Training Seminar in Kavarna

On 26-27 April 2013 in Kavarna, the Commission for Prevention and Ascertainment of Conflict of Interest held a training seminar organized by the Bulgarian Cities and Regions Association (BCRA) and the Association of Bulgarian Black Sea Municipalities (ABBSM).

The training seminar was intended for the persons holders of public office in the local self-government. Representatives of the local black sea municipalities, jurists and members of non-governmental organizations participated in the seminar.

The topic of the seminar was “Conflict of interest in the activity of local self-government and municipal administrations – a legal characteristic and system of prevention”.

Lecturers were Filip Zlatanov - chairperson of the Commission for Prevention and Ascertainment of Conflict of Interest, Katya Staneva – member of the Commission and Tsveta Delcheva – head of “Legal” directorate.

A series of subsequent seminars on conflict of interest in local authorities are to be held.

Final seminar on the project “Rule of Law: Implementation of an Integrated Approach in Prevention and Fight against Corruption in the Danube Region”

In the period 27 February 2013 – 01 March 2013 in Blagoevgrad, the fourth final seminar was held on the topic “Dealing with the link organized crime – corruption” under the project “Rule of Law: Implementation of an Integrated Approach in Prevention and Fight against Corruption in the Danube Region”. The Commission for prevention and ascertainment of conflict of interest participated actively in all four seminars.

Representatives of Germany, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Serbia, Macedonia and Albania also took part in the forum.

From Bulgarian side, reports on corruption and the practical methods to fight it were given by representatives of “Customs” National Agency, Chief Directorate “Fight against Organized Crime” – Ministry of Interior, Directorate of “Interior Security” of the Ministry of Interior. An examination of the links between organized crime and corruption was made by the Center for the Study of Democracy. The report of Europol was on the same topic.

The deputy minister of Interior Affairs of the Republic of Macedonia presented a report on the topic: “The Role of the Ministry of Interior and other institutions in the Republic of Macedonia against corruption and organized crime”. At the meeting, the experience of the Czech Republic was presented with the topic – “Civil Society – the last barrier against the penetration of organized crime in politics”. Albania’s participant presented the National Joint Investigation Units in the Fight against Corruption. Germany’s representatives discussed the matters related to the system of reporting cases of corruption and the selection of employees in the anti-corruption units.

During the seminar there were also a lot of informal talks and discussions of the problems of conflict of interest that may lead to acts of corruption.

A presentation of a research “Best International Practices in the Fight against Corruption” was made by the Max Planck Institute of Comparative Constitutional and International Public Law.

The National conference for presentation of the interim report on court progress in southern Bulgaria

On 19.02.2013, The Commission for prevention and ascertainment of conflict of interest participated in the National conference for presentation of the interim report on court progress in southern Bulgaria, part of the project “Justice close to people: second phase” organized by the National network of NGO of civil monitoring of court via the Association “Center of NGO in Razgrad”.

The main points in the legal framework of conflict of interest were presented and prevention and active participation in the ascertainment procedure were emphasized as focus in the work of the commission. Nikolay Nikolov – member of CPACI pointed out that only 3% of the alerts filed so far are against magistrates or other persons, holders of public office related to the judiciary.

Underlined at the conference was the constructive interaction between CPACI and the Commission for conflict of interest of the Supreme Judicial Council set up with the establishment of the new composition of the council.

Support was expressed for the proposals in the report, subject of the conference, that the declarations of magistrates under CIPAA are uploaded on the internet sites of the respective prosecutor’s offices and courts and that they contain particular facts without abbreviations upon observing the rules of the Personal Data Protection Act.

In view of preventing situations of conflict of interest in the judiciary system, the national Commission for prevention and ascertainment of conflict of interest and the standing Commission for prevention and ascertainment of conflict of interest of the Supreme Judicial Council discussed taking particular steps, such as conducting national training of administrative heads of courts on the matter of conflict of interest, unification of the practices of filing declarations under art. 12 of the Act, etc.

Working group “Conflict of Interest” of the European Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF)

In the period 30 January – 01 February 2013 in Brussels, Belgium, the Commission for prevention and ascertainment of conflict of interest represented by “Legal” Directorate took part in an ad hoc working group “Conflict of Interest” with the European Anti-Fraud Office – OLAF.

The meeting was attended by representatives of national institutions from 10 states with powers and competence in the field of fight against corruption, frauds with public procurements and public tendering and the prevention of conflict of interest /Bulgaria, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Hungary, Malta, Poland, Romania, Slovakia and the United Kingdom/, as well as three representatives of the Advisory Committee for the Coordination of Fraud Prevention (COCOLAF) of the European commission that provides systematic support and monitors the activities related to combating corruption and frauds in the European Union.

The operating legislation in Bulgaria on conflict of interest was discussed at the meeting: essence of the phenomenon, administrative procedure and countering instruments. The development of the legal procedure was also traced from the adoption of CIPAA as a codifying statute to its amendment in 2011 that led to the setting up of the Commission for prevention and ascertainment of conflict of interest. The questions of the participants to the representative of the Commission were mainly on the sanctioning consequences of a positive resolution of the commission (for ascertained conflict of interest), the circle of persons holders of public office, what happens when in pending proceedings data of committed crime is found and how the procedure on appealing decisions of the commission is regulated.

Meeting of the District public council for counteracting corruption and organized crime – district of Pernik

On 26.11 /Monday/ 2012 at 2 pm, the Commission for prevention and ascertainment of conflict of interest is invited to take part in the meeting of the District public council for counteracting corruption and organized crime – district of Pernik. At the meeting, common problems with conflict of interest will be presented – legal characteristics , a system of prevention and ascertainment, as well as focuses of application of the Conflict of Interest Prevention and Ascertainment act (CIPAA) in the work of local self-government bodies and municipal administrations.

Representatives of the local self-government bodies and municipal administration will participate, as well as representatives of the judicial authority, representatives of territorial divisions of ministries and other administrative structures on the territory of Pernik district, as well as representatives of non-governmental organizations.

Venue of the meeting – Meeting Hall of District administration – town of Pernik.