Bulgarian Power Utilities' Audits on Their Way to Prosecutor
The audits of the three Bulgarian power utilities have already been sent to the Prosecutor's Office, the Head of the State Commission for Energy and Water regulation (DKEVR), Angel Semerdzhiev, announced Tuesday.
The audits, which found a number of violations on the part of Austrian-owned EVN, German-owned E.ON and Czech-owned CEZ, were prepared in the eve of the approval of new electric power prices in July 2010 for the next year. The three power utilities were blamed then by the energy watchdog of draining revenues by outsourcing through affiliate businesses.
At the time, Semerdzhiev stated he did not intend to give the results to the prosecutor, and would do so only if the latter becomes interested in them. Later, Prime Minister, Boyko Borisov, declared at a special media press conference that he had ordered their submission with the Prosecutor's Office.
The report has three parts – one for each utility, Semerdzhiev said Tuesday, adding all three have sent objections and rebuttals, which have been taken into account in the said report.
The DKEVR Head further pointed out outsourcing is a common practice for many businesses, but it is important to find out if the one on the part of the power utilities had led to reduction to a minimum of expenditures. Semerdzhiev said the main problem is the resulted lack of transparency in determining the price of services and possible cheating of consumers, who might have ended up paying for these expenditures.
In the beginning of April, Prime Minister, Boyko Borisov, declared the three power utilities and the lobbyists who helped implement the present electricity pricing schemes have committed a “daylight robbery,“ vowed to involve the Prosecutor's Office in the probe and even threatened CEZ, E.ON and EVN with nationalization.
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