The number of signals against the activities of the CPC has increased by over 60% this year, compared to 2022 and 2021.
The Minister of Economy and Industry Bogdan Bogdanov lowered confidence and asked for the resignations of the management of the Consumer Protection Commission, which is appointed in September 2022. The Economy Minister held a meeting with the members of the Commission to inform them of his decision, taken on the basis of the growing number of reports against the activities of the CPC. Since the beginning of the year, these signals have increased by over 60% compared to 2022 and 2021.
By order of Minister Bogdanov, the Inspectorate of the Ministry of Economy and Industry also carried out an unscheduled inspection at the Consumer Protection Commission. It was initiated on the basis of specific signals from CPC employees related to conflict of interest, unlawful dismissals, threats of punishment and dismissals in the administration, non-compliance with court orders, questionable revocation of issued acts, etc.
A significant part of the signals are confirmed by the inspections carried out by the Inspectorate of the Ministry of Economy and Industry and concern problems caused by non-compliance with the statutory deadlines, frequent personnel changes and unregulated interference.
On the occasion of the Inspectorate’s findings, the Agency for State Financial Control, KPKONPI and the Sofia City Prosecutor’s Office were referred.
At the same time, the Ministry of Economy and Industry has also received numerous complaints of unregulated interference and targeted campaign against traders by the CPC, including journalistic investigations that have appeared in the public domain.
‘All this compromises the credibility of the CPC as a body exercising control in the protection of consumers and requires action to ensure its effective functioning,’ Minister Bogdanov commented.
In his words, the Commission should work with care for consumers and become again a functioning body that citizens and businesses trust. ‘We are taking all necessary legal actions to improve the work in the institution and to ensure its effective control,’ he said.
At this stage, one of the three members of the Commission — Konstantin Arabadzhiev — has submitted his resignation to the Ministry’s registry. His motives are disagreement with the management methods in the CPC in recent months.
The Minister of Economy and Industry has proposed to the Council of Ministers changes in the Consumer Protection Commission. The details of the procedure related to the planned changes in the Commission are to be agreed with the Prime Minister and the Deputy Prime Minister.