Bulgarian Institutions Gave Hefty Holiday Bonuses
Bulgarian ministries, with almost no exception, have given holiday bonuses to their employees, despite pledges to not do so.
The information emerged through a request of Darik radio under the Access to Public Information Act.
In December, the site OFFNews officially asked the institutions if they would distribute bonuses, and all, except the Defense Ministry, had given a negative answer.
The Ministry of Regional Development and Public Works have been adamant there would be no additional incentives, but information obtained by Darik shows that BGN 630 000 have been given to employees.
In an official statement, the Ministry explains "the money is not a bonus, but part of the wage of the employees under the Stat Servant Act since this wage is composed of a firm base and additional earnings." The institution has not denied Darik's information.
The record-breaker is the Ministry of Environment and Waters where two directorates dealing with EU funds have gotten nearly BGN 810 000. The total amount of the bonuses there is close to BGN 900 000.
BGN 800 000 have been distributed at the Transport Ministry and another BGN 800 000 at the Foreign Affairs Ministry. BGN 344 600 were given to 155 employees of the Culture Ministry, which is BGN 2 000+ per person; the Ministry of Sports gave BGN 810 per person, or a total of BGN 142 000.
BGN 55 000 have been distributed in the Education Ministry, and BGN 142 000 – in the Defense Ministry, but they have honestly admitted they were planning to do so.
There have been no bonuses in the Agriculture Ministry and in the Health Ministry.
Employees of the State Road Infrastructure Agency have received the hefty BGN 900 000.
Some Ministries have refused to obey the law and to disclose information, among them – the Finance Ministry and the Ministry of Economy and Energy and its affiliate Agency for Encouraging Small and Medium Enterprises.
The State Commission for Energy and Water Regulation, DKEVR, has also refused to disclose information on eventual bonuses.
It was reported in recent days that senior Bulgarian officials such as ministers and Members of the Parliament have received a pay raise at the end of January despite an earlier decision of the government to freeze these salaries.
The increase of between BGN 252 and BGN 504 a moth has been explained with the MPs "forgetting to vote on the wage freeze."
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