Bulgaria needs reforms in the agencies that fight fraud and corruption

Bulgaria needs reforms in the agencies that fight fraud and corruption. This was stated by Director General of the European Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF) Giovanni Kessler, who is visiting our country.

OLAF’s Director said that power institutions in Bulgaria need reforms without pointing out specifically what they are but assured that OLAF will assist in this direction. He and Minister of Interior Veselin Vuchkov gave a joint briefing after a meeting at the Interior Ministry.

“Kessler recommended very carefully that we should read the recommendations in the annual reports of EC where the main focus is anti-corruption policy and particularly the recommendations of the EC report which will be published in late January,” said Interior Minister Veselin Vuchkov.

Obviously at the level of anti-corruption things are not as they should be – whether because of communication with EC or as a misunderstanding, it is obvious we should speak the same language. For the last four-five years in the country have been built BORKOR, special court and prosecution, all combating organized crime and corruption. We are looking forward to see if according to EC this is enough or something has to change, said Vuchkov.

“We are glad to see a government that is committed to the fight against fraud and supports OLAF,” said Director General of the European Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF) Giovanni Kessler. He stressed that the meeting with the Interior Minister confirmed the commitment of the Ministry of Interior in the fight against fraud and their investigation. “To protect the interests of citizens is a common interest, it is important both for the EU and Bulgaria,” added OLAF Director General and said that cooperation in this direction is a message of commitment in the investigation, detection and prosecution of fraud cases and achieving real results.

For his part Minister Vuchkov expressed his firm position that the place of AFCOS is in the Ministry of Interior and will remain constant, regardless of the pending legislative amendments in the Interior Ministry. From his words it became clear that the ministry has serious expert aid to the specialized unit of the Supreme Cassation Prosecutor’s Office to combat fraud with EU funds. The minister expressed also his satisfaction that the new European Commission and its Vice-President Kristalina Georgieva have committed attitude to the fight against fraud.

The occasion of the bilateral meeting is the annual professional conference of the European partners against corruption and the European network of contact points in the fight against corruption. The conference was opened yesterday and is organized jointly by the Ministry of Interior and the State Agency for National Security.