Bulgaria: Caretaker Finance Minister Reveals Rationale behind Personnel Reshuffle in Revenue Agencies
Finance Minister Assen Vassilev Friday announced personnel changes in the revenue agencies and their priorities at a news briefing on Friday. The caretaker cabinet has replaced the heads of the National Revenue Agency (NRA) andthe National Customs Agency (NCA).
Rumen Spetsov, who has been a consultant on finance and tax legislation in recent years after having over 10 years'
experience at the NRA, was appointed NRA Executive Director in place of Galya Dimitrova.
Pavel Tonev, who has over 20 years' experience at the NCA, including as a director at national regional level, is its new
Director General, replacing Georgi Kostov.
The Finance Minister told reporters that one of the reasons for Dimitrova dismissal was a leak of personal data of more than six million Bulgarians in mid-July 2019 as a result of a hacker attack on NRA's servers. Another reason were low collection
rates on tax assessment notices.
The Finance Minister said that just 2,250 million leva out of over 4,000 million leva (55 per cent) were collected between
2017 and 2020. Moreover, 33.5 per cent of tax assessment notices were rejected fully or partly.
Vassilev said the NRA's priorities would be to eliminate the protection of big businesses and stop the terror on small ones.
The NRA will also focus on companies using State funding and their subcontractors.
Talking about the Customs Agency, Vassilev said an OLAF report on serious detriment to the EU budget would be one of its
priorities. He added that the Finance Ministry had received a letter from OLAF on Thursday about a possible recovery of 55
million euro to the EU budget.
The Finance Minister said he would check if the State budget should be updated and would make a statement in a week, after
talking to the revenue agencies and the departments which may ask for extra funds. The Ministry is starting work on new
domestic and foreign debt instruments, which may or may not be issued, depending on budget implementation.
Vassilev also presented deputy finance ministers Vanya Stoyneva, Violeta Lorer and Monika Dimitrova-Beecher, who were appointed by Prime Minister Stefan Yanev on Thursday.
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