Head of Bulgaria's Operational Program 'Environment' Resigns

Environment | December 17, 2013, Tuesday // 15:50|  views

Malina Krumova, head of the Bulgarian managing authority of the "Environment" operational program, photo by BGNES

Malina Krumova, head of the Bulgarian managing authority of the "Environment" operational program, has resigned.

The announcement about the resignation of Krumova, former Deputy Environment Minister in the caretaker government of Prime Minister Marin Raykov, was made by the press office of Bulgaria's Environment Ministry on Tuesday.

Krumova has requested to leave office as of January 1, 2014.

The resignation was submitted one day after a report on the activity of the Environment Ministry made clear that frozen payments under EU funds would remain blocked at least until March 2014.

The European Commission froze over EUR 900 M due to public procurement breaches, while the managing authority of the operational program faced harsh criticism that it had taken no steps to change the rules for the selection of contractors for EU-funded projects.

Although Krumova was cited as one of the people to blame for the EU funds freeze, she kept her job.

On Monday, Iskra Mihaylova, Minister of Environment and Water, said that she would decide on reshuffles at the managing authority on the basis of the results of an inspection of the disciplinary council at the Ministry.

Krumova, as cited by Capital daily, explained that she was leaving office because both she and the managing authority of the "Environment" operational program had been subjected to lynching by Parliament and the media.

She insisted that this reaction was a sign of a dysfunctional state.

"Exaggerating a technical problem signals incapacity to the EC and will only complicate matters further," Krumova suggested.

She complained that she had faced deliberate restrictions to access to information which prevented her from running the operational program efficiently.

She claimed that managing authorities of EU operational programs were isolated from the process of decision making and they were receiving orders.

In her letter she also drew attention to the fact that Zinaida Zlatanova, Justice Minister and Minister in charge of EU funds, had not held a meeting with the managing authorities of the operational programs ever since assuming office, or over six months ago.

She also argued that the managing authority of the "Environment" operational program was functioning in emergency mode which had not been necessitated by external circumstances.

Krumova rejected accusations that the body had been too independent and that there had been no system for national oversight of public procurement procedures and the results.

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Tags: operational program, environment, public procurement, Zinaida Zlatanova, Justice Minister, EU funds freeze, iskra mihaylova, Environment Minister, caretaker government


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