The Ministry of Economy and Industry and the Anti-Corruption Fund (ACF) will cooperate to ensure maximum transparency and stop the misuse of public funds. This became clear at a meeting of the Minister of Economy and Industry Bogdan Bogdanov with the Director of the ACF Boyko Stankushev, the co-founder of the Fund Nikolay Staykov and the Senior Legal Assistant Lora Mateeva.
Minister Bogdanov pointed out that the cooperation with proven experts in the field of anti-corruption will ensure transparent processes and protection of the public interest in the case of identified misuse of public funds in the Ministry’s subordinate structures, including state companies.
‘One of our main goals is to stop inefficient governance and to restore people’s trust in the institutions by showing that they can work transparently,’ the economy minister said.
The Anti-Corruption Fund commented that in order to regain trust in the institutions, there must be a result of the interaction in specific cases of high public interest related to the misuse of state funds.
Some of the examples that were discussed were the identified number of abuses and violations in the management of public enterprises from previous years, including the awarding of nearly BGN 800 million without public procurement. Among them are more than BGN 500 million for the repair of dams, the unrealized government complex and the series of concluded contracts for the transfer of claims by the State Consolidation Company (SCC).
Minister Bogdanov was adamant that the inefficient and non-transparent management of the companies should not continue.
‘So far, we have taken all actions required by law to recover state funds. We have returned the first BGN 45 million to the State Construction Company from the company that was awarded the project for the unrealized government complex. We have also repaid the loan of the SCC to the Bulgarian Development Bank, in the amount of BGN 126.4 million, so that the public enterprises that were pledged as collateral to this loan can be released.
In his words, this way the payment of the accumulating interest on the loan, which only so far amounted to BGN 22 million, was stopped. With the repayment of the loan, the companies will be able to grow and pay a dividend to the budget instead of continuing to pay interest on the loan.