

Sanctions stipulated for late filing (fines, administrative, and/or criminal) Yes. Financial Disclosure: 1000-1500 BGN, 2500-5000 for repeated violation; Conflict of Interest: 1000-3000 BGN, 3000-5000 BGN for repeated violation (Art. 8 Public Disclosure of Senior Public Official's Financial Interests Act (2000, last amended 2015); Art. 34 Conflict of Interest Prevention and Ascertainment Act (2008, last amended 2015))
Sanctions stipulated for non-filing (fines, administrative, and/or criminal) Yes. Non-filing shall be punished by fines. (Articles 35, 36 and 37 Conflict of Interest Prevention and Ascertainment Act (2008, last amended 2015))
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 2015))

Monitoring and Oversight

Depository body explicitly identified Yes. The depository body is the Chairperson of the Audit Office. (Art 5 Public Disclosure of Senior Public Official's Financial Interests Act (2000, last amended 2015))
Enforcement body explicitly identified Yes. The Chairperson of the Audit Office is the body in charge of the execution of the Public Disclosure of Senior Public Official's Financial Interests Act of 2000. (Art 5 Public Disclosure of Senior Public Official's Financial Interests Act (2000, amended 2015))
Some agency assigned responsibility for verifying submission Yes. The National Audit Office is tasked with verifying submissions. (Art 7 Public Disclosure of Senior Public Official's Financial Interests Act (2000, last amended 2015))
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. (Art 7 Public Disclosure of Senior Public Official's Financial Interests Act (2000, last amended 2015))

Public access to declarations

Public availability Yes. Income and asset declarations are publicly available upon authorization. The declarations of interests shall be published on the internet web-page of the depository public bodies. (Art 6 Public Disclosure of Senior Public Official's Financial Interests Act (2000, last amended 2015) Art 17 Conflict of Interest Prevention and Ascertainment Act (2008, last amended 2015))
Timing of information release specified No. Absent from legal framework.
Location(s) of access specified Yes.
Cost of access specified Yes. Income and asset declarations are available in the public register which is established with the Chairperson of the Audit Office. Declarations of interests shall be published on the internet web-page of the depository public bodies. (Art 3 and 5 of the Public Disclosure of Senior Public Official's Financial Interests Act (2000, last amended 2015) Art 17 Conflict of Interest Prevention and Ascertainment Act (2008, last amended 2015))

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 2015))
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 2015))
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 2015))
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 2015))
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 2015))
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 500. (Art. 3 (1) 5 Public Disclosure of Senior Public Official's Financial Interests Act (2000, last amended 2015))
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 2015))
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 2015))
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 2015))
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 2015))
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 2015))
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 one month before assuming office. A person holding a public office shall submit a declaration of conflicts of interest under article 12, paragraph 1 within 7 days of his/her selection for the office. (Art. 4(1)1, Public Disclosure of Senior Public Official's Financial Interests Act (2000, last amended 2015) Art. 13 Conflict of Interest Prevention and Ascertainment Act (2008, last amended 2015))
Filing required upon leaving office Yes. Income and assets must be disclosed upon leaving office. (Art. 4(1)1, Public Disclosure of Senior Public Official's Financial Interests Act (2000, last amended 2015))
Filing required annually Yes. Income and asset declarations must be submitted annually. (Art. 4(1)1, Public Disclosure of Senior Public Official's Financial Interests Act (2000, last amended 2015))
Ad hoc filing required upon change in assets or conflicts of interest Yes. Further information upon changes in income and assets may be submitted, but it is not a requirement. A person holding a public office shall submit a declaration of conflicts of interest under Article 12, para. 3 within 7 days of the occurrence of the change and where he/she has a private interest with regards to fulfillment of his/her right or obligation related to the office. (Articles 4(4) and 4(6) of the Public Disclosure of Senior Public Official's Financial Interests Act (2000, last amended 2015) Article 15 and 16 Conflict of Interest Prevention and Ascertainment Act (2008, last amended 2015))

Sanctions

Sanctions stipulated for late filing (fines, administrative, and/or criminal) Yes. Financial Disclosure: 1000-1500 BGN, 2500-5000 for repeated violation; Conflict of Interest: 1000-3000 BGN, 3000-5000 BGN for repeated violation (Art. 8 Public Disclosure of Senior Public Official's Financial Interests Act (2000, last amended 2015); Art. 34 Conflict of Interest Prevention and Ascertainment Act (2008, last amended 2015))
Sanctions stipulated for non-filing (fines, administrative, and/or criminal) Yes. Non-filing shall be punished by fines. (Articles 35, 36 and 37 Conflict of Interest Prevention and Ascertainment Act (2008, last amended 2015))
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 2015))

Monitoring and Oversight

Depository body explicitly identified Yes. The depository body is the Chairperson of the Audit Office. (Art 5 Public Disclosure of Senior Public Official's Financial Interests Act (2000, last amended 2015))
Enforcement body explicitly identified Yes. The Chairperson of the Audit Office is the body in charge of the execution of the Public Disclosure of Senior Public Official's Financial Interests Act of 2000. (Art 5 Public Disclosure of Senior Public Official's Financial Interests Act (2000, amended 2015))
Some agency assigned responsibility for verifying submission Yes. The National Audit Office is tasked with verifying submissions. (Art 7 Public Disclosure of Senior Public Official's Financial Interests Act (2000, last amended 2015))
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. (Art 7 Public Disclosure of Senior Public Official's Financial Interests Act (2000, last amended 2015))

Public access to declarations

Public availability Yes. Income and asset declarations are publicly available upon authorization. The declarations of interests shall be published on the internet web-page of the depository public bodies. (Art 6 Public Disclosure of Senior Public Official's Financial Interests Act (2000, last amended 2015) Art 17 Conflict of Interest Prevention and Ascertainment Act (2008, last amended 2015))
Timing of information release specified No. Absent from legal framework.
Location(s) of access specified Yes.
Cost of access specified Yes. Income and asset declarations are available in the public register which is established with the Chairperson of the Audit Office. Declarations of interests shall be published on the internet web-page of the depository public bodies. (Art 3 and 5 of the Public Disclosure of Senior Public Official's Financial Interests Act (2000, last amended 2015) Art 17 Conflict of Interest Prevention and Ascertainment Act (2008, last amended 2015))

Civil servants

Disclosure items

Spouses and children included in disclosure No. Absent from legal framework.
Income and Assets
Real estate No. Absent from legal framework.
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 assumption of position, each civil servant shall be obligated to disclose the financial interests thereof to the appointing authority.(2) Annually, on or before the 30th day of April, each civil servant shall be obligated to disclose to the appointing authority the financial interests thereof, as well as the remunerations received during the last preceding calendar year in connection with the performance of work outside the civil-service relationship, the grounds for the receipt of the said remunerations, as well as the commissioning entity/employer who paid them (Art. 29 Civil Servants Act, 1999 (last amended 2015))
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 2015))
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 2015))
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 2015))
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 2015))
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 2015))
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. Civil servants must submit income and asset declarations upon assumption of position. A person holding a public office shall submit a declaration under article 12 (1) within 7 days of his/her selection for the office. (Article 29 Civil Servants Act, 1999 (last amended 2015) Article 13 Conflict of Interest Prevention and Ascertainment Act (2008, last amended 2015))
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. (Article 29 of the Civil Servants Act, 1999 (last amended 2015))
Ad hoc filing required upon change in assets or conflicts of interest Yes. A person holding a public office shall submit a declaration of conflicts of interest under Article 12, para. 3 within 7 days of the occurrence of the change and where he/she has a private interest with regards to fulfillment of his/her right or obligation related to the office. (Article 15 and 16 Conflict of Interest Prevention and Ascertainment Act (2008, last amended 2015))

Sanctions

Sanctions stipulated for late filing (fines, administrative, and/or criminal) Yes. A person holding a public office who fails to file a declaration under Article 12 and within the term provided in the law shall be punished by a fine of between 1000 and 3000 BGN. If the violation is repeated, the fine will be between 3000 and 5000 BGN. (Art. 34 Conflict of Interest Prevention and Ascertainment Act (2008, last amended 2015))
Sanctions stipulated for non-filing (fines, administrative, and/or criminal) Yes. Non-filing shall be punished by fines. (Articles 35, 36 and 37 of the Prevention and Disclosure of Conflict of Interest Act (2008, amended 2015))
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 2015))

Monitoring and Oversight

Depository body explicitly identified Yes. The depository body is the appointing authority. (Article 29 of the Civil Servants Act, 1999 (last amended 2015))
Enforcement body explicitly identified No. Absent from legal framework.
Some agency assigned responsibility for verifying submission No. Absent from legal framework.
Some agency assigned responsibility for verifying accuracy No. Absent from legal framework.

Public access to declarations

Public availability Yes. The declarations of interests shall be published on the internet web-page of the depository public bodies. (Article 17 of the Conflict of Interest Prevention and Ascertainment Act (2008, last amended 2015))
Timing of information release specified No. Absent from legal framework.
Location(s) of access specified Yes. Declarations of interests shall be published on the internet web-page of the depository public bodies. (Article 17 of the Conflict of Interest Prevention and Ascertainment Act (2008, last amended 2015))
Cost of access specified Yes. Declarations of interests shall be published on the internet web-page of the depository public bodies. (Art 17 Conflict of Interest Prevention and Ascertainment Act (2008, last amended 2015))

Qualitative data for 2016


Legislation

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

Conflict of Interest

Both the Bulgarian Constitution (1991, last amended in 2007) and the Conflict of Interest Prevention and Ascertainment Act (2009, as last amended in 2010) 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

201220152016Trend
Restrictions527777
Sanctions674242
Monitoring and Oversight508888

Alternative Metric

201220152016Trend
Head of State496060
Ministers628282
Members of Parliament527979
Civil servants625454

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 2010 Article 145(2) of the Rules of Organisation and Procedure of the National Assembly (2014, last amended 2015))
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 2010)
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 2010)
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 2010)
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 Constitution (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 Constitution (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 Constitution (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 2010)
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 2010)

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 2010)
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 2010)
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 2010)
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 2010)
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 2010)
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 2010)
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 2010)
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 2010)

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 2010)
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 Constitution (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 Constitution (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 Constitution (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 Constitution (1991, last amended in 2007) Article 14(1) of the Conflict of Interest Prevention and Ascertainment Act 2008, amended 2010)
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 2010)
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 Constitution (1991, last amended in 2007))
Participating in official decision-making processes that affect private interests 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 2010)
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 2010)
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 2010)
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 2010)
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 2010)

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, last amended 2015))
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, last amended 2015))
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, last amended 2015))
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, last amended 2015))
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, last amended 2015))

Qualitative data for 2016


Legislation

Civil Servants Act, 1999, amended 2015 (English)pdf
Code of Conduct for employees of the state, 2004 (English)pdf
Conflict of Interest Prevention and Ascertainment Act 2008, amended 2010 (English)pdf
Constitution, 1991, amended in 2007 (English)pdf
Rules of Organisation and Procedure of the National Assembly, 2014, amended 2015 (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 2011) 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) 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

201220152016Trend
Scope and Coverage939393
Information access and release100100100
Exceptions and Overrides676767
Sanctions for non-compliance676767
Monitoring and Oversight505050

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 2011)
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 2011)

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 2011)
Judicial branch Yes. (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)
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 2011)
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 2007)
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 2007 Articles 37 and 38 of the Law on Statutory Instruments, 1973, amended 2007 Article 78 of the Administrative Procedure Code, 2006, amended 2014 Article 12 of the Access to Public Information Act, 2000, amended 2011 )
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)
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 2011)
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 of the reports on the government entities and their administrations. 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 2011 Article 62 of the Administration Act, 1998, amended 2015)

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 2011)
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 2011)
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 2011)
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 2011)

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 2011 )
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 2011 )
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 2011 )

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 2015)
Existence of personal privacy/data law Yes. Personal Data Protection Act, 2002, amended 2015 (Personal Data Protection Act, 2002, amended 2015)
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 2011)
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 2011)

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 2011 Articles 13-16 & 28(3) of the Administrative Procedure Code, 2006, amended 2014)
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, under the 2000 Act, the fines range from 50 to 200 leva, depending upon who violated the law. And, under the 2006 Code, the fines range from 50 to 1,000 leva. (Article 42 of Access to Public Information Act, 2000, amended 2011 Article 302 of the Administrative Procedure Code, 2006, amended 2014)
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 2011 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. (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 – by the respective agency, and if the responsible person is one described in art. 3, subart. 2 by the Minister of Justice or an authorized official; 4. under art. 42, subart. 4 by the Minister of Justice or an authorized official. (Article 43 of the Access to Public Information Act, 2000, amended 2011)
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 summary of the reports on the obliged bodies and their administrations, containing the information under art. 15., as well as other information related to the implementation of this act, shall be part of the Report of the State of the Administration which is adopted by the Council of Ministers. (2) The summary under Paragraph 1 shall be published annually on the web site of the Council of Ministers. This information shall be made available in every administration for review by the citizens. (Article 16 of the Access to Public Information Act, 2000, amended 2011)

Qualitative data for 2016


Legislation

Constitution, 1991, amended 2015 (Bulgarian)pdf
Access to Public Information Act, 2000, amended 2015 (Bulgarian)pdf
Law on Statutory Instruments, 1973, amended 2007 (Bulgarian)pdf
Administrative Procedure Code, 2006, amended 2014 (English)pdf
Administration Act, 1998, amended 2015 (Bulgarian)pdf
Public Finance Act, 2014, amended 2015 (Bulgarian)pdf
Protection of Classified Information Act, 2002, amended 2015 (Bulgarian)pdf
Personal Data Protection Act, 2002, amended 2015 (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 20000 (ca. EUR 10000) for goods, but it is not mandatory below BGN 66000

BGN 60000 (ca. EUR 30000) for works, but it is not mandatory below BGN 264000

BGN 20000 (ca. EUR 10000) for services, but it is not mandatory below BGN 66000

The minimum number of bidders is 5 for restricted procedures and 3 for negotiated procedures. The minimum submission period is 52 days for open procedures, 37 days for restricted procedures and 37 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

201220152016Trend
Scope7878
Information availability9090
Evaluation7575
Open competition7878
Institutional arrangements5050

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 law is applied? (Product type GOODS) BGN 20000. from 20,000 to 66,000, CA need not conduct procedures in the Law (Public Procurement Act of 2004, amended 2014, art. 14)
What is the minimum contract value above which the public procurement law is applied? (Product type WORKS) BGN 60000. from 60,000 to 264,000, CA need not conduct procedures in the Law (Public Procurement Act of 2004, amended 2014, art. 14)
What is the minimum contract value above which the public procurement law is applied? (Product type SERVICES) BGN 20000. from 20,000 to 66,000, CA need not conduct procedures in the Law (Public Procurement Act of 2004, amended 2014, art. 14)

Threshold - by PP type

What are the minimum application thresholds for the procurement type? (Entity: PUBLIC SECTOR) BGN 20000. minimum legal threshold found (Public Procurement Act of 2004, amended 2014, art. 14)
What are the minimum application thresholds for the procurement type? (Entity: UTILITIES) BGN 20000. minimum legal threshold found (Public Procurement Act of 2004, amended 2014, art. 14)
What are the minimum application thresholds for the procurement type? (Entity: DEFENCE) BGN 400000. minimum legal threshold found, for supplies and services in defence; 4,000,000 BGN for defence works (Public Procurement Act of 2004, amended 2014, art. 14(2))

Threshold - by product type

What are the minimum application thresholds for the procurement type? (Product type GOODS) BGN 66000. 66,000-400,000: need not conduct procedure rules, but simplified rules apply; more than 400,000 BGN, procedures set in the Law apply (Public Procurement Act of 2004, amended 2014, art. 14(3)2)
What are the minimum application thresholds for the procurement type? (Product type WORKS) BGN 264000. 264,000 - 2,640,000: need not conduct procedure rules, but simplified rules of Chapter 8 apply; more than 4,000,000 BGN, procedures set in the Law apply (Public Procurement Act of 2004, amended 2014, art. 14)
What are the minimum application thresholds for the procurement type? (Product type SERVICES) BGN 66000. 66,000-400,000: need not conduct procedure rules, but simplified rules apply; more than 400,000 BGN, procedures set in the Law apply (Public Procurement Act of 2004, amended 2014, art. 14)

Information availability

Publishing and record keeping

Which are the documents which are published in full? in some cases, CA might provide docs in full upon payment, limited to printing cost. decision to initiate PP award procedure, contract notice, description of the subject-matter, technical specifications, minimum requirements, criteria in evaluation of tenders and weighting, standerd form of the tender, draft of contract (Public Procurement Act of 2004, amended 2014, art. 28(2))
Are any of these documents published online at a central place? Yes. Public Procurement Register (Public Procurement Act of 2004, amended 2014, art. 21)
Is it mandatory to keep 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. should be available in the PP Register (Public Procurement Act of 2004, amended 2014, art. 22)
Are contracts awarded within a framework agreement published? Yes. CA shall be obligated to dispatch information on each public procurement contract as concluded or of a framework agreement as concluded to the Agency for entry into the Public Procurement Register not later than seven days from contract conclusion (Public Procurement Act, of 2004, amended 2014, art. 44)

Sub-contracting

Is it mandatory to publish information on subcontractors in some cases? Yes. each tender must contain the subcontractors, where the tenderer envisages subcontractors, as well as the type of the works that the subcontractors are to perform and the share of the participation thereof; (Public Procurement Act of 2004, amended 2014, art. 56.8)
If yes, above what proportion of subcontracted value is it mandatory? an application to qualify shall contain the subcontractors who or which will participate upon performance of the procurement and the type and share of the participation thereof, where participation of subcontractors is envisaged except in the cases of procurements having an object covered under Article 3 (2) herein (Public Procurement Act of 2004, amended 2014, art. 77)

Evaluation

Preferential treatment

Is there a ban on mentioning specific companies or products in tender specification/call for tender? Yes. "No terms or requirements offering an advantage or unjustifiably restricting the participation of any parties in the public procurements may be included by contracting authorities in the decision, notice, or documents" (Public Procurement Act of 2004, amended 2014, art. 25(5))
Are there restrictions on allowable grounds for tenderer exclusion? Yes. criminal conviction for economic/financial crimes, bankruptcy, liquidation procedure, outstanding tax or social security contributions, conflict of interest (Public Procurement Act of 2004, amended 2014, art. 47)
Is there a preferential treatment for small-to-medium enterprises (SMEs)? No. It was, but limited in time (2006-2009), the price tendered by an SME shall be treated as the lowest if exceeding the lowest price by another candidate for procedures awarded in 2004-2006
Is there a preferential treatment for local/national companies? (companies from other EU MS are considered foreign companies) No. but thresholds are different according to the location of the contract execution: inside/outside Bulgaria
Is there a specific set of rules for green/sustainable procurement? No. 0
Are some bids automatically excluded such as lowest/highest price; unusually low price, etc. Yes. abnormally low price, but the CA would require further justifications to the tender before excluding (Public Procurement Act of 2004, amended 2014, art. 70)

Bid evaluation

Is scoring criteria published and explicit? Yes. publication of criteria and, when MEAT, indicating criteria + weighting (Public Procurement Act of 2004, amended 2014, art. 25(2)10)
Can evaluation decision be made by a single person (as opposed to a committee)? No. the approval of award decision in competitive dialogue requires CA plus experts (Public Procurement Act of 2004, amended 2014, art. 83a(4), art. 92a for negotiated)
Are there regulations on evaluation committee composition to prevent conflict of interest? Yes. 0
If yes, what is banned? expert participating in preparation of tender documents, related party with CA or CA management member, related parties canNot be appointed as members of the deciding committee on the contract. 0
Is some part of evaluation comitee mandatorily independent of contracting authority? Yes. but requires indep. Experts. Commission should include not fewer than two outside experts and at least one independent consultant, all of whom must be qualified in accordance to the subject matter of the procedure (Public Procurement Act of 2004, amended 2014, art. 83a(1))
Are scoring results recorded and publicly available? Yes. 0 (Public Procurement Act of 2004, amended 2014, art. 79(5) for restricted, art. 83d(4) for competitive dialogue; art. 88(4) for negotiated)
Under which conditions can the tender be cancelled? closed list. (1) not a single tender, request to participate or design has been submitted, or not a single candidate or tenderer complies with the requirements, (2) none of the tenders or designs conforms to the terms and conditions as announced in advance by the CA, (3) all tenders exceed the financial resources which the CA can ensure, (4) the tenderers ranked highest and second highest decline to conclude a contract; (5) the necessity to conduct the procedure is eliminated as a result of material change in circumstances or impossibility to ensure financing or other reasons the CA could not have foreseen; (6) irregularities in the initiation and conduct of the procedure (Public Procurement Act of 2004, amended 2014, art. 39, art. 79.9.(1), art. 83d.8.(2), )

Open competition

CFT publication

Where should the call for tenders be published? (Procedure type: OPEN) TED, Public Procurement Register. 0 (Public Procurement Act of 2004, amended 2014, art. 21)
Where should the call for tenders be published? (Procedure type: RESTRICTED) TED, Public Procurement Register. 0 (Public Procurement Act of 2004, amended 2014, art. 76(1))
Where should the call for tenders be published? (Procedure type: NEGOTIATED) TED, Public Procurement Register. 0

Minimum # of bidders

If there is a minimum number of bidders stipulated, under what conditions? RESTRICTED 5. 0 (Public Procurement Act of 2004, amended 2014, art. 25(4), art. 75(1))
If there is a minimum number of bidders stipulated, under what conditions? NEGOTIATED 3. (Public Procurement Act of 2004, amended 2014, art. 25(4), art. 86(5))
If there is a minimum number of bidders stipulated, under what conditions? COMPETITIVE DIALOGUE Not specified.

Bidding period length

What are the minimum number of days for advertisement required? (Procedure type: OPEN) 52. 0 (Public Procurement Act of 2004, amended 2014, art. 64(2))
What are the minimum number of days for advertisement required? (Procedure type: RESTRICTED) 37. 37 days for receipt of requests and 40 for receipt of offers
What are the minimum number of days for advertisement required? (Procedure type: NEGOTIATED) 37. 0

Institutional arrangements

Institutions and regulations

What are the main EXCEPTIONS preventing the application of the public procurement law for tenders/organisations? EU exceptions. acquisition or rental of land, programme material for radio and tv, research and development, arbitration and conciliation, financial services (Public Procurement Act of 2004, amended 2014, art. 4.7)
What are the main types of institutions which have to apply the public procurement law? bodies of the State, the President, the Ombudsman and other institutions of the State, diplomatic missions and consular posts, bodies governed by Public law, combinations of the previous agents, public undertakings, merchants which are Not public undertakings but carry out activities on the basis of special or exclusive rights. 0 (Public Procurement Act of 2004, amended 2014, art. 7)
What are the main procedure types or procurement methods permitted by law? open, restricted, competitive dialogue, negotiated with prior Notice, negotiated without prior Notice, design contest. 0 (Public Procurement Act of 2004, amended 2014, art. 5, art. 16)
Is there a procurement arbitration court dedicated to public procurement cases? Yes. Bulgarian Commission for Protection of Competition
Is there a procurement regulatory body dedicated to public procurement? Yes. Public Procurement Agency, Ministry of Economy, Energy and Tourism (Public Procurement Act of 2004, amended 2014, art. 18)
Is the procurement regulatory body independent? No.
Is the procurement advisors' profession legally defined (i.e. degree to be obtained, official list of members of the professional association) and its role in the tendering procedure described (e.g. right to draft tender documentations, conduct market research identifying bidders)? No. 0
Is disclosure of final, beneficial owners required for placing a bid? No. 0

Complaints

Is there a fee for arbitration procedure? Yes. 0 (Public Procurement Act of 2004, amended 2014, transitional and final provisions 7)
If yes, how much set in Rules and Statutes of the Arbitration Court of Bulgaria. 0 (Public Procurement Act of 2004, amended 2014, transitional and final provisions 7)
Is there a ban on contract signature until arbitration court decision (first instance court)? yes. in some cases. the CA may extend deadlines as a result of an appeal (Public Procurement Act of 2004, amended 2014, art.. 27a(9)2, art. 89(3) for restricted)
What is the maximum number of days until arbitration court decision from filing a complaint? Not specified. set in Rules and Statutes of the Arbitration Court of Bulgaria (not in English)
Are arbitration court decisions required to be publicly released? Yes. set in Rules and Statutes of the Arbitration Court of Bulgaria (not in English)

Qualitative data for 2016


Legislation

Public Procurement Act of 2004, amended 2014missing file: