Interior Ministry Act Changes Pass 2nd Reading in Parliament
A set of changes to Bulgaria's Interior Ministry Act passed second reading in Parliament.
The bill was submitted by the Council of Ministers and it took a period of over six months to be conclusively approved.
During the second-reading procedure, center-right party GERB (Citizens for European Development of Bulgaria) said it would expect the President to veto the bill.
Under the new provisions, the Chief Secretary of Interior will be appointed by the government on a proposal of the Prime Minister and not through a presidential decree, according to reports of the BGNES news agency.
The Chief Secretary of Interior will have a 5-year term in office and a deputy.
The changes seek to ensure that the Interior Minister has no chance of direct interference in the operational activities of the Ministry and of influencing decisions and investigations, including decisions on using special surveillance equipment.
The legal changes guarantee overtime pay and pay for nighttime working hours for police officers.
Until now, Interior Ministry officials received extra money for up to 50 hours of overtime, while the new provisions envisage payment for up to 70 hours of overtime per month.
Overtime is paid at a rate of 150%.
The legal changes regulate the statute of auxiliary staff assisting the Interior Ministry and introduce changes to the trade union structure of the Ministry.
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