EUROPAM

European Public Accountability Mechanisms

Bulgaria

Country score (European Average*)
  • 91(66) Political Financing
  • 93(53) Financial Disclosure
  • 56(37) Conflict of Interest
  • 75(59) Freedom of Information
  • 76(62) Public Procurement

Country Facts

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

Political Financing

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

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

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

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

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


Quantitative Data

Primary Metric

20122015201620172020Trend
Bans and limits on private income9292100100100
Public funding7575626262
Regulations on spending100100100100100
Reporting, oversight and sanctions100100100100100

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


Qualitative Data

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

Bans and limits on private income

Bans on donations from foreign interests

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

Bans on corporate donations

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

Bans on donations from trade unions

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

Bans on anonymous donations

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

Other bans on donations

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

Donation limits

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

Public funding 

Eligibility criteria for direct public funding to political parties

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

Allocation calculations for direct public funding to political parties

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

Earmarking provisions for direct public funding to political parties

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

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

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

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

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

Regulations on spending 

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

Reporting, oversight and sanctions 

Reporting standards

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

Political finance oversight

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

Legislation

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

*Last update: 2017


Financial Disclosure

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

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


Quantitative Data

Primary Metric

20122015201620172020Trend
Disclosure items7769697389
Filing frequency94949494100
Sanctions100100100100100
Monitoring and Oversight88818181100
Public access to declarations6975758175

Alternative Metric

20122015201620172020Trend
Head of State9292929293
Ministers9292929793
Members of Parliament9292929193
Civil servants6559596393

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.37 Counter-Corruption and Unlawfully Acquired Assets Forfeiture Act 2018 (amended 2020))
Income and Assets
Real estate Yes. Immovable properties must be declared (Art.37 Counter-Corruption and Unlawfully Acquired Assets Forfeiture Act 2018 (amended 2020))
Movable assets Yes. Motor road, water and air vehicles must be declared (Art.37 Counter-Corruption and Unlawfully Acquired Assets Forfeiture Act 2018 (amended 2020))
Cash Yes. Any sums of money, including deposits, bank accounts and receivables, of an aggregate value exceeding BGN 10,000, including in a foreign currency; any investments in investment funds and pension funds and equivalent forms of savings and investments, if the aggregate value thereof exceeds BGN 10,000; (Art.37 Counter-Corruption and Unlawfully Acquired Assets Forfeiture Act 2018 (amended 2020))
Loans and Debts Yes. any obligations and loans exceeding BGN 10,000, including credit cards, if the credit limit absorbed during the previous calendar year in local or in foreign currency exceeds BGN 10,000 in aggregate must be declared (Art.37 Counter-Corruption and Unlawfully Acquired Assets Forfeiture Act 2018 (amended 2020))
Income from outside employment/assets Yes. Any labour income received during the previous calendar year; any income other than such for the office held, received during the previous calendar year, where exceeding BGN 1,000 must be declared (Art.37 Counter-Corruption and Unlawfully Acquired Assets Forfeiture Act 2018 (amended 2020))
Incompatibilities
Gifts received as a public official Yes. Any collaterals furnished and any expenditures incurred thereby or to the benefit thereof, or to the benefit of any persons referred to in Paragraph (4) with the consent thereof, where not paid by own funds, by public funds or by funds of the institution whereat the persons are office holders, for: (a) training; (b) travel; (c) other payments at a unit price exceeding BGN 1,000; any expenditure on training other than those under Item 10, including to the benefit of any persons referred to in Paragraph (4), of a unit value exceeding BGN 1000; any participation in commercial corporations must be declared (Art.37 Counter-Corruption and Unlawfully Acquired Assets Forfeiture Act 2018 (amended 2020))
Private firm ownership and/or stock holdings Yes. sany certificated securities, any participating interests in limited liability companies and limited partnerships and any financial instruments under Article 3 of the Markets in Financial Instruments Act must be declared (Art.37 Counter-Corruption and Unlawfully Acquired Assets Forfeiture Act 2018 (amended 2020))
Ownership of state-owned enterprises (SOEs) Yes. sany certificated securities, any participating interests in limited liability companies and limited partnerships and any financial instruments under Article 3 of the Markets in Financial Instruments Act must be declared (Art.37 Counter-Corruption and Unlawfully Acquired Assets Forfeiture Act 2018 (amended 2020))
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.37 Counter-Corruption and Unlawfully Acquired Assets Forfeiture Act 2018 (amended 2020))
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.37 Counter-Corruption and Unlawfully Acquired Assets Forfeiture Act 2018 (amended 2020))
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 Yes. Contracts with any persons who or which carry out any activity in areas related to the decisions made by the senior public office holder within the range of the official powers or duties thereof; particulars of any related parties in whose activity the senior public office holder has a private interest. (Art.37 Counter-Corruption and Unlawfully Acquired Assets Forfeiture Act 2018 (amended 2020))
Concurrent employment of family members in public sector No. Absent from legal framework.

Filing frequency

Filing required upon taking office Yes. A declaration of assets and interests shall be submitted within one month from the assumption of the senior public office (Art.38 Counter-Corruption and Unlawfully Acquired Assets Forfeiture Act 2018 (amended 2020))
Filing required upon leaving office Yes. A declaration of assets and interests shall be submitted: 1) within one month from the release from office; 2) within one month from the expiry of one year after the submission of the declaration submitted after the release from office. (Art.38 Counter-Corruption and Unlawfully Acquired Assets Forfeiture Act 2018 (amended 2020))
Filing required annually Yes. A declaration of assets and interests shall be submitted within one month from the assumption of the senior public officeannually, by the 15th day of May: for the previous calendar year. (Art.38 Counter-Corruption and Unlawfully Acquired Assets Forfeiture Act 2018 (amended 2020))
Ad hoc filing required upon change in assets or conflicts of interest Yes. The persons, holding high public positions, shallsubmit declarations under art. 35, para. 1, items 3 and 4 within one month from the occurrence of the change. (t rq)

Sanctions

Sanctions stipulated for late filing (fines, administrative, and/or criminal) Yes. Any public office holder, who fails to submit a declaration under this Act when due, shall be liable to a fine of BGN 1,000 or exceeding this amount but not exceeding BGN 3,001 (Art.173 Counter-Corruption and Unlawfully Acquired Assets Forfeiture Act 2018 (amended 2020))
Sanctions stipulated for non-filing (fines, administrative, and/or criminal) Yes. Any public office holder, who fails to submit a declaration under this Act when due, shall be liable to a fine of BGN 1,000 or exceeding this amount but not exceeding BGN 3,000 (Art.173 Counter-Corruption and Unlawfully Acquired Assets Forfeiture Act 2018 (amended 2020))
Sanctions stipulated for false disclosure (fines, administrative, and/or criminal) Yes. Any senior public office holder, who fails to declare or who misdeclares any circumstance which the not exceeding BGN 3,000, unless a severer punishment is provided for. (Art. 174 Counter-Corruption and Unlawfully Acquired Assets Forfeiture Act 2018 (amended 2020))

Monitoring and Oversight

Depository body explicitly identified Yes. The declarations of incompatibility, property, interests and for changes to the declared circumstances shall be submitted to the body for election or appointment, respectively to a standing commission of the respective municipal council before the Commission. (Art. 35 Counter-Corruption and Unlawfully Acquired Assets Forfeiture Act 2018 (amended 2020))
Enforcement body explicitly identified Yes. The Commission shall ascertain a conflict of interest of senior public office holders, shall hear or require the submission of information regarding the examinations related to the ascertainment of a conflict of interest; shall verify alerts in connection with the declarations of incompatibility of senior public office holders and shall refer any such alerts to the electing or appointing authority for an appropriate response; shall check the assets status, shall adopt a decision on extension of the check in the cases provided for by this Act and decisions on termination of the check; shall institute an unlawfully acquired assets forfeiture proceeding, which shall include submission to the court of a motion for the imposition of precautionary measures and lodgement of an action for forfeiture to the Exchequer of unlawfully acquired assets; shall refuse to institute an unlawfully acquired assets forfeiture proceeding; shall terminate the check referred to in Article 107 (2) herein or shall extend the period of any such check; shall terminate unlawfully acquired assets forfeiture proceedings and shall reach settlements under this Act; shall adopt rules on the conduct of integrity tests of the Commission employees and shall organise the conduct of the said tests; shall endorse the standard forms of the declarations referred to in Items 2 and 4 of Article 35 (1) herein; shall exercise other powers as well, provided for in a law. (Art. 13.4-13.13 Counter-Corruption and Unlawfully Acquired Assets Forfeiture Act 2018 (amended 2020))
Some agency assigned responsibility for verifying submission Yes. Within six months from the expiry of the time limits referred to in Articles 38 and 39 herein, the inspectors of the Commission shall verify and analyse the information in the declarations of assets and interests of senior public office holders as to the veracity of the facts declared (Art. 43 Counter-Corruption and Unlawfully Acquired Assets Forfeiture Act 2018 (amended 2020))
Some agency assigned responsibility for verifying accuracy Yes. The Counter-Corruption And Unlawfully Acquired Assets Forfeiture Commission shall be a counter-corruption authority within the meaning given by this Act for senior office holders.The Commission shall verify and analyse the declarations of assets and interests of senior public office holders; (Art. 7.1 and 13.1 Counter-Corruption and Unlawfully Acquired Assets Forfeiture Act 2018 (amended 2020))

Public access to declarations

Public availability Yes. Income and asset declarations are publicly available on the internet web-page of the within two months from the expiration of the terms of submission, the Commission shall publish on its website the declarations of the personsholding senior public positions and a list of the persons who have not submitted declarations in time. (Art. 40 Counter-Corruption and Unlawfully Acquired Assets Forfeiture Act 2018 (amended 2020))
Timing of information release specified Partially. Within two months from the expiration of the terms of submission (Art. 40 Counter-Corruption and Unlawfully Acquired Assets Forfeiture Act 2018 (amended 2020))
Location(s) of access specified Yes. Income and asset declarations are publicly available on the internet web-page of the within two months from the expiration of the terms of submission, the Commission shall publish on its website the declarations of the personsholding senior public positions and a list of the persons who have not submitted declarations in time. (Art. 40 Counter-Corruption and Unlawfully Acquired Assets Forfeiture Act 2018 (amended 2020))
Cost of access specified Yes. The access of free of costs. (Art. 40 Counter-Corruption and Unlawfully Acquired Assets Forfeiture Act 2018 (amended 2020))

Ministers

Disclosure items

Spouses and children included in disclosure Yes. Spouses and underage children have to be included (Art.37 Counter-Corruption and Unlawfully Acquired Assets Forfeiture Act 2018 (amended 2020))
Income and Assets
Real estate Yes. Immovable properties must be declared (Art.37 Counter-Corruption and Unlawfully Acquired Assets Forfeiture Act 2018 (amended 2020))
Movable assets Yes. Motor road, water and air vehicles must be declared (Art.37 Counter-Corruption and Unlawfully Acquired Assets Forfeiture Act 2018 (amended 2020))
Cash Yes. Any sums of money, including deposits, bank accounts and receivables, of an aggregate value exceeding BGN 10,000, including in a foreign currency; any investments in investment funds and pension funds and equivalent forms of savings and investments, if the aggregate value thereof exceeds BGN 10,000; (Art.37 Counter-Corruption and Unlawfully Acquired Assets Forfeiture Act 2018 (amended 2020))
Loans and Debts Yes. any obligations and loans exceeding BGN 10,000, including credit cards, if the credit limit absorbed during the previous calendar year in local or in foreign currency exceeds BGN 10,000 in aggregate must be declared (Art.37 Counter-Corruption and Unlawfully Acquired Assets Forfeiture Act 2018 (amended 2020))
Income from outside employment/assets Yes. Any labour income received during the previous calendar year; any income other than such for the office held, received during the previous calendar year, where exceeding BGN 1,000 must be declared (Art.37 Counter-Corruption and Unlawfully Acquired Assets Forfeiture Act 2018 (amended 2020))
Incompatibilities
Gifts received as a public official Yes. Any collaterals furnished and any expenditures incurred thereby or to the benefit thereof, or to the benefit of any persons referred to in Paragraph (4) with the consent thereof, where not paid by own funds, by public funds or by funds of the institution whereat the persons are office holders, for: (a) training; (b) travel; (c) other payments at a unit price exceeding BGN 1,000; any expenditure on training other than those under Item 10, including to the benefit of any persons referred to in Paragraph (4), of a unit value exceeding BGN 1000; any participation in commercial corporations must be declared (Art.37 Counter-Corruption and Unlawfully Acquired Assets Forfeiture Act 2018 (amended 2020))
Private firm ownership and/or stock holdings Yes. sany certificated securities, any participating interests in limited liability companies and limited partnerships and any financial instruments under Article 3 of the Markets in Financial Instruments Act must be declared (Art.37 Counter-Corruption and Unlawfully Acquired Assets Forfeiture Act 2018 (amended 2020))
Ownership of state-owned enterprises (SOEs) Yes. sany certificated securities, any participating interests in limited liability companies and limited partnerships and any financial instruments under Article 3 of the Markets in Financial Instruments Act must be declared (Art.37 Counter-Corruption and Unlawfully Acquired Assets Forfeiture Act 2018 (amended 2020))
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.37 Counter-Corruption and Unlawfully Acquired Assets Forfeiture Act 2018 (amended 2020))
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.37 Counter-Corruption and Unlawfully Acquired Assets Forfeiture Act 2018 (amended 2020))
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 Yes. Contracts with any persons who or which carry out any activity in areas related to the decisions made by the senior public office holder within the range of the official powers or duties thereof; particulars of any related parties in whose activity the senior public office holder has a private interest. (Art.37 Counter-Corruption and Unlawfully Acquired Assets Forfeiture Act 2018 (amended 2020))
Concurrent employment of family members in public sector No. Absent from legal framework.

Filing frequency

Filing required upon taking office Yes. A declaration of assets and interests shall be submitted within one month from the assumption of the senior public office (Art.38 Counter-Corruption and Unlawfully Acquired Assets Forfeiture Act 2018 (amended 2020))
Filing required upon leaving office Yes. A declaration of assets and interests shall be submitted: 1) within one month from the release from office; 2) within one month from the expiry of one year after the submission of the declaration submitted after the release from office. (Art.38 Counter-Corruption and Unlawfully Acquired Assets Forfeiture Act 2018 (amended 2020))
Filing required annually Yes. A declaration of assets and interests shall be submitted within one month from the assumption of the senior public officeannually, by the 15th day of May: for the previous calendar year. (Art.38 Counter-Corruption and Unlawfully Acquired Assets Forfeiture Act 2018 (amended 2020))
Ad hoc filing required upon change in assets or conflicts of interest Yes. The persons, holding high public positions, shallsubmit declarations under art. 35, para. 1, items 3 and 4 within one month from the occurrence of the change. (t rq)

Sanctions

Sanctions stipulated for late filing (fines, administrative, and/or criminal) Yes. Any public office holder, who fails to submit a declaration under this Act when due, shall be liable to a fine of BGN 1,000 or exceeding this amount but not exceeding BGN 3,001 (Art.173 Counter-Corruption and Unlawfully Acquired Assets Forfeiture Act 2018 (amended 2020))
Sanctions stipulated for non-filing (fines, administrative, and/or criminal) Yes. Any public office holder, who fails to submit a declaration under this Act when due, shall be liable to a fine of BGN 1,000 or exceeding this amount but not exceeding BGN 3,000 (Art.173 Counter-Corruption and Unlawfully Acquired Assets Forfeiture Act 2018 (amended 2020))
Sanctions stipulated for false disclosure (fines, administrative, and/or criminal) Yes. Any senior public office holder, who fails to declare or who misdeclares any circumstance which the not exceeding BGN 3,000, unless a severer punishment is provided for. (Art. 174 Counter-Corruption and Unlawfully Acquired Assets Forfeiture Act 2018 (amended 2020))

Monitoring and Oversight

Depository body explicitly identified Yes. The declarations of incompatibility, property, interests and for changes to the declared circumstances shall be submitted to the body for election or appointment, respectively to a standing commission of the respective municipal council before the Commission. (Art. 35 Counter-Corruption and Unlawfully Acquired Assets Forfeiture Act 2018 (amended 2020))
Enforcement body explicitly identified Yes. The Commission shall ascertain a conflict of interest of senior public office holders, shall hear or require the submission of information regarding the examinations related to the ascertainment of a conflict of interest; shall verify alerts in connection with the declarations of incompatibility of senior public office holders and shall refer any such alerts to the electing or appointing authority for an appropriate response; shall check the assets status, shall adopt a decision on extension of the check in the cases provided for by this Act and decisions on termination of the check; shall institute an unlawfully acquired assets forfeiture proceeding, which shall include submission to the court of a motion for the imposition of precautionary measures and lodgement of an action for forfeiture to the Exchequer of unlawfully acquired assets; shall refuse to institute an unlawfully acquired assets forfeiture proceeding; shall terminate the check referred to in Article 107 (2) herein or shall extend the period of any such check; shall terminate unlawfully acquired assets forfeiture proceedings and shall reach settlements under this Act; shall adopt rules on the conduct of integrity tests of the Commission employees and shall organise the conduct of the said tests; shall endorse the standard forms of the declarations referred to in Items 2 and 4 of Article 35 (1) herein; shall exercise other powers as well, provided for in a law. (Art. 13.4-13.13 Counter-Corruption and Unlawfully Acquired Assets Forfeiture Act 2018 (amended 2020))
Some agency assigned responsibility for verifying submission Yes. Within six months from the expiry of the time limits referred to in Articles 38 and 39 herein, the inspectors of the Commission shall verify and analyse the information in the declarations of assets and interests of senior public office holders as to the veracity of the facts declared (Art. 43 Counter-Corruption and Unlawfully Acquired Assets Forfeiture Act 2018 (amended 2020))
Some agency assigned responsibility for verifying accuracy Yes. The Counter-Corruption And Unlawfully Acquired Assets Forfeiture Commission shall be a counter-corruption authority within the meaning given by this Act for senior office holders.The Commission shall verify and analyse the declarations of assets and interests of senior public office holders; (Art. 7.1 and 13.1 Counter-Corruption and Unlawfully Acquired Assets Forfeiture Act 2018 (amended 2020))

Public access to declarations

Public availability Yes. Income and asset declarations are publicly available on the internet web-page of the within two months from the expiration of the terms of submission, the Commission shall publish on its website the declarations of the personsholding senior public positions and a list of the persons who have not submitted declarations in time. (Art. 40 Counter-Corruption and Unlawfully Acquired Assets Forfeiture Act 2018 (amended 2020))
Timing of information release specified Partially. Within two months from the expiration of the terms of submission (Art. 40 Counter-Corruption and Unlawfully Acquired Assets Forfeiture Act 2018 (amended 2020))
Location(s) of access specified Yes. Income and asset declarations are publicly available on the internet web-page of the within two months from the expiration of the terms of submission, the Commission shall publish on its website the declarations of the personsholding senior public positions and a list of the persons who have not submitted declarations in time. (Art. 40 Counter-Corruption and Unlawfully Acquired Assets Forfeiture Act 2018 (amended 2020))
Cost of access specified Yes. The access of free of costs. (Art. 40 Counter-Corruption and Unlawfully Acquired Assets Forfeiture Act 2018 (amended 2020))

Members of Parliament

Disclosure items

Spouses and children included in disclosure Yes. Spouses and underage children have to be included (Art.37 Counter-Corruption and Unlawfully Acquired Assets Forfeiture Act 2018 (amended 2020))
Income and Assets
Real estate Yes. Immovable properties must be declared (Art.37 Counter-Corruption and Unlawfully Acquired Assets Forfeiture Act 2018 (amended 2020))
Movable assets Yes. Motor road, water and air vehicles must be declared (Art.37 Counter-Corruption and Unlawfully Acquired Assets Forfeiture Act 2018 (amended 2020))
Cash Yes. Any sums of money, including deposits, bank accounts and receivables, of an aggregate value exceeding BGN 10,000, including in a foreign currency; any investments in investment funds and pension funds and equivalent forms of savings and investments, if the aggregate value thereof exceeds BGN 10,000; (Art.37 Counter-Corruption and Unlawfully Acquired Assets Forfeiture Act 2018 (amended 2020))
Loans and Debts Yes. any obligations and loans exceeding BGN 10,000, including credit cards, if the credit limit absorbed during the previous calendar year in local or in foreign currency exceeds BGN 10,000 in aggregate must be declared (Art.37 Counter-Corruption and Unlawfully Acquired Assets Forfeiture Act 2018 (amended 2020))
Income from outside employment/assets Yes. Any labour income received during the previous calendar year; any income other than such for the office held, received during the previous calendar year, where exceeding BGN 1,000 must be declared (Art.37 Counter-Corruption and Unlawfully Acquired Assets Forfeiture Act 2018 (amended 2020))
Incompatibilities
Gifts received as a public official Yes. Any collaterals furnished and any expenditures incurred thereby or to the benefit thereof, or to the benefit of any persons referred to in Paragraph (4) with the consent thereof, where not paid by own funds, by public funds or by funds of the institution whereat the persons are office holders, for: (a) training; (b) travel; (c) other payments at a unit price exceeding BGN 1,000; any expenditure on training other than those under Item 10, including to the benefit of any persons referred to in Paragraph (4), of a unit value exceeding BGN 1000; any participation in commercial corporations must be declared (Art.37 Counter-Corruption and Unlawfully Acquired Assets Forfeiture Act 2018 (amended 2020))
Private firm ownership and/or stock holdings Yes. sany certificated securities, any participating interests in limited liability companies and limited partnerships and any financial instruments under Article 3 of the Markets in Financial Instruments Act must be declared (Art.37 Counter-Corruption and Unlawfully Acquired Assets Forfeiture Act 2018 (amended 2020))
Ownership of state-owned enterprises (SOEs) Yes. sany certificated securities, any participating interests in limited liability companies and limited partnerships and any financial instruments under Article 3 of the Markets in Financial Instruments Act must be declared (Art.37 Counter-Corruption and Unlawfully Acquired Assets Forfeiture Act 2018 (amended 2020))
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.37 Counter-Corruption and Unlawfully Acquired Assets Forfeiture Act 2018 (amended 2020))
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.37 Counter-Corruption and Unlawfully Acquired Assets Forfeiture Act 2018 (amended 2020))
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 Yes. Contracts with any persons who or which carry out any activity in areas related to the decisions made by the senior public office holder within the range of the official powers or duties thereof; particulars of any related parties in whose activity the senior public office holder has a private interest. (Art.37 Counter-Corruption and Unlawfully Acquired Assets Forfeiture Act 2018 (amended 2020))
Concurrent employment of family members in public sector No. Absent from legal framework.

Filing frequency

Filing required upon taking office Yes. A declaration of assets and interests shall be submitted within one month from the assumption of the senior public office (Art.38 Counter-Corruption and Unlawfully Acquired Assets Forfeiture Act 2018 (amended 2020))
Filing required upon leaving office Yes. A declaration of assets and interests shall be submitted: 1) within one month from the release from office; 2) within one month from the expiry of one year after the submission of the declaration submitted after the release from office. (Art.38 Counter-Corruption and Unlawfully Acquired Assets Forfeiture Act 2018 (amended 2020))
Filing required annually Yes. A declaration of assets and interests shall be submitted within one month from the assumption of the senior public officeannually, by the 15th day of May: for the previous calendar year. (Art.38 Counter-Corruption and Unlawfully Acquired Assets Forfeiture Act 2018 (amended 2020))
Ad hoc filing required upon change in assets or conflicts of interest Yes. The persons, holding high public positions, shallsubmit declarations under art. 35, para. 1, items 3 and 4 within one month from the occurrence of the change. (t rq)

Sanctions

Sanctions stipulated for late filing (fines, administrative, and/or criminal) Yes. Any public office holder, who fails to submit a declaration under this Act when due, shall be liable to a fine of BGN 1,000 or exceeding this amount but not exceeding BGN 3,001 (Art.173 Counter-Corruption and Unlawfully Acquired Assets Forfeiture Act 2018 (amended 2020))
Sanctions stipulated for non-filing (fines, administrative, and/or criminal) Yes. Any public office holder, who fails to submit a declaration under this Act when due, shall be liable to a fine of BGN 1,000 or exceeding this amount but not exceeding BGN 3,000 (Art.173 Counter-Corruption and Unlawfully Acquired Assets Forfeiture Act 2018 (amended 2020))
Sanctions stipulated for false disclosure (fines, administrative, and/or criminal) Yes. Any senior public office holder, who fails to declare or who misdeclares any circumstance which the not exceeding BGN 3,000, unless a severer punishment is provided for. (Art. 174 Counter-Corruption and Unlawfully Acquired Assets Forfeiture Act 2018 (amended 2020))

Monitoring and Oversight

Depository body explicitly identified Yes. The declarations of incompatibility, property, interests and for changes to the declared circumstances shall be submitted to the body for election or appointment, respectively to a standing commission of the respective municipal council before the Commission. (Art. 35 Counter-Corruption and Unlawfully Acquired Assets Forfeiture Act 2018 (amended 2020))
Enforcement body explicitly identified Yes. The Commission shall ascertain a conflict of interest of senior public office holders, shall hear or require the submission of information regarding the examinations related to the ascertainment of a conflict of interest; shall verify alerts in connection with the declarations of incompatibility of senior public office holders and shall refer any such alerts to the electing or appointing authority for an appropriate response; shall check the assets status, shall adopt a decision on extension of the check in the cases provided for by this Act and decisions on termination of the check; shall institute an unlawfully acquired assets forfeiture proceeding, which shall include submission to the court of a motion for the imposition of precautionary measures and lodgement of an action for forfeiture to the Exchequer of unlawfully acquired assets; shall refuse to institute an unlawfully acquired assets forfeiture proceeding; shall terminate the check referred to in Article 107 (2) herein or shall extend the period of any such check; shall terminate unlawfully acquired assets forfeiture proceedings and shall reach settlements under this Act; shall adopt rules on the conduct of integrity tests of the Commission employees and shall organise the conduct of the said tests; shall endorse the standard forms of the declarations referred to in Items 2 and 4 of Article 35 (1) herein; shall exercise other powers as well, provided for in a law. (Art. 13.4-13.13 Counter-Corruption and Unlawfully Acquired Assets Forfeiture Act 2018 (amended 2020))
Some agency assigned responsibility for verifying submission Yes. Within six months from the expiry of the time limits referred to in Articles 38 and 39 herein, the inspectors of the Commission shall verify and analyse the information in the declarations of assets and interests of senior public office holders as to the veracity of the facts declared (Art. 43 Counter-Corruption and Unlawfully Acquired Assets Forfeiture Act 2018 (amended 2020))
Some agency assigned responsibility for verifying accuracy Yes. The Counter-Corruption And Unlawfully Acquired Assets Forfeiture Commission shall be a counter-corruption authority within the meaning given by this Act for senior office holders.The Commission shall verify and analyse the declarations of assets and interests of senior public office holders; (Art. 7.1 and 13.1 Counter-Corruption and Unlawfully Acquired Assets Forfeiture Act 2018 (amended 2020))

Public access to declarations

Public availability Yes. Income and asset declarations are publicly available on the internet web-page of the within two months from the expiration of the terms of submission, the Commission shall publish on its website the declarations of the personsholding senior public positions and a list of the persons who have not submitted declarations in time. (Art. 40 Counter-Corruption and Unlawfully Acquired Assets Forfeiture Act 2018 (amended 2020))
Timing of information release specified Partially. Within two months from the expiration of the terms of submission (Art. 40 Counter-Corruption and Unlawfully Acquired Assets Forfeiture Act 2018 (amended 2020))
Location(s) of access specified Yes. Income and asset declarations are publicly available on the internet web-page of the within two months from the expiration of the terms of submission, the Commission shall publish on its website the declarations of the personsholding senior public positions and a list of the persons who have not submitted declarations in time. (Art. 40 Counter-Corruption and Unlawfully Acquired Assets Forfeiture Act 2018 (amended 2020))
Cost of access specified Yes. The access of free of costs. (Art. 40 Counter-Corruption and Unlawfully Acquired Assets Forfeiture Act 2018 (amended 2020))

Civil servants

Disclosure items

Spouses and children included in disclosure Yes. Spouses and underage children have to be included (Art.37 Counter-Corruption and Unlawfully Acquired Assets Forfeiture Act 2018 (amended 2020))
Income and Assets
Real estate Yes. Immovable properties must be declared (Art.37 Counter-Corruption and Unlawfully Acquired Assets Forfeiture Act 2018 (amended 2020))
Movable assets Yes. Motor road, water and air vehicles must be declared (Art.37 Counter-Corruption and Unlawfully Acquired Assets Forfeiture Act 2018 (amended 2020))
Cash Yes. Any sums of money, including deposits, bank accounts and receivables, of an aggregate value exceeding BGN 10,000, including in a foreign currency; any investments in investment funds and pension funds and equivalent forms of savings and investments, if the aggregate value thereof exceeds BGN 10,000; (Art.37 Counter-Corruption and Unlawfully Acquired Assets Forfeiture Act 2018 (amended 2020))
Loans and Debts Yes. any obligations and loans exceeding BGN 10,000, including credit cards, if the credit limit absorbed during the previous calendar year in local or in foreign currency exceeds BGN 10,000 in aggregate must be declared (Art.37 Counter-Corruption and Unlawfully Acquired Assets Forfeiture Act 2018 (amended 2020))
Income from outside employment/assets Yes. Any labour income received during the previous calendar year; any income other than such for the office held, received during the previous calendar year, where exceeding BGN 1,000 must be declared (Art.37 Counter-Corruption and Unlawfully Acquired Assets Forfeiture Act 2018 (amended 2020))
Incompatibilities
Gifts received as a public official Yes. Any collaterals furnished and any expenditures incurred thereby or to the benefit thereof, or to the benefit of any persons referred to in Paragraph (4) with the consent thereof, where not paid by own funds, by public funds or by funds of the institution whereat the persons are office holders, for: (a) training; (b) travel; (c) other payments at a unit price exceeding BGN 1,000; any expenditure on training other than those under Item 10, including to the benefit of any persons referred to in Paragraph (4), of a unit value exceeding BGN 1000; any participation in commercial corporations must be declared (Art.37 Counter-Corruption and Unlawfully Acquired Assets Forfeiture Act 2018 (amended 2020))
Private firm ownership and/or stock holdings Yes. sany certificated securities, any participating interests in limited liability companies and limited partnerships and any financial instruments under Article 3 of the Markets in Financial Instruments Act must be declared (Art.37 Counter-Corruption and Unlawfully Acquired Assets Forfeiture Act 2018 (amended 2020))
Ownership of state-owned enterprises (SOEs) Yes. sany certificated securities, any participating interests in limited liability companies and limited partnerships and any financial instruments under Article 3 of the Markets in Financial Instruments Act must be declared (Art.37 Counter-Corruption and Unlawfully Acquired Assets Forfeiture Act 2018 (amended 2020))
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.37 Counter-Corruption and Unlawfully Acquired Assets Forfeiture Act 2018 (amended 2020))
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.37 Counter-Corruption and Unlawfully Acquired Assets Forfeiture Act 2018 (amended 2020))
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 Yes. Contracts with any persons who or which carry out any activity in areas related to the decisions made by the senior public office holder within the range of the official powers or duties thereof; particulars of any related parties in whose activity the senior public office holder has a private interest. (Art.37 Counter-Corruption and Unlawfully Acquired Assets Forfeiture Act 2018 (amended 2020))
Concurrent employment of family members in public sector No. Absent from legal framework.

Filing frequency

Filing required upon taking office Yes. A declaration of assets and interests shall be submitted within one month from the assumption of the senior public office (Art.38 Counter-Corruption and Unlawfully Acquired Assets Forfeiture Act 2018 (amended 2020))
Filing required upon leaving office Yes. A declaration of assets and interests shall be submitted: 1) within one month from the release from office; 2) within one month from the expiry of one year after the submission of the declaration submitted after the release from office. (Art.38 Counter-Corruption and Unlawfully Acquired Assets Forfeiture Act 2018 (amended 2020))
Filing required annually Yes. A declaration of assets and interests shall be submitted within one month from the assumption of the senior public officeannually, by the 15th day of May: for the previous calendar year. (Art.38 Counter-Corruption and Unlawfully Acquired Assets Forfeiture Act 2018 (amended 2020))
Ad hoc filing required upon change in assets or conflicts of interest Yes. The persons, holding high public positions, shallsubmit declarations under art. 35, para. 1, items 3 and 4 within one month from the occurrence of the change. (t rq)

Sanctions

Sanctions stipulated for late filing (fines, administrative, and/or criminal) Yes. Any public office holder, who fails to submit a declaration under this Act when due, shall be liable to a fine of BGN 1,000 or exceeding this amount but not exceeding BGN 3,001 (Art.173 Counter-Corruption and Unlawfully Acquired Assets Forfeiture Act 2018 (amended 2020))
Sanctions stipulated for non-filing (fines, administrative, and/or criminal) Yes. Any public office holder, who fails to submit a declaration under this Act when due, shall be liable to a fine of BGN 1,000 or exceeding this amount but not exceeding BGN 3,000 (Art.173 Counter-Corruption and Unlawfully Acquired Assets Forfeiture Act 2018 (amended 2020))
Sanctions stipulated for false disclosure (fines, administrative, and/or criminal) Yes. Any senior public office holder, who fails to declare or who misdeclares any circumstance which the not exceeding BGN 3,000, unless a severer punishment is provided for. (Art. 174 Counter-Corruption and Unlawfully Acquired Assets Forfeiture Act 2018 (amended 2020))

Monitoring and Oversight

Depository body explicitly identified Yes. The declarations of incompatibility, property, interests and for changes to the declared circumstances shall be submitted to the body for election or appointment, respectively to a standing commission of the respective municipal council before the Commission. (Art. 35 Counter-Corruption and Unlawfully Acquired Assets Forfeiture Act 2018 (amended 2020))
Enforcement body explicitly identified Yes. The Commission shall ascertain a conflict of interest of senior public office holders, shall hear or require the submission of information regarding the examinations related to the ascertainment of a conflict of interest; shall verify alerts in connection with the declarations of incompatibility of senior public office holders and shall refer any such alerts to the electing or appointing authority for an appropriate response; shall check the assets status, shall adopt a decision on extension of the check in the cases provided for by this Act and decisions on termination of the check; shall institute an unlawfully acquired assets forfeiture proceeding, which shall include submission to the court of a motion for the imposition of precautionary measures and lodgement of an action for forfeiture to the Exchequer of unlawfully acquired assets; shall refuse to institute an unlawfully acquired assets forfeiture proceeding; shall terminate the check referred to in Article 107 (2) herein or shall extend the period of any such check; shall terminate unlawfully acquired assets forfeiture proceedings and shall reach settlements under this Act; shall adopt rules on the conduct of integrity tests of the Commission employees and shall organise the conduct of the said tests; shall endorse the standard forms of the declarations referred to in Items 2 and 4 of Article 35 (1) herein; shall exercise other powers as well, provided for in a law. (Art. 13.4-13.13 Counter-Corruption and Unlawfully Acquired Assets Forfeiture Act 2018 (amended 2020))
Some agency assigned responsibility for verifying submission Yes. Within six months from the expiry of the time limits referred to in Articles 38 and 39 herein, the inspectors of the Commission shall verify and analyse the information in the declarations of assets and interests of senior public office holders as to the veracity of the facts declared (Art. 43 Counter-Corruption and Unlawfully Acquired Assets Forfeiture Act 2018 (amended 2020))
Some agency assigned responsibility for verifying accuracy Yes. The Counter-Corruption And Unlawfully Acquired Assets Forfeiture Commission shall be a counter-corruption authority within the meaning given by this Act for senior office holders.The Commission shall verify and analyse the declarations of assets and interests of senior public office holders; (Art. 7.1 and 13.1 Counter-Corruption and Unlawfully Acquired Assets Forfeiture Act 2018 (amended 2020))

Public access to declarations

Public availability Yes. Income and asset declarations are publicly available on the internet web-page of the within two months from the expiration of the terms of submission, the Commission shall publish on its website the declarations of the personsholding senior public positions and a list of the persons who have not submitted declarations in time. (Art. 40 Counter-Corruption and Unlawfully Acquired Assets Forfeiture Act 2018 (amended 2020))
Timing of information release specified Partially. Within two months from the expiration of the terms of submission (Art. 40 Counter-Corruption and Unlawfully Acquired Assets Forfeiture Act 2018 (amended 2020))
Location(s) of access specified Yes. Income and asset declarations are publicly available on the internet web-page of the within two months from the expiration of the terms of submission, the Commission shall publish on its website the declarations of the personsholding senior public positions and a list of the persons who have not submitted declarations in time. (Art. 40 Counter-Corruption and Unlawfully Acquired Assets Forfeiture Act 2018 (amended 2020))
Cost of access specified Yes. The access of free of costs. (Art. 40 Counter-Corruption and Unlawfully Acquired Assets Forfeiture Act 2018 (amended 2020))

Legislation

Counter-Corruption and Unlawfully Acquired Assets Forfeiture Act of 2018_BUL (Bulgarian)pdf
Penal Code of 1968_BUL (Bulgarian)pdf
Law on Civil Servants of 1999_BUL (Bulgarian)pdf

*Last update: 2017


Conflict of Interest

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

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


Quantitative Data

Primary Metric

20122015201620172020Trend
Restrictions5277778052
Sanctions6742424267
Monitoring and Oversight5088888850

Alternative Metric

20122015201620172020Trend
Head of State4960606049
Ministers6282828262
Members of Parliament5279798252
Civil servants6254545462

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. (General)
Accepting gifts No. Absent from legal framework. (General)
Private firm ownership and/or stock holdings No. Absent from legal framework. (General)
Ownership of state-owned enterprises (SOEs) No. Absent from legal framework. (General)
Holding government contracts Yes. A person holding public office may not enter into contracts or perform other activities in their private interest. (Article 8 of the Prevention and Disclosure of Conflict of Interest Act (2009))
Board member, advisor, or company officer of private firm No. Absent from legal framework. (General)
Post-employment Yes. A person holding public office may not, within a year of dismissal from office or conclusion of employment, enter into employment or other contracts to manage or control entities/corporations which they have regulated, controlled or entered into contracts with in the last year of their time in public service; nor can they be a partner, stockholder, director or officer of these companies/corporations. (Article 21 of the Prevention and Disclosure of Conflict of Interest Act (2009))
Simultaneously holding policy-making position and policy-executing position No. Absent from legal framework. (General)
Participating in official decision-making processes that affect private interests Yes. A person holding public office shall not be entitled to participate in the preparation, discussion, acceptance, delivery or issuance of instruments to perform supervisory or investigative functions, to impose sanctions, to enter into contracts or perform other activities in the private interest. (Article 8 of the Prevention and Disclosure of Conflict of Interest Act (2009))
Assisting family or friends in obtaining employment in public sector No. Absent from legal framework. (General)

Sanctions

Fines are stipulated for violations of COI regulations restricting behavior Yes. General (Article 35, 36, 37 and 38 of the Prevention and Disclosure of Conflict of Interest Act (2009))
Administrative sanctions are stipulated for violations of COI regulations restricting behavior Yes. A violation of this act and revelation of conflict of interest with enacted administrative act, shall be a basis for dismissal from office. (Article 33 of the Prevention and Disclosure of Conflict of Interest Act (2009))
Penal sanctions are stipulated for violations of COI regulations restricting behavior No. Absent from legal framework. (General)

Monitoring and Oversight

Monitoring body specified (guidance, training, data tracking) No. Absent from legal framework. (General)
Enforcement body specified (sanctions, hearings) Yes. For the President and Vice President, a conflict of interest shall be determined by the Supreme Administrative Court. (Article 27 of the Prevention and Disclosure of Conflict of Interest Act (2009))

Ministers

Restrictions

General restriction on conflict of interest No. Absent from legal framework. (General)
Accepting gifts No. Absent from legal framework. (General)
Private firm ownership and/or stock holdings Yes. The Prime Minister, Deputy Prime Ministers, Ministers, Deputy Ministers may not engage in trade or be managers, sales representatives, promoters, brokers, trustees or liquidators. (Article 19 of the Administration Act (1998))
Ownership of state-owned enterprises (SOEs) Yes. The Prime Minister, Deputy Prime Ministers, Ministers, Deputy Ministers may not engage in trade or be managers, sales representatives, promoters, brokers, trustees or liquidators. (Article 19 of the Administration Act (1998))
Holding government contracts Yes. A person holding public office may not enter into contracts or perform other activities in their private interest. (Article 8 of the Prevention and Disclosure of Conflict of Interest Act (2009))
Board member, advisor, or company officer of private firm Yes. The Prime Minister, Deputy Prime Ministers, Ministers, Deputy Ministers may not engage in trade or be managers, sales representatives, promoters, brokers, trustees or liquidators. (Article 19 of the Administration Act (1998))
Post-employment Yes. A person holding public office shall not be allowed to, within a year of dismissal from office or conclusion of employment, enter into employment or other contracts to manage or control entities/corporations which they have regulated, controlled or entered into contracts with in the last year of their time in public service; nor can they be a partner, stockholder, director or officer of these companies/corporations. (Article 21 of the Prevention and Disclosure of Conflict of Interest Act (2009))
Simultaneously holding policy-making position and policy-executing position Yes. Members of the Council of Ministers shall not engage in any incompatible activity. The Prime-Minister, the Deputy Prime Minister, the Ministers and the Deputy Ministers may not hold another public office. (Article 113 of the Constitution (1991) Article 19 of the Administration Act (1998))
Participating in official decision-making processes that affect private interests Yes. A person holding public office shall not be entitled to participate in the preparation, discussion, acceptance, delivery or issuance of instruments to perform supervisory or investigative functions, to impose sanctions, to enter into contracts or perform other activities in the private interest. (Article 8 of the Prevention and Disclosure of Conflict of Interest Act (2009))
Assisting family or friends in obtaining employment in public sector No. Absent from legal framework. (General)

Sanctions

Fines are stipulated for violations of COI regulations restricting behavior Yes. General (Article 35, 36, 37 and 38 of the Prevention and Disclosure of Conflict of Interest Act (2009))
Administrative sanctions are stipulated for violations of COI regulations restricting behavior Yes. A violation of this act and revelation of conflict of interest with enacted administrative act, shall be a basis for dismissal from office. (Article 33 of the Prevention and Disclosure of Conflict of Interest Act (2009))
Penal sanctions are stipulated for violations of COI regulations restricting behavior No. Absent from legal framework. (General)

Monitoring and Oversight

Monitoring body specified (guidance, training, data tracking) No. Absent from legal framework. (General)
Enforcement body specified (sanctions, hearings) Yes. Conflict of interest enforcement for the Prime-Minister, Deputy Prime-Minster and other Ministers, shall be determined by the Supreme Administrative Court. (Article 27 of the Prevention and Disclosure of Conflict of Interest Act (2009))

Members of Parliament

Restrictions

General restriction on conflict of interest No. Absent from legal framework. (General)
Accepting gifts No. Absent from legal framework. (General)
Private firm ownership and/or stock holdings No. Absent from legal framework. (General)
Ownership of state-owned enterprises (SOEs) No. Absent from legal framework. (General)
Holding government contracts Yes. A person holding public office shall not enter into contracts or perform other activities in their private interest. (Article 8 of the Prevention and Disclosure of Conflict of Interest Act (2009))
Board member, advisor, or company officer of private firm No. Absent from legal framework. (General)
Post-employment Yes. A person holding public office shall not be allowed to, within a year of dismissal from office or conclusion of employment, enter into employment or other contracts to manage or control entities/corporations which they have regulated, controlled or entered into contracts with in the last year of their time in public service; nor can they be a partner, stockholder, director or officer of these companies/corporations. (Article 21 of the Prevention and Disclosure of Conflict of Interest Act (2009))
Simultaneously holding policy-making position and policy-executing position Yes. A member of the National Assembly shall not hold any state post or activity incompatible with his/her status. (Article 68 of the Constitution (1991))
Participating in official decision-making processes that affect private interests Yes. A person holding public office shall not be entitled to participate in the preparation, discussion, acceptance, delivery or issuance of instruments to perform supervisory or investigative functions, to impose sanctions, to enter into contracts or perform other activities in the private interest. (Article 8 of the Prevention and Disclosure of Conflict of Interest Act (2009))
Assisting family or friends in obtaining employment in public sector No. Absent from legal framework. (General)

Sanctions

Fines are stipulated for violations of COI regulations restricting behavior Yes. General (Article 35, 36, 37 and 38 of the Prevention and Disclosure of Conflict of Interest Act (2009))
Administrative sanctions are stipulated for violations of COI regulations restricting behavior Yes. A violation of this act and revelation of conflict of interest with enacted administrative act, shall be a basis for dismissal from office. (Article 33 of the Prevention and Disclosure of Conflict of Interest Act (2009))
Penal sanctions are stipulated for violations of COI regulations restricting behavior No. Absent from legal framework. (General)

Monitoring and Oversight

Monitoring body specified (guidance, training, data tracking) No. Absent from legal framework. (General)
Enforcement body specified (sanctions, hearings) Yes. Conflict of interest enforcement for Members of the Parliament shall be determined by the Supreme Administrative Court. (Article 27 of the Prevention and Disclosure of Conflict of Interest Act (2009))

Civil servants

Restrictions

General restriction on conflict of interest No. Absent from legal framework. (General)
Accepting gifts No. Absent from legal framework. (General)
Private firm ownership and/or stock holdings Yes. A person shall not be appointed as a civil servant, where he/she is a sole proprietor, general partner in a partnership, manager or a member of the board of directors of a partnership, liquidator, trustee, promoter. (Article 7 of the Civil Servant law (1999))
Ownership of state-owned enterprises (SOEs) Yes. A person shall not be appointed as a civil servant, where he/she is a sole proprietor, general partner in a partnership, manager or a member of the board of directors of a partnership, liquidator, trustee, promoter. (Article 7 of the Civil Servant law (1999))
Holding government contracts Yes. A person holding public office shall not enter into contracts or perform other activities in their private interest. (Article 8 of the Prevention and Disclosure of Conflict of Interest Act (2009))
Board member, advisor, or company officer of private firm Yes. A person shall not be appointed as a civil servant, where he/she is a sole proprietor, general partner in a partnership, manager or a member of the board of directors of a partnership, liquidator, trustee, promoter. (Article 7 of the Civil Servant law (1999))
Post-employment Yes. A person holding public office shall not be allowed to, within a year of dismissal from office or conclusion of employment, enter into employment or other contracts to manage or control entities/corporations which they have regulated, controlled or entered into contracts with in the last year of their time in public service; nor can they be a partner, stockholder, director or officer of these companies/corporations. (Article 21 of the Prevention and Disclosure of Conflict of Interest Act (2009))
Simultaneously holding policy-making position and policy-executing position No. Absent from legal framework. (General)
Participating in official decision-making processes that affect private interests Yes. A person holding public office shall not be entitled to participate in the preparation, discussion, acceptance, delivery or issuance of instruments to perform supervisory or investigative functions, to impose sanctions, to enter into contracts or perform other activities in the private interest. (Article 8 of the Prevention and Disclosure of Conflict of Interest Act (2009))
Assisting family or friends in obtaining employment in public sector Yes. A person shall not be appointed as a civil servant, where he/she would be in hierarchical connection of management/control with a spouse, parents and siblings including to a fourth level of consanguinity. (Article 7(2) of the Civil Servant law (1999))

Sanctions

Fines are stipulated for violations of COI regulations restricting behavior Yes. General (Article 35, 36, 37 and 38 of the Prevention and Disclosure of Conflict of Interest Act (2009))
Administrative sanctions are stipulated for violations of COI regulations restricting behavior Yes. Revelation of a conflict of interest with the enacted administrative act shall be a basis for dismissal from office. Administrative sanctions for civil servants also include: 1. conduct-remark; 2. censure; 3. rang raise delay with one year; 4. lowering the rang with one level for a period of 6 months to 1 year; 5. dismissal. (Article 33 of the Prevention and Disclosure of Conflict of Interest Act (2009) Article 90 of the Civil Servant Law (1999) )
Penal sanctions are stipulated for violations of COI regulations restricting behavior No. Absent from legal framework. (General)

Monitoring and Oversight

Monitoring body specified (guidance, training, data tracking) No. Absent from legal framework. (General)
Enforcement body specified (sanctions, hearings) Yes. Verification for civil servants shall be conducted by the inspectorate or a civil servant at the public body which appoints or hires them. (Articles 25 & 28 of the Prevention and Disclosure of Conflict of Interest Act (2009))

Legislation

Constitution of the Republic of Bulgaria of 1991 (Bulgarian)pdf
Law Against Corruption and Forfeiture of Illegally Acquired Property of 2018 (Bulgarian)pdf
Law on Civil Servants of 1999 (Bulgarian)pdf
Code of Conduct of Civil Servants of 2020 (Bulgarian)pdf
Rules for the Organization and Activity of the National Assembly of 2017 (Bulgarian)pdf

*Last update: 2017


Freedom of Information

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

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

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

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

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


Quantitative Data

Primary Metric

20122015201620172020Trend
Scope and Coverage9393939393
Information access and release100100100100100
Exceptions and Overrides6767676767
Sanctions for non-compliance6767676767
Monitoring and Oversight5050505050

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 2019)
Proactive disclosure is specified Yes. Art. 15 (a) (New, SG No. 104/2008) (1) (Supplemented, SG No. 97/2015, effective 12.01.2016) The information under Art. 15 shall be published on the websites of the administrative structures in the system of the executive power and of the subjects under art. 3, para. 2, item 1. (2) (Amended, SG No. 97/2015, effective 12.01.2016) In the section "Access to information" on the websites under para. 1, the data under Art. 15, para. 1, items 4 and 11 and the annual reports under para. 2, the existing internal rules regarding the access to public information, the norms for the expenses for providing access to information under Art. 20, para. 2 and re-use of information from the public sector under Art. 41g, the procedure for access to the public registers, kept by the administrative structures in the system of the executive power. (Article 15a of the Access to Public Information Act, 2000, amended 2019)

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 2019)
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 2019)
Judicial branch Yes. (4) The public sector is subject to this rules. (Article 3 of the Access to Public Information Act, 2000, amended 2019)
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 2019)
Private sector No. Absent from legal framework.

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

Draft legal instruments Yes. The government agencies which are preparing drafts on legal acts, shall first publish those drafts on the respective government agency’s internet website and prior the draft’s official promulgation, along with the draft’s brief and motives. Within 14 days of the draft’s online publication, all interested parties may make proposals and suggest alterations to the draft of the legal act. (Article 26 of the Law on Statutory Instruments, 1973, amended 2016)
Enacted legal instruments Yes. All legal acts are required to be promulgated and come into force three days after their publication. All enacted legal instruments shall be promulgated. The laws, Ministerial decrees and decrees of Ministers and Head of other government agencies shall be promulgated in one issue of the Bulgarian State Gazette, while the European Union Regulations shall be promulgated in the EU Official Gazette in Bulgarian language. All texts of statutory administrative acts shall be authenticated and promulgated in the State Gazette, except for the acts of the municipal councils which shall be published through the local press or other suitable means. The access to official information contained in normative acts is being provided to the public through the legal acts’ promulgation. In request for access to official information, the government agencies are obliged to state the number, the date and the title of the issue where the information was published. (Article 5 of the Constitution, 1991, amended 2015 Articles 37 and 38 of the Law on Statutory Instruments, 1973, amended 2016 Article 78 of the Administrative Procedure Code, 2006, amended 2017 Article 12 of the Access to Public Information Act, 2000, amended 2019 )
Annual budgets Yes. The structure of the state budget shall be defined by a Ministerial decree within one month from the promulgation of the Annual State Budget Act in the State Gazette. The latter is promulgated annually in the State Gazette. (According to Article 79 of Public Finance Act, 2013, amended 2020)
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 2019)
Annual reports of public entities and programs Yes. The public agencies are required to publish annual reports on the application for access to public information, as well as the agencies’ functions and structure. Article 16 expands this duty and requires the Minister of the State Administration and Administrative Reform to publish an annual summary containing a description of his powers and data on the organization, functions and responsibilities of the administration managed and other key issues. The government entities are required to prepare reports regarding the state of their administration and publish them on the respective internet website or make it public by other means by February 28 of each calendar year. (Article 15 and 16 of the Access to Public Information Act, 2000, amended 2019 Article 62 of the Administration Act, 1998, amended 2020)

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 2019)
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 2019)
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 2019)
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 2019)

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 2019)
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 2019)
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 2019)

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 2018)
Existence of personal privacy/data law Yes. Personal Data Protection Act 2002, amended 2019 (Personal Data Protection Act 2002, amended 2019)
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 2019)
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 before the respective administrative court, by the order of the Administrative Procedure Code. The decision of the administrative court shall not be subject to cassation challenge. (Article 40 of the Access to Public Information Act, 2000, amended 2019)

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 2019 Articles 13-16 & 28(3) of the Administrative Procedure Code, 2006, amended 2017)
Fines are specified for violations of disclosure requirements Yes. Fines are levied on the government or its agencies for the failure to provide information. Specifically, the fines range from 50 to 2,000 leva, depending upon who violated the law. (Article 42 of Access to Public Information Act, 2000, amended 2019)
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 2019 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 2019)
Public body that is responsible for applying sanctions Yes. AArt. 43. (Amended, SG No. 49/2007) (1) (Supplemented, SG No. 50/2016, effective 01.07.2016) Violations under this Act shall be established by the officials. persons appointed by the Minister of Justice in the cases under Art. 3, para. 2 or by the respective authority in the other cases. The violations under Art. 15g, para. 2 shall be established by the officials, authorized by the chairman of the State Agency "Electronic Government". (2) The penal decrees shall be issued as follows: 1. under Art. 42, para. 1 - by the respective authority under Art. 3, para. 1 or by an employee authorized by him; 2. under Art. 42, para. 2 - by the persons and by the order of art. 306 of the Administrative Procedure Code ; 3. (suppl. - SG, iss. 50 in 2016, in force from 01.07.2016) under Art. 42, para. 3 regarding art. 14 , 15 , 15a , 15b , art. 15c, para. 3 and Art. 31, para. 3 - by the respective body, and in the cases when the obligated subject is from the ones indicated in art. 3, para. 2 - by the Minister of Justice or by an employee authorized by him; 4. (New, SG No. 50/2016, effective 01.07.2016) under Art. 42, para. 3 regarding art. 15g, para. 2 - by the Chairman of the State Agency "Electronic Government" or by officials authorized by him; 5. (suppl. - SG, iss. 97 in 2015, in force from 12.01.2016, previous item 4 - SG, iss. 50 in 2016, in force from 01.07.2016) under Art. 42, para. 4 and 5 - by the Minister of Justice or by an employee authorized by him (Article 43 of the Access to Public Information Act, 2000, amended 2019)
Public body that is responsible for public outreach (raising public awareness) No. Absent from legal framework.
Nodal agency for RTI (implementation support/compliance within public sector). Does not include Ombudsman. No. Absent from legal framework.
Ombudsman involvement in implementation is specified by law No. Absent from legal framework.
Reporting of data and/or implementation is required Yes. Art. 16. (1) The State Agency for Electronic Governance prepares a three-yearly summary report on the availability of re-use information provided by public sector organizations, the conditions under which it is provided and the legal remedies. Public sector organizations send annually to the administration of the Council of Ministers reports on these circumstances. (2) The report shall be made public and shall be made available to the European Commission. (Article 16 of the Access to Public Information Act, 2000, amended 2019)

Legislation

Constitution of Bulgaria of 1991_BUL (Bulgarian)pdf
Law on Access to Public Information of 2000_BUL (Bulgarian)pdf
Law on Statutory Instruments of 1973_BUL (Bulgarian)pdf
Administrative Procedure Code of 2006_BUL (Bulgarian)pdf
Administration Act of 1998 _BUL (Bulgarian)pdf
Public Finance Act of 2013_BUL (Bulgarian)pdf
Protection of Classified Information Act of 2002_BUL (Bulgarian)pdf
Personal Data Protection Act of 2002_BUL (Bulgarian)pdf

*Last update: 2017


Public Procurement

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

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

         BGN 30000 (ca. EUR 15000) for goods  

         BGN 50000 (ca. EUR 25000) for works

         BGN 30000 (ca. EUR 15000) for services

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

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

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

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


Quantitative Data

Primary Metric

20122015201620172020Trend
Scope727188
Information availability85859797
Evaluation100949488
Open competition83837572
Institutional arrangements29292936

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


Qualitative Data

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

Scope

Threshold - lowest PP

What is the minimum contract value above which the Public Procurement Act is applied? (Product type GOODS) BGN 30000. Contracting authorities may award contracts directly if their expected value is lower than: 1. BGN 50 000 – in public works; 2. BGN 70 000 – in services under Annex No 2; 3. BGN 30 000 - in supplies and services (with exceptions). Contracting authorities can, furthermore, award contracts through collecting offers with a call or invitation to certain persons where the public procurements have an expected value: 1. in public works – from BGN 50 000 to BGN 270 000; 2. in supplies and services, with the exception of the services under Annex No 2 – from BGN 30 000 to BGN 70 000. (Public Procurement Act of 2016, as amended in 2019, Arts. 19 and 20 (3) (4))
What is the minimum contract value above which the Public Procurement Act is applied? (Product type WORKS) BGN 50000. Contracting authorities may award contracts directly if their expected value is lower than: 1. BGN 50 000 – in public works; 2. BGN 70 000 – in services under Annex No 2; 3. BGN 30 000 - in supplies and services (with exceptions). Contracting authorities can, furthermore, award contracts through collecting offers with a call or invitation to certain persons where the public procurements have an expected value: 1. in public works – from BGN 50 000 to BGN 270 000; 2. in supplies and services, with the exception of the services under Annex No 2 – from BGN 30 000 to BGN 70 000. (Public Procurement Act of 2016, as amended in 2019, Arts. 19 and 20 (3) (4))
What is the minimum contract value above which the Public Procurement Act is applied? (Product type SERVICES) BGN 30000. Contracting authorities may award contracts directly if their expected value is lower than: 1. BGN 50 000 – in public works; 2. BGN 70 000 – in services under Annex No 2; 3. BGN 30 000 - in supplies and services (with exceptions). Contracting authorities can, furthermore, award contracts through collecting offers with a call or invitation to certain persons where the public procurements have an expected value: 1. in public works – from BGN 50 000 to BGN 270 000; 2. in supplies and services, with the exception of the services under Annex No 2 – from BGN 30 000 to BGN 70 000. (Public Procurement Act of 2016, as amended in 2019, Arts. 19 and 20 (3) (4))

Threshold - by PP type

What are the minimum application thresholds for the procurement type? (Entity: PUBLIC SECTOR) BGN 30000. Absolute minimum threshold below which a direct award is possible still applies. The minimum contract values above which the majority of procurement procedures (open procedure; restricted procedure; competition procedure with agreement; agreement with preliminary calls for participation; negotiation with publication of call for procurement; competition dialogue; partnership for innovations; agreement without preliminary call of proposals; agreements without preliminary call for participation; agreement without publication of call for procurement; and competition for a project) apply to public contracting authorities and their partnerships are: a) BGN 10 000 000 - for public works; b) BGN 280 000 - for supply and services; c) BGN 1 000 000 – for services under Annex No 2. For the modalities public competition and direct agreement, value thresholds are: 1. in public works – from BGN 270 000 to BGN 10 000 000; 2. in supplies and services, including and the services under Annex No 2 – from BGN 70 000 to the relevant threshold depending on the type of the contracting authority and the subject of the procurement. (Public Procurement Act of 2016, as amended in 2019, Art. 19 and 20 (1) 1. 3. (2))
What are the minimum application thresholds for the procurement type? (Entity: UTILITIES) BGN 30000. Absolute minimum threshold below which a direct award is possible still applies. Awards by contracting authorities operating in the utilities sector fall under Part III, Chapter Fifteen of the Public Procurement Act of 2016. Sector activities are the ones connected to: 1. natural gas and heating energy; 2. electric energy; 3. water supply; 4. transport services; 5. exploitation of geographic area; 6. post services. Sector contracting authorities shall award public procurements with an expected value larger or equal to: a) BGN 10 000 000 - for public works; b) BGN 860 000 – for supplies and services; c) BGN 1 500 000 – for services under Annex No 2. (Public Procurement Act of 2016, as amended in 2019, Arts. 19, 20 (1) 3. and 123)
What are the minimum application thresholds for the procurement type? (Entity: DEFENCE) BGN 280000. Public contracting authorities, working in the area of defence, shall award public procurements with an expected value larger or equal to: a) BGN 10 000 000 – for public works; b) BGN 280 000 - for services and supplies, which include products under Annex No 3; c) BGN 430 000 – for supplies, which include products outside the scope of Annex No 3; d) BGN 1 000 000 - for services under Annex No 2. Furthermore, public and sector contracting authorities shall award procurements in the areas of defence and security with prognosis value, larger or equal to: a) BGN 860 000 – for supplies of military equipment, including parts, components and/or mounting elements for it, including equipment included in the list of the products related to defence adopted under Art. 2, Para. 1 of the Act on the Export Control of Defence - Related Products and Dual Use Items and Technologies; b) BGN 860 000 - for supply of sensitive equipment, including parts, components and/or mounting elements for it; c) BGN 860 000 – for supplies directly related to equipment under letters "a" and "b" for each and every element of its life cycle; d) BGN 10 000 000 – for public works directly connected to the equipment under letters "a" and "b" for each every of the elements of its life cycle; e) BGN 860 000 – for services of specific military purposes or for sensitive services; f) BGN 10 000 000 - for public works for specific military purposes or for sensitive public works. However, contracts whose values are smaller than the relevant threshold may be awarded directly but the contracting authorities shall be obliged to sign a written contract. (Public Procurement Act of 2016, as amended in 2019, Art. 19 (3) and 20 (1) 2. 4. (6))

Threshold - by product type

What are the minimum application thresholds for the procurement type? (Product type GOODS) BGN 30000. Absolute minimum threshold below which a direct award is possible still applies. Minimum contract values above which the majority of procurement procedures (open procedure; restricted procedure; competition procedure with agreement; agreement with preliminary calls for participation; negotiation with publication of call for procurement; competition dialogue; partnership for innovations; agreement without preliminary call of proposals; agreements without preliminary call for participation; agreement without publication of call for procurement; and competition for a project) apply to public contracting authorities and their partnerships are: a) BGN 10 000 000 - for public works; b) BGN 280 000 - for supply and services; c) BGN 1 000 000 – for services under Annex No 2. For the modalities public competition and direct agreement, value thresholds are: 1. in public works – from BGN 270 000 to BGN 10 000 000; 2. in supplies and services, including and the services under Annex No 2 – from BGN 70 000 to the relevant threshold depending on the type of the contracting authority and the subject of the procurement. However, contracting authorities can award contracts through collecting offers with a call or invitation of certain persons, where contracts have an expected value of: 1. in public works – from BGN 50 000 to BGN 270 000; 2. in supplies and services, with the exception of the services under Annex No 2 – from BGN 30 000 to BGN 70 000. (Public Procurement Act of 2016, as amended in 2019, Arts. 19 and 20 (1) 1. b), (2) 2. b), (3) 2.)
What are the minimum application thresholds for the procurement type? (Product type WORKS) BGN 50000. Absolute minimum threshold below which a direct award is possible still applies. Minimum contract values above which the majority of procurement procedures (open procedure; restricted procedure; competition procedure with agreement; agreement with preliminary calls for participation; negotiation with publication of call for procurement; competition dialogue; partnership for innovations; agreement without preliminary call of proposals; agreements without preliminary call for participation; agreement without publication of call for procurement; and competition for a project) apply to public contracting authorities and their partnerships are: a) BGN 10 000 000 - for public works; b) BGN 280 000 - for supply and services; c) BGN 1 000 000 – for services under Annex No 2. For the modalities public competition and direct agreement, value thresholds are: 1. in public works – from BGN 270 000 to BGN 10 000 000; 2. in supplies and services, including and the services under Annex No 2 – from BGN 70 000 to the relevant threshold depending on the type of the contracting authority and the subject of the procurement. However, contracting authorities can award contracts through collecting offers with a call or invitation of certain persons, where contracts have an expected value of: 1. in public works – from BGN 50 000 to BGN 270 000; 2. in supplies and services, with the exception of the services under Annex No 2 – from BGN 30 000 to BGN 70 000. (Public Procurement Act of 2016, as amended in 2019, Art. 19 and 20 (1) 1. a), (2) 1. b), (3) 1.)
What are the minimum application thresholds for the procurement type? (Product type SERVICES) BGN 30000. Absolute minimum threshold below which a direct award is possible still applies. Minimum contract values above which the majority of procurement procedures (open procedure; restricted procedure; competition procedure with agreement; agreement with preliminary calls for participation; negotiation with publication of call for procurement; competition dialogue; partnership for innovations; agreement without preliminary call of proposals; agreements without preliminary call for participation; agreement without publication of call for procurement; and competition for a project) apply to public contracting authorities and their partnerships are: a) BGN 10 000 000 - for public works; b) BGN 280 000 - for supply and services; c) BGN 1 000 000 – for services under Annex No 2. For the modalities public competition and direct agreement, value thresholds are: 1. in public works – from BGN 270 000 to BGN 10 000 000; 2. in supplies and services, including and the services under Annex No 2 – from BGN 70 000 to the relevant threshold depending on the type of the contracting authority and the subject of the procurement. However, contracting authorities can award contracts through collecting offers with a call or invitation of certain persons, where contracts have an expected value of: 1. in public works – from BGN 50 000 to BGN 270 000; 2. in supplies and services, with the exception of the services under Annex No 2 – from BGN 30 000 to BGN 70 000. (Public Procurement Act of 2016, as amended in 2019, Art. 19 and 20 (1) 1. b), (2) 2. b), (3) 2.)

Information availability

Publishing and record keeping

Is there a requirement that tender documents must published in full? Yes. Contracting authorities shall provide unlimited, complete, free and direct access through the eletronic platform (provided for in Art. 39a) to the documentation for the public procurement from the date of: 1. publishing the notice in the Official Journal of the EU; 2. publication of the notice in the Register of public procurements, where it is not subject to publication under p. 1; or 3. sending the call for confirmation of interest. In the notice or call for confirmation of interest the internet address shall be indicated at which the public procurement documentation is accessible. Public procurement documentation shall contain: 1. technical specifications; 2. investment and other projects, where they are required for preparation of the offer; 3. methods for defining the complex assessment of the offer, where applicable; 4. document forms, as well as instruction for their preparation; 5. draft contract unless the contract is concluded under general conditions, or a normative act defines its obligatory content; 6. additional documents, where applicable. (Public Procurement Act of 2016, as amended in 2019, Arts. 31, 32, 36 and 36)
Are any of these documents published online at a central place? Yes. Documents can be found via the Public Procurement Portal: https://www2.aop.bg/en/home/ (Public Procurement Act of 2016, as amended in 2019, Art. 35 (3))
Is it mandatory to keep all of these records? -Public notices of bidding opportunities, -Bidding documents and addenda, -Bid opening records, -Bid evaluation reports, -Formal appeals by bidders and outcomes, -Final signed contract documents and addenda and amendments, -Claims and dispute resolutions, -Final payments, -Disbursement data (as required by the country’s financial management system) Yes. Contracting authorities shall maintain a file for each public procurement in view to provision of documental traceability (audit path) in relation to all their actions and decisions, as well as of the actions of the commissions for awarding public procurements notwithstanding if the procurements are awarded by electronic media. The file shall contain all the decisions, notices, documentation and other additional documents, explanations, invitations, records, final reports of the commission, the offers or participation applications, evidences for undertaken actions, description of the reasons because of which other means are used for submission of documents, different from the electronic ones in electronic submission, and in the cases of realized preliminary control – also the opinions of the Public Procurement Agency and the grounds for the contracting authority for the unaccepted recommendations. The file shall contain the contract or the framework agreement, as well as all the documents, related to fulfillment and its accounting. Contracting authorities shall also store the information related to contracts, where they apply the exceptions from the Act. Electronic documents should be kept for a period of 5 years. (Public Procurement Act of 2016, as amended in 2019, Arts. 36, 36a, 121 and 122)
Are contracts awarded within a framework agreement published (ie mini contracts)? Yes. In case of contracts awarded on the bases of framework agreements or dynamic systems for purchases, contracting authorities can submit for publication an notice for awarding a procurement, which shall contain information about all signed contracts during the relevant quarter. The notice shall be submitted within the term of up to 30 days after the end of every quarter. (Public Procurement Act of 2016, as amended in 2019, Art. 26 (4))

Sub-contracting

Is it mandatory to publish information on subcontractors (ie names) in some cases? Yes. Contracting authorities shall issue decisions which contain, among other elements, the name of the bidder selected for contractor, and where applicable – the name of sub-contractor and the part of the contract for procurement or framework agreement, which they will fulfill. Where the applicant or participant has indicated that he will use the capacity of third persons for evidencing the compliance with the selection criteria or that they will avail of a subcontractor, a separate European Single Procurement Document (ESPD) shall be produced for each of these persons, which shall contain the relevant information. (Public Procurement Act of 2016, as amended in 2019, Arts. 22 (5) e), 66, 67 (1) (2), 175 (4) and Annex No 18 to Art. 175, Para. 2)
If yes, what is the threshold for publication (i.e. the % of total contract value subcontracted)? For example, if the threshold is 75%, and you have subcontracted out only 40% of your contract, no disclosure is required. Consultant will insert 75% in the short answer column.If yes, what is the threshold for publication (i.e. the % of total contract value subcontracted)? 0%. (Public Procurement Act of 2016, as amended in 2019, Art. 67 (2))

Evaluation

Preferential treatment

Is there a ban on mentioning specific companies or brands in tender specification/call for tender? Yes. The technical specifications must provide equal access of the applicants or participants to the procedure for awarding the public procurement and not create unreasonable obstacles before awarding the public procurement in conditions of competition. Technical specifications shall not contain a concrete model, source or specific process which characterizes the products or services offered by a concrete potential contractor, not a trade mark, patent, type or concrete origin or production, which would lead to advantage or elimination of certain persons or products. Exceptionally, where it is impossible for the procurement's product to be described exactly enough and in an understandable way, it is admitted similar indication, where the words "or equivalent" shall be added. (Public Procurement Act of 2016, as amended in 2019, Art. 49 )
Is there a preferential treatment for small-to-medium enterprises (SMEs)? No. While there is no concrete provision setting out the mandatory nature of preferential treatment for SMEs, the Council of Ministers may define areas in which public procurements shall be obligatorily divided in separate lots according to specialized sectors of activity of SMEs and their capacity possibilities. Also, information concerning the number of tenders received from economic operators which are SMEs, as well as whether the successful tenderer is an SME should be included in contract award notices and in notices of the results of a contest. Furthermore, the Central Purchasing Authorities specified in Art. 96 must provide the following information: 1. Measures aimed at the participation of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), start-ups and economic operators seeking to expand their activities in public procurement procedures; 2. Data related to the participation of SMEs in public procurement procedures, incl. total number of tenders submitted and number of tenders submitted by SMEs, number and total value of public contracts awarded to SMEs; 3. Measures to ensure timely payments on public procurement, especially for SMEs, as well as those concerning payments to subcontractors. 4. Possible structural or recurring problems, as well as specific regulations creating significant implementation problems. (Public Procurement Act of 2016, as amended in 2019, Art. 46 (3), Annex No. 4, Part F and Annex No. 5, Part C Rules No. 73 of 2016, as amended in 2020, Annex No. 3 to Art. 114, para. 2)
Is there a preferential treatment for local/national companies? (companies from other EU MS are considered foreign companies) No. Contracts are awarded in compliance with the principles of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU) and more specially the ones for free movement of goods, freedom of establishment and freedom to provide services and mutual recognition, as well as the principles comprising from them: 1. equality and non-admittance of discrimination; 2. free competition; 3. proportionality; 4. publicity and transparency. Any applicant or participant in a procedure for awarding public procurement may be any Bulgarian or foreign natural or legal person or their partnerships, as well as any other formation, which has the right to fulfill public works, supply or services under the legislation of the state in which it is established. (Public Procurement Act of 2016, as amended in 2019, Arts. 2 and 10 (1))
Is there a specific set of rules for green/sustainable procurement? Yes. Contracting authorities may include in the requirements for implementation of the procurement special conditions, related economic or social aspects of the implementation, innovations, environment protection or of employment. They shall require from participants to declare that their offers have been prepared while observing the obligations, related to taxes and securities, environment protection, employment protection and conditions at labour, which are in force in the country, or in the state where the public works is to be performed or the services to be provided and which are applicable to the public works or the provided services. When awarding a public procurement for the supply of road vehicles of certain categories defined in the Road Traffic Act, contracting authorities are obliged to take into account the energy and environmental impacts throughout the life cycle of vehicles. Additionally, the contracting authority may require from the applicant or participant to apply systems, standards and certain measures for environment protection, while fulfilling the procurement. In case that the contracting authority requires provision of certificates, which certify the compliance of the applicant or participant with certain systems or standards for environment protection, they shall indicate the ecological and audit scheme of the EU (EMAS) or the standards for protection of the environment through the relevant European or international standards. Finally, an offer shall not be accepted, if the proposed price or costs are more than 20% more favorable than the average values in other offers because norms and rules have not bee observed relating to environment protection, social and labour law, applicable collective agreements and/or provision of the international ecological, social and labour law. (Public Procurement Act of 2016, as amended in 2019, Arts. 47 (1) (3) (5), 63 (1) 6. and 11., 64 (4), 72 (4), 107 2. b), 115 and Annex No 10 to Art. 72, para. 4)

Bid evaluation

Are there restrictions on allowable grounds for tenderer exclusion? Yes. The contracting authority must exclude bidders (mandatory exclusion) if: 1. they have been convicted with an enforced verdict for specified crimes; 2. they have been convicted with an enforced verdict for a crime analogous to the ones under n. 1 in another Member State or third state; 3. they owe taxes and mandatory social security contributions according to the Tax-Insurance Procedure Code to the state or Municipality of the central office of the contracting authority and the bidder, or has equivalent obligations under the legislation of the state in which the bidder is established (admits exceptions); 4. there is market inequality; 5. it has been established that they have: a) produced a document with untrue contents, related to certification of the lack of grounds for removal or fulfillment of the selection criteria; b) not produced required information, related to certifying lack of grounds for removal or fulfillment of the selection criteria; 6. it is established with an enforced penal decree or court decision that a violation of the Labour Code or of the Labour Migration and Labour Mobility Act has occurred, or similar obligations established by an act of a competent body, under the legislation of the state, in which the bidder is established; 7. there is conflict of interests, which cannot be removed. These grounds refer to persons who represent the bidder and the members of its management or supervision bodies according to the register (if any) in which the bidder is entered, or documents certifying its legal personality. The contracting authority may not apply these requirements for contracts awarded on certain grounds when it is necessary to protect state or public interests. Optional grounds for tenderer exclusion are: 1. bidder has been declared in insolvency, is in insolvency or liquidation procedure, has signed a court settlement with creditors or has terminated his activity; 2. bidder has been deprived from the right to exercise a certain profession or activity according to the legislation of the state where the act has been committed; 3. bidder has signed an agreement with other persons in view to violation of competition, where the violation has been established by an act of a competent body; 4. it has been proved that the bidder has failed to fulfil a public procurement contract or contract for public works or service, which led to its cancellation or preliminary termination, payment of compensations or other similar sanctions; 5. bidder has tried to: a) influence the contracting authority's decision-making powers related to removal, selection or awarding of a contract; or b) receive priviliged information, which provides advantage in the awarding procedure. (Public Procurement Act of 2016, as amended in 2019, Arts. 54, 55 and 107)
Are some bids automatically excluded? e.g., lowest/highest price; unusually low price, etc. No. This applies to abnormally low tenders. After requesting written justification from the bidder for the value of an offer which is by more than 20% more favorable than the average value of other offers, the contracting authority may remove the bidder from the tender only if produced evidences are not sufficient to justify the offered price or costs. Bids which are abnormally low due to non compliance with norms and rules related to environment protection, social and labour law, or because of received state aid, where the bidder cannot prove in the envisaged term that the aid is compatible with the internal market in the meaning of Art. 107 of TFEU, are to be rejected. (Public Procurement Act of 2016, as amended in 2019, Art. 72)
Is scoring criteria published? Yes. Contracting authorities shall indicate the selection criteria and documents which prove their fulfillment in the notice which announces the opening of the procedure, in the invitation for confirmation of interest, or in the invitation for participation in negotiations. The selection criteria shall define the minimum requirement for admissibility. (Public Procurement Act of 2016, as amended in 2019, Art. 59 (5), Annex No. 4 to Art. 23, Para 5 p. 2, letter "a", Parts B and C, Annex No 5 to Art. 23, Para. 5, p. 2, letter "b", Part F, Annex No 16 to Art. 156, Para. 2, Part B, Annex No 19 to Art. 178, Para. 1 and Annex No 20 to Art. 187, Para. 1)
Are decisions always made by a committee? Yes. The contracting authority shall appoint a commission for performing the selection, consideration and evaluation of the offers and conducting negotiation and dialogue. The commission shall contain an odd number of members. In relation to the commission members, there should not be conflict of interest with the applicants or participants. The commission actions shall be recorded, where the results of its operation shall be reflected in a report. The commission decision shall be taken by majority of its members. Where a commission member is against the taken decision, they shall sign the record with reservation and shall attach their grounds in writing. The rules for the commission operation shall be determined by the Rules on the implementation of the act. Furthermore, in the modality "competition for a project", competition shall be conducted by a jury, which shall be independent in decision taking or expressing opinions. In relation to the jury members, there should not be a conflict of interest with the bidders. (Public Procurement Act of 2016, as amended in 2019, Arts. 103 and 80 (7))
Are there regulations on evaluation committee composition to prevent conflict of interest? Yes. In relation to the commission members, there should not be conflict of interest with the applicants or participants. (Public Procurement Act of 2016, as amended in 2019, Art. 103 (2))
Is some part of evaluation committee mandatorily independent of contracting authority? No. Although it cannot be said that the evaluation committee is mandatorily independent of the contracting authority, the Public Procurement Act of 2016 does mention that in the "competition for a project" procedure, the contracting authority shall acquire in the areas of city and village public planning, architecture, engineering activity or data, processing a plan or conceptual design, selected by independent board on the basis of a competition with or without awarding prices. The competition for a project may be open or restricted. The competition shall be conducted by jury, which shall be independent in decision taking or expressing opinions. In relation to the jury members, there should not be a conflict of interest with the applicants or participants. Moreover, the Act expressily states that in preparation of awarding a public procurement, the contracting authority may conduct market consultations, by searching advice from independent experts or bodies, or market players. (Public Procurement Act of 2016, as amended in 2019, Arts. 18 (8), 44 (1) and 80 (7))
Are scoring results publicly available? No. The contracting authorities shall be liable for the correct forecasting, planning, conducting, finalization and accounting the results of the public procurement. Depending on the type and stage of the procedure, contracting authorities shall issue decisions that shall contain: 1. name of the contracting authority; 2. number, date and legal ground for issuance of the act; 3. indication of the procedure type and the procurement subject; 4. prognosis value of the procurement – where applicable; 5. grounds – in the cases where they are required; 6. regulatory part, whose contents shall depend on the type and stage if the procedure, and shall include: a) approval of the relevant documents, related to conducting the procedure; b) approval of the notice for amendment and supplementation of the information; c) the results of the preliminary selection, including decreasing of the number of applicants, the results of the dialogue or grading of participants; d) the removed applicants or participants and grounds for their removal, including the related to non-acceptation of offers under Art. 72 – where applicable; e) name of the participant, selected for contractor, and where applicable – the name of sub-contractor and the part of the contract for procurement or framework agreement, which he will fulfill; f) found conflicts of interests in relation to the applicants or participants and the measures taken – where applicable; 7. before which body and in what term it may be appealed; 8. full name and signature of the person, issued the act with indicating his position. Furthermore, electronic tenders shall be organized in a way which gives possibility to each participant to define their relative place in the grading at any moment. Under the condition that the invitation has envisaged, bidders may be provided with information about proposed prices or values offered by others. (Public Procurement Act of 2016, as amended in 2019, Arts. 5 (1), 22 (1) (5), 90 (9) (11), 186 and 192 (4))
Does the law specify under which conditions the tender can be cancelled? Yes. The contracting authority shall terminate the procedure with a grounded decision, where: 1. no offer, participation application, or competitive project has been submitted, or no participant for negotiations has appeared; 2. all the offers or participation applications do not meet the conditions for presentation, including for form, way and term, or are inappropriate; 3. all the competition projects do not meet the preliminary announced conditions by the contracting authority; 4. the first and second graded participants refuse to sign a contract; 5. violations have been found in its opening and conducting, which cannot be removed, without this changing the conditions, in which the procedure is announced; 6. because failure to fulfill some of the conditions under Art. 112, Para. 1, no public procurement contract shall be signed; 7. all the offers, which meet the preliminary announced conditions by the contracting authority exceed the financial resource, which he may provide; 8. the need for conducting the procedure or for awarding the contract falls as a result of a substantial change in the circumstances or in impossibility to be provided financing for fulfillment of the procurement because of reasons, which the contracting authority could not envisage; 9. substantial changes are needed in the conditions of the announced procurement, which would change the circle of the interested persons. The contracting authority may also terminate the procedure with a grounded decision, where: 1. only one offer, participation application or competition project has been submitted; 2. there is only one appropriate participation application or one suitable offer; 3. there is only one competition project, which meets the preliminary announced conditions by the contracting authority; 4. the participant, graded at the first place: a) refuses to sign a contract; b) fails to fulfill some of the conditions under Art. 112, Para. 1, or c) fails to prove that there are no grounds for removal from the procedure. (Public Procurement Act of 2016, as amended in 2019, Art. 110 (1) (2))

Open competition

CFT publication

Does the law specify the location for publicizing open calls for tenders? Yes. Public Procurement Register (PPR), Buyer's Profile and the "Official Journal" of the European Union (thresholds apply) (Public Procurement Act of 2016, as amended in 2019, Arts. 36, 36a and 156)
Does the law specify the location for publicizing restricted calls for tenders? Yes. Public Procurement Register (PPR), Buyer's Profile and the "Official Journal" of the European Union (thresholds apply) (Public Procurement Act of 2016, as amended in 2019, Arts. 36, 36a and 156)
Does the law specify the location for publicizing negotiated calls for tenders? Yes. Public Procurement Register (PPR), Buyer's Profile and the "Official Journal" of the European Union (thresholds apply) (Public Procurement Act of 2016, as amended in 2019, Arts. 36, 36a and 156)

Minimum # of bidders

What is the minimum number of bidders for restricted procedures? General. (Public Procurement Act of 2016, as amended in 2019, Art. 105 (3))
What is the minimum number of bidders for negotiated procedures? General. (Public Procurement Act of 2016, as amended in 2019, Art. 105 (3))
What is the minimum number of bidders for competitive dialogue procedures? General. (Public Procurement Act of 2016, as amended in 2019, Art. 105 (3))

Bidding period length

What are the minimum number of days for open procedures? General. The minimum term for receiving offers in an open procedure shall be 30 days from the date of sending the public procurement notice for publication. (Public Procurement Act of 2016, as amended in 2019, Art. 74 (1))
What are the minimum number of days for restricted procedures? General. The minimum term for receiving application for participation in a restricted procedure shall be 30 days from the date of submission of: 1. the public procurement notice for publication, or 2. invitation for confirmation of interest, where for notice of opening the procedure an notice of preliminary information has been used. (Public Procurement Act of 2016, as amended in 2019, Art. 75 (2))
What are the minimum number of days  for competitive negotiated procedures? General. The minimal term for receiving of applications for participation in the procedure shall be 30 days from the date of sending: 1. the public procurement notice for publication, or 2. invitation for confirmation of interest – where for announcing the opening of the procedure an notice is used for preliminary information. (Public Procurement Act of 2016, as amended in 2019, Art. 76 (3))

Institutional arrangements

Institutions and regulations

Does the law specify the main EXCEPTIONS preventing the application of the Public Procurement Act for tenders/organisations? Yes. The act shall not apply: 1. to public procurement and competitions for a project, which must be awarded on rules, established in an international agreement, signed while observing the provision of TFEU, between the Republic of Bulgaria and one or more third countries or their autonomic areas for supply, services or public works of sites, intended for joint realization or exploitation by the parties, signed it; 2. to public procurement and competition for project, which are awarded under the rules of an international organization or international financing institution, where they are wholly financed by the relevant organization or institution; in public procurement and competition for a project, co-financed by more than 50% by an international organization or international financing institution, the parties negotiate the applicable procedure for awarding the procurements; 3. to public procurement and competition for a project, which are awarded in absence of procedures for awarding a public procurement, established by an international organization in its rules; 4. with acquiring or renting – notwithstanding what financial funds – of land, existing buildings or other immovable properties or right over them; 5. with procurements for buying programme time or provision of programmes, which are awarded to providers of media services; 6. in arbitrage and conciliation services; 7. to legal services, related to: a) representation of a client of a lawyer's company or by a lawyer in arbitrage or conciliation procedure in a Member State, third state or before an international arbitrage or conciliating institution or in a procedure before the court, jurisdiction or public body of a Member State or third country or before international court, jurisdiction or institution; b) provision of legal advice by a lawyer’s company or by a lawyer in the preparation of a procedure under letter "a", as well as provision of legal advice on issued, which may become subject to the procedures under letter "a"; c) establishment and certification of documents, which are performed mandatory by a notary; d) provision by persons, determined by a court or competent body or under the law, where the fulfillment of the services is under the supervision of the court or the competent body; e) exercising function of state power, including services on judicial enforcement, provided by a bailiff; 8. with financial services, related to emitting, sale, purchase or transfer of securities or other financial instruments, services, provided in relation to undertaking and management of the state debt, services, provided in relation to management of the system of a single account and fiscal reserve, services, provided by the Bulgarian National Bank, operations, carried out with the European Financial Stability Facility (EFSF) and the European Stability Mechanism; 8a.for services provided to: a) the Bulgarian National Bank related to financial messaging, communication and support for financial messaging systems; b) the Bulgarian National Bank and the Financial Supervision Commission related to providing real time uninterrupted access to financial and economic information, including means of extracting and analyzing asset prices and other economic and financial data as well as platforms for trading and registering financial and other assets on international markets; c) The Bulgarian National Bank related to production of Bulgarian exchange and commemorative coins; 9. for loans, including bank credits, notwithstanding if they are related to emitting, sale, purchase or transfer of securities or other financial instruments; 10. in labour legal relations in the meaning of § 1, p. 26 of the Additional Provisions of the Income Taxes on Natural Persons Act; 11. in services, related to the civil defence, civil protection and prevention of dangers, which are provided by non-profitable legal persons and which fall in the scope of codes of the CPV 75250000-3, 75251000-0, 75251100-1, 75251110-4, 75251120-7, 75252000-7, 75222000-8; 98113100-9 and 85143000-3 with exception of the services of ambulances for carriage of patients; 12. in public services for passenger carriage by railway transport or by underground, where they are awarded according to Regulation (EC) No 1370/2007 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 23 October 2007 on public passenger transport services by rail and by road and repealing Council Regulations (EEC) Nos 1191/69 and 1107/70 (OJ, L 315/1 of 3 December 2007); 13. in public procurements and competition for a project, related to the defence and security areas, for which the provision of Part Four shall not apply: a) awarding of which is related to provision of information, whose disclosure contradicts to the basic interests of the country security, under Art. 345, Para. 1, letter "a" of the TFEU, or b) where the contracting authority is obliged to award and/or organize the procurement in specific procedure rules under international agreements or contracts, signed while observing the provision of TFEU between the Republic of Bulgaria on one part and one or more third parties, or their autonomous areas - on the other for supply, services or public works, intended for joint realization or exploitation by the signed parties, or c) awarded to undertakings of a Member State or of a third country in fulfillment of international agreement or contracts, related to deployment of troops, or d) where the contracting authority is obliged to award them or organize in compliance with rules, established by an international organization, or e) awarded under rules of an international organization or international financing institution, where they are thoroughly financed by the relevant organization or institution; in public procurement and competitions for a project, co-financed by more than 50% from an international organization or international financing institution, the parties shall negotiate the applicable procedure for awarding the procurement, or f) where the protection of basic interests, related to security of the country cannot be guaranteed through setting requirements, directed to protection of the information, which the contracting authority must produce in a procedure of awarding a public procurement under this act or through other measures with smaller level of intervention, or g) the fulfillment of which is accompanied by special security measures in compliance with the legislation in force in view to protection of basic interests of the country security; 14. in public procurement for services, awarded by contracting authority to a public contracting authority or of partnership of such contracting authorities which have exclusive rights for provision of the relevant service under a compatible act, legislative normative act or published administrative act with the provisions of the TFEU; 15. for procurement for services for scientific research and development activity, where some of the following conditions is not fulfilled: a) the benefits occur wholly for the contracting authority in order to use them while performing its activity; b) the provided service is paid thoroughly by the contracting authority; 16. for the services under obligatory social security; 17. for insurance contracts, covering liability for nuclear damage in implementing the Vienna Convention on Civil Liability for Nuclear Damage, drawn up in Vienna on 21 September 1988 ( ratified by an act – SG, 64/1994) (publ. – SG, 76/1994; corr. 91/1994) and of the Safe Use of Nuclear Power Act; 18. contracts for services, supplies or construction works, concluded by a contracting authority under Art. 5, para. 2, items 1 - 13, and para. 4, item 1 related to construction and maintenance of engineering facilities hindering border crossings in order to protect state borders; 19. to contracts on maintaining the security of objects and to contracts for carrying out fire-fighting and rescue work and state fire control by officials of the Ministry of Interior concluded under the Ministry of Interior Act. 20. when medical establishments for hospital care are buying medicinal products included in the list under Art. 266a, para. 2 of the Medicinal Products in Human Medicine Act. Additionally, exceptions to the Act applicable to public and sector (utilities) contracting authorities are listed and specified. (Public Procurement Act of 2016, as amended in 2019, Arts. 13, 14 and 15)
Does the law specify the main types of institutions that must apply the Public Procurement Act? Yes. Public contracting authorities shall be: 1. the President of the Republic of Bulgaria; 2. the President of the National Assembly; 3. the Prime Minister; 4. the Ministers; 5. the Ombudsman of the republic of Bulgaria; 6. The Governor of the Bulgarian National Bank; 7. the President of the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Bulgaria, the administrative heads of the judiciary bodies, which govern independent budgets, as well as the administrative heads of Prosecutions in the Country; 8. the Regional Governors; 9. Municipality Mayors, of regions, of City Halls, as well as Deputy Mayors, where they are budgetary spending units; 10. the Chairpersons of state agencies; 11. the Chairpersons of the state commissions; 12. the Executive Directors of executive agencies; 13. heads of state institutions, established by an act or a Council of Ministers Decree, including separate structures of the executive, where they are legal persons and budgetary spending units; 14. representatives of public-legal organizations; 15. heads of diplomatic and counselor representations of the Republic of Bulgaria abroad, as well as the permanent representations of the Republic of Bulgaria at the international organizations; 16. the representing medical establishments – trade companies under Art. 36 – 37 of the Medical Establishments Act, owned by the state and/or municipalities, of which more than 50% of the revenues are from the state and/or the municipal budget, and of the budget of the National Healthinsurance Fund; 17. heads of central bodies for purchases, established for satisfaction of the needs of the public contracting authorities. Public contracting authorities shall also be unifications of abovementioned contracting authorities. Sector contracting authorities shall be: 1. representing public undertakings and their unifications, where they perform one or several sector activities; 2. representing the traders or other persons, which are not public undertakings, where on the basis of special or exclusive rights perform one or several sector activities; 3. the heads of central bodies for purchase, established for satisfaction needs of sector contracting authorities. (Public Procurement Act of 2016, as amended in 2019, Art. 5)
Does the law specify the main procedure types or procurement methods permitted? Yes. Procedures under the Public Procurement Act shall be: 1. open procedure; 2. restricted procedure; 3. competition procedure with agreement; 4. agreement with preliminary calls for participation; 5. negotiation with publication of call for procurement; 6. competition dialogue; 7. partnership for innovations; 8. agreement without preliminary call of proposals; 9. agreements without preliminary call for participation; 10. agreement without publication of call for procurement; 11. competition for a project; 12. public competition; 13. direct agreement. (Public Procurement Act of 2016, as amended in 2019, Art. 18 (1))
Is there a procurement arbitration court dedicated to public procurement cases? Yes. Every decision of the contracting authorities shall be subject of appeal in a procedure for: 1. awarding a public procurement, including under a framework agreement, dynamic system for purchases or qualification systems; 2. signing a framework agreement; 3. creating a dynamic system for purchases or qualification systems; 4. competition for a project. Decisions shall be appealed before the Competition Protection Commission about their legality, including for presence of discrimination, economic, financial, technical or qualification requirements in the notice, documentation or in every other document, related to the procedure. Competition Protection Commission's decisions shall be subject to appeal before the 3 judge panel of the Supreme Administrative Court within 14 day term from its notification of the parties. Certain orders and determinations of the Commission during proceedings shall be subject to appeal before a three-member panel of the Supreme Administrative Court within three days of their notification to the parties. The court shall adjudicate in a closed session within 14 days from the initiation of the proceedings in the private appeal. (Public Procurement Act of 2016, as amended in 2019, Arts. 196 (1) (3), 216 (1) and 216a (1))
Is there a procurement regulatory body dedicated to public procurement? Yes. The Minister of Finance shall carry out the state policy in the area of public procurements through the Public Procurement Agency (the “Agency”) which shall be a legal person at budgetary spending with central office in Sofia. The Agency shall be directed and represented by executive director, who shall be appointed by the Minister of Finance. The activity, structure, organization of operation and the staff of the Agency shall be provided by Rules of Procedure, adopted by the Council of Ministers. (Public Procurement Act of 2016, as amended in 2019, Arts. 227, 228 and 229)
Does the law specify procurement advisors' profession (i.e. degree to be obtained, official list of members of the professional association) and its role in the tendering process (e.g. right to draft tender documentations, conduct market research identifying bidders)? No. The state experts in the Public Procurement Agency, which participate in conducting the policies in the area of public procurements, must have Master educational-qualification degree. While no particular profession or mandatory participation of technical procurement advisors during tenders is mentioned, the Act specifies that the executive director of the Public Procurement Agency shall draw up, maintain and update a list of external experts with professional competence, related to the public procurement subjects, which the contracting authorities may use in the preparation and conducting procedures for awarding public procurements. The list must be published on the Public Procurement Portal and shall include persons who have professional competence related to the objects and subjects of the public procurement, and: 1. are proposed by professional associations and organizations in the respective branch or by certain bodies under the Administration Act, indicating their professional competence; 2. have independently submitted an application for entry, in which they have described the documents, through which the declared professional competence is proved. The list shall, furthermore, contain at least the following information: 1. name of the expert; 2. identification number; 3. postal and electronic address for correspondence, telephone, fax, etc; 4. acquired educational degree and specialty; 5. area of ​​professional competence defined in accordance with the categories of the Common Vocabulary (CPV); 6. data for professional qualification, additional qualification, if any, and the practical experience, related to the declared professional competence. (Public Procurement Act of 2016, as amended in 2019, Art. 103, 229 (1) 17. (8) and 232a Rules No. 73 of 2016, as amended in 2020, Art. 110 (1) (2) (3))
Is disclosure of final, beneficial owners required for placing a bid? No. Although disclosure of final beneficial owners is not formally required for placing a bid, conflict of interests arising from complex structures of corporate ownership constitute valid grounds for mandatory exclusion of a bidder from the procurement procedure. The Act specifies that, when probing for the existance of a conflict of interest, authorities shall refer to persons who represent the bidder and the members of their management or supervision bodies according to the register in which the bidder is entered (if any) or to the documents certifying their legal personality. When the composition of these bodies includes a legal person, the grounds refer to the natural persons who represent it according to the register in which the legal person is entered (if any), or to the documents attesting to its legal personality. If the bidder or a legal person in the composition of their control or management body is represented by a natural person by power of attorney, grounds for a conflict of interest shall also apply to this natural person. (Public Procurement Act of 2016, as amended in 2019, Art. 54 (1) 7. (2) (3))

Complaints

Is there a fee for arbitration procedure? Yes. For the procedures foreseen by the Public Procurement Act 2016 before the Competition Protection Commission and before the Supreme Administrative Court, state fees and costs shall be due, defined in a tariff, approved by the Council of Ministers. State fees for cassation appeal before the Supreme Administrative Court are set at the amount of fees due for appeal proceedings before the Commission for the Protection of Competition. State fees for the revocation of judicial acts entered into force and for private appeals before the Supreme Administrative Court shall be determined by the order of the Administrative Procedure Code. (Public Procurement Act of 2016, as amended in 2019, Arts. 199 (3) 3. and 220 (1))
Is there a ban on contract signature until arbitration court decision (first instance court)? Yes. An appeal against the decision of selection of a contractor shall stop the procedure for awarding a public procurement from the moment of its submition to the final settlement of the dispute, unless where a preliminary fulfillment is admitted, or where the decision has been taken in a procedure, opened under Art. 79, Para. 1, p. 4, Art. 138, Para. 1, Art. 164, Para. 1, p. 3 and 4, or Art. 182, Para. 1, p. 1. An appeal against a decision, action or lack of action of the contracting authority with the exception of the ones against the decision for selection of a contractor, shall not stop the awarding procedure of a public procurement, unless where a temporary measure of "termination of the procedure" has been requested. If such a temporary measure is requested in the appeal, the procedure for awarding the public procurement shall stop from the notification of the contracting authority for initiated proceedings under the Art. 200, para. 1 by the Commission for Protection of Competition by the enforcement of: 1. the determination, by which the request for a temporary measure is rejected; or 2. the decision on the appeal, if the temporary measure has been imposed. (Public Procurement Act of 2016, as amended in 2019, Art. 203 (1) (3) (4))
What is the maximum number of days until arbitration court decision from filing a complaint in the case of awarded contracts? General. The Competition Protection Commission shall pronounce on the appeal within 1 month term from formation of the procedure for public procurement at the value of Art. 20, Para. 1 and in the remaining cases – within 15 day term from formation of the procedure. The decision with the grounds shall be drawn up and shall be announced within 7 day term latest from pronunciation on the appeal. (Public Procurement Act of 2016, as amended in 2019, Art. 212)
Is there a requirement to publicly release arbitration court decisions ? Yes. Information in appeal proceedings shall be published in the Public Procurement Register (PPR) and on the Buyers' Profile. The Competition Protection Commission decision shall be in writing and shall contain: 1. date, place of decreeing and number; 2. factual and legal grounds for its decreeing; 3. the decision, which is appealed and name of the body, which has issued it; 4. names of the parties; 5. what is decreed; 6. in whose weight the costs are ordered; 7. before which body and in what term the decision may be appealed. (Public Procurement Act of 2016, as amended in 2019, Art. 36 (1) 6., 36a (1) 10. and 215 (8))

Legislation

Public Procurement Act 2016 ENG (English)pdf
Public Procurement Act, Prom. SG. 13/16 Feb 2016 (Bulgarian)pdf
Rules No 73 of 2016 for the implementation of the Public Procurement Law (Bulgarian)pdf

*Last update: 2017