Minister Bogdanov: We are working as a priority to recover about BGN 42 million from the accounts of the SCC for the repair of dams

Minister Bogdanov: We are working as a priority to recover about BGN 42 million from the accounts of the SCC for the repair of dams

We are working as a priority to recover a total of about BGN 42 million on the accounts of the State Consolidation Company (SCC) in connection with the repairs of the dams. This was said by Minister of Economy and Industry Bogdan Bogdanov during a parliamentary control today. In his reply, he recalled that 267 contracts for the repair and reconstruction of dams and their structures had been signed between the State Consolidation Company as the contracting authority and Montagi EAD as the contractor in previous years, 52 of which had been terminated.

‘Everything contracted and paid over the years is for a total amount of BGN 589 million including VAT,’ Minister Bogdanov summarized. In his words, if the repair works on the dams were to be completed, at least another BGN 92 million would be needed.

‘The vast majority of this money has gone to three private companies with direct contracts with the state-owned Montagi without public procurement. They have received BGN 451 million and one of them has received BGN 345 million,’ Bogdanov said.

‘We referred the matter to the prosecutor’s office, but it came up with an opinion that there were no violations. We appealed in court, but yesterday a court decision came out that supports the prosecution’s position. We will appeal to a second instance,’ the economy minister said.

‘Our priority is to recover 16 million BGN spent on insurance, which are invalid because they were concluded between two related companies – DKK and Montages,’ he explained. The ministry is also pursuing cases for them. According to the Minister, another BGN 16 million are expected to be reimbursed for the emergency water pipeline in Pernik. As well as BGN 6.5 million from a contract for the purchase of drones, for which Bogdanov recalled that four are already expected to be delivered.

The Minister of Economy outlined the stages of the implementation of the contracts, pointing out that the dams with completed projects are ten, but most of the dams handed over have significant structural problems. This is the reason why it cannot be assumed that these facilities are complete. ‘The dams with completed repairs and rehabilitation works are 30, those with completed repairs but in the process of completing construction documents are 64, the facilities where repairs are being carried out are 13, the dams with suspended repairs by the State National Construction Committee are 24, the dams with approved technical projects in the process of coordination with the institutions are 39, those that are in the process of survey and design are 35 and the rest have terminated contracts and are 52 in number,’ he specified.

Regarding the reimbursement of the funds paid under the terminated contracts, the Minister said that under the Water Act, municipalities are obliged to reimburse the costs incurred for repairs and reconstruction of dams owned by them, except when the ownership is transferred to the state free of charge after a decision of the Municipal Council. In Bogdanov’s words, the SCC has requested reimbursement for the costs incurred. The Minister explained that the amount is about BGN 4 million and added that in dialogue with the municipalities will work for the successful recovery of these funds.