Bulgaria Suffered Financial Corrections worth BGN 166M by end-2013
Bulgaria was imposed financial corrections worth BGN 166 M under operational programs under the EU Structural Funds and the Cohesion Funds by December 31, 2013.
The financial corrections amounted to 1.9% of the funds granted, according to a report of KPMG presented by Alexander Hinov at a round table titled “Financial Risks in EU Funds Management – the First Seven years” on Tuesday, according to reports of the Bulgarian Telegraph Agency.
Over ? of the total financial corrections were imposed under the operational programs “Environment” and “Regional Development”, at BGN 91.7M, under the “Environment” OP and at BGN 36.3 M under the “Regional Development” OP.
The high percentage of financial corrections indicates the need for measures aimed at boosting the administrative capacity of the respective managing authorities and the main groups of eligible beneficiaries under them, according to the auditor.
74% of the financial corrections were related to public procurement and in almost ? of the cases they were established by the managing authority.
The frequency of imposing financial corrections was highest under the two operational programs which were affected by an EU funds freeze imposed by the European Commission, with every second grant agreement marred by a financial correction. Under all operational programs except for “Environment”, most of the financial corrections were imposed in connection with irregularities registered after the payment of the funding.
Caretaker Deputy Prime Minister Iliana Tsanova said Tuesday that the imposed financial corrections drew attention to the insufficient capacity of the central and local administrations, as well as other beneficiaries.
The agenda of Tuesday’s discussion included measures to curb financial corrections related to public procurement. Caretaker Finance Minister Rumen Porozhanov, caretaker Transport Minister Nikolina Angelkova, and Sofia Mayor Yordanka Fandakova also took part in the round table discussion.
The forum was organized by Tsanova after the caretaker government examined EU funds absorption in the 2007-2013 programming period and revealed that Bulgaria could lose BGN 200 M in 2014 only.
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