Bulgaria’s Parliament Amends National Audit Office ActBusiness | January 22, 2015, Thursday // 15:47| views
Photo by BGNES
Bulgaria’s Parliament conclusively adopted amendments to the National Audit Office Act on Thursday.
Under the changes, the National Audit Office will consist of five instead of nine members.
The headcount of the NAO includes a chair, two deputies, and two members, all of which have a 7-year term in office, according to investor.bg.
The NAO Chair is elected by Parliament and the deputies are also elected by Parliament at the proposal of the NAO Chair.
One of the members of the NAO is elected by MPs at the proposal of the Institute of Certified Public Accountants in Bulgaria and one by the Institute of Internal Auditors Bulgaria.
Opposition parties, including the Bulgarian Socialist Party (BSP) and liberal party Movement for Rights and Freedoms (DPS) were against the proposed changes to the structure of the NAO.
Krasimir Yankov from BSP argued that single-handed decision-making necessarily involved distortion.
DPS leader Lyutvi Mestan suggested that MPs could include a provision stating that the term in office of the NAO coincided with the term in office of the government that had elected it.
BSP also opposed the provision tasking the NAO with audits of companies with a state-owned/municipally-owned stake of 50% or more, stressing that audits had to be introduced for state-owned/municipally-owned companies with state-owned capital of BGN 1 M or more, as well as small municipalities with a budget of less than BGN 10 M.
Ruling party GERB (Citizens for European Development of Bulgaria) opposed BSP’s proposal on the grounds that the NAO lacked the capacity to conduct such a large number of audits.
The idea of BSP was rejected, causing BSP MP Tasko Ermenkov to accuse the government of opening the door for corrupt practices.
BSP also voiced their dissatisfaction with the provision stating that the NAO budget would be part of the state budget, stressing that it was a way of making the unit subservient to the government.
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