Bulgaria to Select Certifying Authority for Rural Development Program by Direct AgreementBulgaria in EU | October 3, 2014, Friday // 14:32| views
Photo by EPA/BGNES
Bulgaria’s Agriculture Ministry will select a certifying authority for the Rural Development Program through a procedure by direct agreement in a bid to save time.
Bulgaria’s caretaker government approved the measure on Wednesday, according to reports of dnevnik.bg.
A total of over BGN 1.66 B from the state budget have been paid out under the program since the autumn of 2013 but Bulgaria cannot recover the sum from the European Commission due to the lack of a certifying authority.
The Agriculture Ministry has informed that it will invite the biggest audit companies in Bulgaria to take part in the procedure.
The company will have to conduct an audit of the payments made in the financial year 2014.
The audit company will also have to confirm on-the-spot checks carried out by the State Fund Agriculture in the financial year 2015, which are mostly related to applications for direct subsidies per hectare.
A large number of the checks should be completed very quickly, by end-2014, in order to meet the deadline of January 2015 for submitting the audit report to the European Commission.
There has been no certifying authority for the Rural Development Program since October 16, 2013.
Three public procurement procedures for the selection of an audit company have collapsed due to appeals by candidates.
In end-July 2014, the socialist-led government tasked Deloitte Bulgaria with conducting an audit of the payments made in 2013. Deloitte Bulgaria was once again selected through a procedure by direct agreement.
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