Council of Ministers

Center for Prevention and Countering
Corruption and Organized Crime

Information about the activities of CPCCOC

INFORMATION ABOUT THE ACTIVITIES OF CPCCOC
RE: An overview of the overall activity of CPCCOC in relation to its functional competence on the occasion of a meeting with an Expert mission of the European Commission in Bulgaria of the Cooperation and Verification Mechanism (CVM) in the period 28 September - 2 October 2015.
I. General information
The Centre for Prevention and Countering Corruption and Organized Crime (CPCCOC) is a specialized administrative structure for the implementation of state policy in the area of preventing and countering corruption and organized crime. The Centre was established on 17 June 2011 on the grounds of the recommendations in the reports of the European Commission (EC) and the Integrated Strategy for Prevention and Countering Corruption.
The national project BORKOR is an instrument for the realization of the above-mentioned strategy. The author of the concept is the German anti-corruption expert Rolf Schlotterer, an advisor to the Bulgarian government (March 2009 - October 2013). CPCCOC was created as a structure at the Council of Ministers (CM) for the realization of the project. The establishment of the Centre began on 29 July 2010 with a decree by the CM. The governing body is the so called Consultative Council (CC) which includes representatives of the executive, legislative and judiciary power as well as of the Court of Auditors. CC assigns tasks to the Centre, monitors their performance, receives the results and assigns their realization to the competent departments. This is the political body which provides the realization of the proposals made by CPCCOC. The expert responsibility of the quality of analyses is separated from the political, which approves and applies the proposals.
The work of CPCCOC actually began in June 2011 with the provision of budgetary funds. Training on the specialized complex methodology for assessment of the corruption risk was carried out from March to October 2012. Mr. Rolf Schlotterer trained civil servants in different kinds of analytical methods and techniques. The experts were seconded from central departments: Ministry of Economy and Energy (MEE), Ministry of Regional Development and Public Works (MRDPW), Ministry of Agriculture and Food (MAF), Ministry of the Interior (MI), State Agency for National Security (SANS), National Revenue Agency (NRA), National Customs Agency and others.
Attracting experts from different departments as analysts has aimed pooling the capacity of the state administration. It has also provided the partnership of the state structures which is part of the conceptual project along with the partnership with non-governmental organizations. Respective legislative amendments have been made to the Civil Servants Act, SANS Act, Ministry of the Interior Act, Law on Defense and Armed Forces for the long-term seconding of the trained employees which provided for the project activities. Since October 2012, the analysts started practical work on the first project of CPCCOC assigned to them by the Consultative Council: Solution model "Public procurement".
Through amendment of the Rules of Organization of the Council of Ministers and of its administration of 26.11.2013, CPCCOC was assigned to perform preliminary control on the bills of the executive power bodies according to its functional competence. By a decree of CM of 08.05.2015, an amendment to the Rules of organization of CPCCOC was made through which the long-term seconding of the analysts was discontinued.
At present, the Centre has two main functions:
 To exercise preventive control by coordinating every bill prepared by the executive power bodies, i.e., to identify weaknesses, shortcomings, contradictions, obscure definitions in the bills which create conditions for the occurrence of corrupt practices;
 To develop projects by analyzing legal acts, rules, administrative procedures and processes running in corruption risk zones; to carry out comparative-legal, legal, organizational and process analyses, analyses of specific cases as well as other kinds of analyses in order to detect conditions and opportunities for corrupt behavior and make proposals for measures and complex solutions with anti-corruption purpose.
The main goal of the proposals made within both functions is prevention of the corruption through the creation of transparent rules, improvement of the quality of laws and bylaws, rules and processes of harmonization of the norms with European legislation. The complex preventive approach of CPCCOC has been recognized by the German Max Planck Institute for Comparative Public Law and International Law. In a study devoted to the fight with corruption in the Danube region countries, the author, Leonie Hengsgen, has indicated: "The importance of the model for the neighbouring countries lies in its universal applicability. With slight modifications, it is possible to use the structure of the model in each country." (http://www.mpfpr.de/projects/theme-based-projects/anti-corruption-study/)
II. Activities
In fulfillment of the function preliminary control of bills, 112 bills have been analyzed since 26.11.2013 until present (September 2015). A total of 227 anticorruption proposals for amendment and supplement of individual legal rules have been made, out of which 58 proposals were accepted. The Council of Ministers has still not reviewed 7 bills for which 36 proposals for the amendment of legal rules have been made.
In fulfillment of the function analysis of legal acts, rules and processes running in corruption risk zones, the following projects were developed in the period 2013 until present and reports were prepared with specific proposals for legal, organizational and technical measures:
1. Project: Solution model "Public procurement" (2013)
Accepted proposals: the Consultative Council accepted the proposals of CPCCOC on 6 February 2013 while its last sitting was on 22 February. There has not been a sitting of CC of CPCCOC since then, i.e., there has not been any project assigned or results of the analytical work of CPCCOC approved according to the rules. The Public Procurements project has been the only one assigned according to the Rules of Organization.
Just a few of the proposals of CPCCOC in the sphere of public procurements have been partially applied and not in a complex way as they had been set in the report on the subject.
A text about "electronic catalogue" was designed which was introduced with the amendments to PPA of 2014; the platforms "e-monitoring" and "e-audit" were also introduced; the proposals on publicity and transparency of public procurements were accepted, partially, with the regulations on the mandatory publication of the protocols, the documentations, the technical specifications and other documents as well as the idea to extend the scope of the preliminary protocol to tenders.
The proposals of CPCCOC are based on four pillars:
A. Technical part which includes six platforms for the electronic award of public procurement contracts (e-platforms): e-register, e-bidding (auction), e-catalogue, e-tendering, e-monitoring and e-audit. It is envisaged for the electronic platforms to interact with each other, to serve and perform all phases of the implementation of the procedure, including before and after the award of the public procurement contract.
B. Constant supervision and data registration for detecting corruption. Additional gathering, processing and analysis of information and documents is carried out to this end, for circumstances which have economic interrelation, remain outside the scope of the Public Procurement Act but signal feasible or possible "accompanying" and/or "compensational" transactions.
C. Active participation of the controlling and supervisory bodies in order to increase their effectiveness through involvement as active participants and users of e-platforms. The two platforms, for e-monitoring and e-audit with their tools for control and supervision have a substantial contribution to this group of measures.
D. Development of preparatory and security organizational and legislative measures. Those accompanying measures are per se subdivided in the following areas:
 Measures for the introduction of preliminary qualification ("re-qualification") of the potential participants in the award procedures representing a new procedure which aims at passportization of the participants in branches by assessing and checking their suitability, their economic and technical state respectively and registering their professional qualities, ability and suitability through publication of documents for their administrative, economic and technical state and information about the services, goods and their prices. It aims to eliminate the opportunity for unjustified exclusion and/or ineligibility of companies for participation in procedures for the award of public procurement contracts and to prevent the entry of operators with obscure capitals and/or lack of professional aptitude.
 Measures for the establishment of state structures: Central bodies for the award of public procurement contracts which could be sectored (award of contracts in a given sector) or by regions (situated in the regions established for the purposes of planning as defined in the Regional Development Act). The proposal is for the central bodies to provide services to the central and local administrations on the award of public procurement contracts notwithstanding the contracting authority in order to avoid dependence and conflict of interests. Those structures will be able to perform preliminary examination of the prepared technical specifications of the tenders.

2. Project "Analysis of legal acts and concession procedures in the Republic of Bulgaria (2014)
Accepted proposals: The report on corruption risks with concessions was submitted to the government in June 2014. The measures have not been debated or applied.
Soon will be formed an interdepartmental workgroup which should develop a concept and a new Concessions Act, respectively, harmonized with the new Directive on the Award of Concession Contracts. On this occasion, the Report of CPCCOC, along with the proposals, has been re-sent to the CM. The Centre has designated its representatives for inclusion in the forthcoming workgroup.
Statements and proposals of CPCCOC:
On the basis of the performed analyses of the Concessions Act (CA), the Subsurface Resources Act (SRA), the Law on the Black Sea Coast (LBSC) and the Water Law (WL), shortcomings, contradictions, vagueness and fragmentation of the rules have been found in relation to which organizational and legal measures for their elimination have been proposed. The measures could be summarized in several main directions: new legal regulations under CA, SRA, LBSC, institutional strengthening and development of the administrative capacity, improving of the primary and secondary legislation in harmony with the legal framework of the EU, uniform terms and standards, efficient quality control, publicity and transparency. Proposals have been also made for improvement of the current legislation: 29 proposals for amendments of specific legal rules of CA, 25 proposals for SRA, 8 proposals for WL, 13 proposals for LBSC. The purpose and the expected results of the proposed measures are not confined to the prevention of corruption but also aim at modernization and improvement of Bulgarian legislation and preservation of natural resources and public funds as well as increase in jobs.
3. Project "Analysis of the reasons and preconditions for acts of corruption by the implementation of the Operational programme "Innovations and competitiveness" 2014-2020 and a proposal for the introduction of measures for prevention of the identified corruption risks (2014)
Accepted proposals: the Report has been sent to the CM for review in July 2014. It has not been reviewed or debated; there have not been any accepted proposals until present.
Proposals:
CPCCOC proposes the following measures to be introduced for the prevention of possibilities for corruption and/or frauds by the implementation of Operational Programme "Innovations and Competitiveness" 2014-2020 (OPIC):
 Section "Overcoming risks caused by shortcomings and collisions of legal rules by not well-defined procedures in decrees of CM and Bulgarian legal acts." The section contains ten proposals for amendments and supplements of legal acts and mainly in the Law on the Prevention and Disclosure of Conflict of Interests (LPDCI) as well as in decrees of CM № 107/2014 and № 118/2014.
 Section "Measures for overcoming pro-corruption weak spots in the Manual of Procedures of OPIC 2014-2020 as a result of analyses of the Manual of Procedures of Operational programme "Development of the Competitiveness of the Bulgarian Economy 2007-2013" (OPDCBE). The section contains five proposals for introduction of anti-corruption measures.
 Section for overcoming identified reasons and conditions for acts of corruption in the Application Guidelines on Procedures for Financial Grant Aid (FGA) under Operational programme "Development of the Competitiveness of the Bulgarian Economy 2007-2013" (OPDCBE) and OPIC 2014-2020, respectively. The section contains nine proposals for introduction of anti-corruption measures.
 Section "Organizational measures at integrity level of employees and at organizational level: introduction of standards and unification of procedures and approaches". The section contains four groups of proposals for the application of preventive anticorruption measures.
 Section "Measures for increasing visibility and transparency by the planning and implementation of Operational programme "Innovations and competitiveness 2014-2020". The section contains ten proposals for the introduction of preventive anticorruption measures.
 Section "Measures for increasing of information security and analytical potential". The section contains nine proposals for introduction of technical and organizational anti-corruption preventive measures and digitalized modules or systems.

4. Project "Analysis of drug policy in the Republic of Bulgaria aiming at the preparation of proposals countering corrupt practices" (2014)
Accepted proposals: The Report was submitted to the government in November 2014. Because there has not been a meeting of the Consultative Council since then, the Ministry of Health has accepted measures only partially until present which have been included in the Health Act and the Health Insurance Act.
Proposals:
A total of 46 weak spots by areas of analysis have been detected in the legislation, and 81 measures for their elimination have been proposed. The report has received a positive assessment by a World Bank team which has worked on identical problems.

5. Project "Protection of complainants"
Accepted proposals: There are no such until the present moment. At the request of the National Council on Anti-Corruption Policies, the report has been sent to CM - Chief Inspectorate to support the implementation of the assigned task according to the National Strategy for Prevention and Countering Corruption (2015-2020).
Proposals:
On the basis of signals, received from citizens, which disclose certain corruption schemes or abuse of power, CPCCOC has carried out a detailed analysis and study of the degree of protection of persons who file complaints, petitions and signals (whistleblowers) in relation to the national legislative base and the international practice in this area. In this regard, CPCCOC has proposed specific amendments to the Administrative Procedure Code and the creating of a new law (Protection of Whistleblowers Act), to regulate the public relations in the area of whistleblowing and the protection of those persons through specialized legislation.
6. Since the beginning of 2015 until present, the Center has taken part in the following activities:
6.1. Participation in the development of a National Strategy for Preventing and Countering Corruption.
In relation to the development of a National Strategy for Preventing and Countering Corruption, in the period January - March 2015, CPCCOC took an active part in the workgroup that was set up in order to prepare analysis and strategic guidelines for preventing and countering corruption and accept a final report. The Center prepared a project for Strategic guidelines for preventing and countering corruption which was approved and accepted by CM on 27.02.2015. Representatives of CPCCOC were included in the subsequent Workgroup for preparing the project of an updated Strategy for preventing and countering corruption.
6.2. In the end of 2014, at request by the Ministry of Health (MH), CPCCOC started working on the project "Concept for the creation of a Central Body for the Award of Public Procurement Contracts in the Health sector".
Accepted proposals: The Concept for the creation of a Central Body for the Award of Public Procurement Contracts in the Health sector was accepted by the CM on 11.02.2015 while on 27.05.2015 a decree for the creation of a Central Body for the Award of Public Procurement Contracts in the sector was issued. On 11.08.2015, the Ministry of Health (MH) in its capacity of a contracting authority, opened a public procurement tender with object: "Development of specialized software for a single national platform for commerce in medicinal products for the needs of the health establishments in the Republic of Bulgaria, its implementation, conducting of ongoing training, subsequent support and updating". The joint efforts of CPCCOC and MH for the reduction of corruption risks with the commerce in medicines were finalized by this action. In this way, the results of the previous reports of the Centre: "Solution Model Public Procurements" and "Analysis of the Drug Policy of the Republic of Bulgaria" were rationalized. The analytical conclusions from them were laid down in the Concept.
Proposals:
The project aims at preventing and countering corruption in the sector, increase of the efficiency, quality and economy of the award of public procurement contracts. The award of public procurement contracts for commerce in medicines through a specially designed integrated information system (online platform for electronic commerce) spares administrative and financial resources for hospitals, leads to a reduction in the prices of medicinal products and alleviates patients, respectively.
Carrying out centralized award of public procurement contracts is laid down in the Concept, for the supply of medicinal products, initially, and of medical devices, later, for the in-patient health establishments. The idea is to conduct the procedures through a specially designed integrated information system: online platform for electronic commerce (electronic tender and electronic catalogue).
Project activities:
• Development of a project of the Concept and Action Plan for it.
• Carrying out joint meetings between representatives of the involved structures of MH and CPCCOC for specifying the legal-organizational form of the units responsible for the electronic award. On one of the meetings, the text of the amending legal rule in the project of a new PPA has been debated in order to comply with the draft decree of CM under preparation and has been later introduced by MH.
• A project of a Ministerial decree has been prepared for the creation of a Central body for awarding in the sector, on its powers and functions, which was submitted for opinion on 20.03.2015 along with an amendment to PPA of a legal rule for compliance between the decree and the act.
• In order to realize the Concept and remove all legislative obstacles and any objections which could arise, CPCCOC has made a proposal for amendment and supplement of Art.8a of PPA on the grounds of which the decree had been accepted. MH has been notified of this proposal.
CPCCOC has analyzed the project of a new Public Procurements Act in order to identify weaknesses and proposals for their overcoming while a significant part of them are related to the legal rules in the project of the law regarding the creation of centralized bodies for the award of public procurements. Mrs. Meglena Kuneva, Deputy Prime Minister for European Policies Coordination and Institutional Affairs, Mr. Tomislav Donchev, Deputy Prime Minister for EU Funds and Economic Policies, the Public Procurement Agency and the Ministry of Finance have been notified of the identified shortcomings and the proposals.
6.3. In the period March - April 2015, CPCCOC also finalized a project "Inspection of the lawfulness, the reasons and conditions for abuses in spending the funds allocated through the Public Investment Programme "Growth and Sustainable Development of the Regions" which started in August 2014.
In March 2015, on the fourth round table "Modernization of public procurements" organized by a partner of CPCCOC: the Bulgarian Construction Chamber (BCC) and Stroitel newspaper, the results of the interim report were presented on the analysis of the procedures carried out in implementation of the project supported by the Public Investment Programme "Growth and Sustainable Development of the Regions".
6.4. In May 2015, with initiative reports containing short analyses of the project suitability followed by an approval of Mrs. Meglena Kuneva, Deputy Prime Minister for European Policies Coordination and Institutional Affairs, two new projects were launched: "Ethical standards in the public sector" and "Analysis of the legal acts and procedures regulating the activity of Labour Expert Medical Commissions and disability pensions aiming at proposals for measures for the prevention of corruption" as the second one should be finished by the end of 2015 on the latest.

6.5. Project "Ethical standards for integrity in the public sector"
Accepted proposals: The Report has been sent to Mrs. Meglena Kuneva, Deputy Prime Minister for European Policies Coordination and Institutional Affairs of the Republic of Bulgaria.
Proposals:
The proposal is in harmony with the National Strategy for Preventing and Countering Corruption in the Republic of Bulgaria 2015-2020 adopted by CM on 09.04.2015. The prepared report contains analyses of the tools, standards and best practices as well as proposals for optimization of the regulations on ethical standards of integrity. The existing Codes of Ethics in the public sector (legislative, executive and judiciary powers) as well as the legal acts which contain ethical standards have been reviewed. Public sector officials have been interviewed for the purpose of the study. Meetings with non-governmental organizations working on integrity projects in the public sphere have also been conducted. At request of Mrs. Kuneva, the Rules of Organization and Procedure of the National Assembly (ROPNA) in Section II: Ethical values have also been reviewed in view of the recommendations by GRECO. As a result of the overview of the best practices of EU as well as the analysis of responses to the questionnaire filled in by public officials that were made, recommendations have been formulated.
The key recommendation is focused on the creation of a single National Code of Ethics of the public officials, its content and the required legal support. The proposals aim at the creation of centres for assessment of integrity, on-going training process of public officials, inclusion of integrity tests in all selection procedures of job applicants as well as annual assessment of all public officials and public administration employees.
Proposals have been included in the report on the ethical standards in the public sphere aiming at increasing trust in the parliament and ensuring transparency of its work. Training of the members of parliament is envisaged on the ethical rules of conduct; improvement and detailing of the introduced best practice of a public register of presents applied by European bodies and institutions; introducing of a best practice for the creation of a "legal dossier"; supplementation of the way of considering and ruling on whistleblowing.
6.6. Currently, CPCCOC continues its work on the project "Analysis of the legal acts and procedures regulating the activity of Labour Expert Medical Commissions and disability pensions aiming at proposals for measures for the prevention of corruption". The subject is up-to-date and in harmony with the National Reform Programme of the Republic of Bulgaria in implementation of the strategy "Europe 2020" (NRP) which is closely related to the Convergence Programme.
6.7. Pursuant to Priority 4 of the National Strategy for Preventing and Countering Corruption and Organized Crime: "Preventing and countering corruption in the judiciary power, MI and control authorities", the development and implementation of plans for preventing and countering corruption in the respective control authorities are envisaged. Pursuant to Priority 5 of the Strategy: "Releasing citizens from petty corruption", development and adoption of sectored anticorruption plans for high risk sectors by the responsible institutions are envisaged which should provide for the necessary legal and organizational measures for preventing and countering corruption in the respective sector as well as a reporting mechanism for the results from their implementation.
On the basis of the statements in the Strategy, CPCCOC has studied the strategic documents of the Republic of Bulgaria and the recommendations of the European Commission as well as best practices from the member states of EU. The introduction of a uniform standard for the preparation of annual and multiannual anti-corruption plans is recommended which should reflect certain anti-corruption measures. CPCCOC is ready to provide methodological guidance and/or expert help to individual departments for the development of the plans.
The recommendations have been sent to the deputy prime minister and minister of the interior Rumiana Bachvarova, to the Ministers of finance, transportation, information technology and communications, agriculture, healthcare, Supreme Judiciary Council.