Bulgaria, OLAF to Deepen Cooperation in Countering Corruption, Fraud

Bulgaria in EU | October 19, 2015, Monday // 14:07|  views

Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borisov (L) and OLAF Director-General Giovanni Kessler (R). Photo: Council of Ministers

Bulgaria and the European Anti Fraud Office (OLAF) will deepen their cooperation in countering corruption and fraud.

This was agreed at a meeting between Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borisov and OLAF Director-General Giovanni Kessler in Sofia on Monday.

Among the topics of the discussion were the priorities of the Bulgarian government in its fight against corruption and fraud.

The two also discussed the results achieved by OLAF, which has carried out ten missions and investigations in Bulgaria since the beginning of the year.

Borisov and Kessler agreed that deepening of the operational cooperation between Bulgarian specialised structures and OLAF would be of common interest for safeguarding the financial interests of the EU.

The two expressed readiness for the conversations to continue on expert level, focusing on the concrete parameters of the partnership.

At a public debate on tackling corruption at national and European level entitled “Institutions against corruption – the good practices of OLAF”, Kessler pointed that one of the greatest problems in Bulgaria was the inability of judges to punish.

In first place, there was need for good management of the administration, which was not always viewed as an anti-corruption measure.

In second place, it was important to have a well-functioning system to carry out control, audit and review of the expenditures.

In his words, if people are aware that their expenditures are being reviewed and their incomes are subject to concrete control, this constitutes an important tool for prevention.

He pointed that an investigation could be launched only after a concrete signal had been submitted.

Another ingredient was the cultural dimension and the need to communicate with the society and forge a culture.

Last but not least, there was need for thoroughly investigative bodies and specialised establishments.

Furthermore, these establishments should retain their impartiality and should enjoy the confidence of society.

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Tags: Bulgaria, OLAF, EU, fraud, corruption, Boyko Borisov, Giovanni Kessler, investigation, audit


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