Bulgaria's Anti-Corruption Unit to Stem Public Procurement Fraud
Eleonora Nikolova, head of the Center for Prevention and Countering Corruption and Organized Crime (BORKOR) at the Council of Ministers, has called for steps to overcome alarming statistics showing that 98% of public procurement deals are won by 2% of the companies in Bulgaria.
In a Sunday interview for the Bulgarian National Radio (BNR), Nikolova explained that BORKOR had conducted an analysis of the weak spots in tenders paving the way for corruption schemes and the draining of public money.
Nikolova made clear that BORKOR proposed new tender rules and amendments to the Public Procurement Act in a bid to curb fraud.
She informed that the largest number of irregularities had been detected in tenders organized by major state-owned companies such as the three thermal plants in the Maritsa Iztok/ Maritsa East Complex (AES Galabovo TPP, former state-owned Maritsa East 1, Maritsa East 2, and ContourGlobal Maritsa East 3 TPP, former state-owned Maritsa East 3), the Kozloduy nuclear power plant, the Electricity System Operator, the Bulgarian State Railways Company (BDZ), and the National Railway Infrastructure Company.
She argued that the system-, process-, and person-related weak spots identified by the analysis of BORKOR was one of the main reasons for the growing poverty among Bulgarians and their inability to pay utility bills.
Nikolova boasted that BORKOR had drafted measures which would stem fraud schemes, leaving more money into the state coffers to be distributed more fairly among Bulgarian citizens.
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