Irregularities have been found in nearly half of the screened public procurement procedures in Bulgaria with lax preliminary control cited as the main reason for this trend.
As many as 403 of the 886 public procurement procedures checked by the Financial Inspection Agency in the first half of 2012 were flawed, newspaper Trud reported on Monday
Another serious issue affecting the public procurement process is the deliberate breaking up of major contracts in an attempt to bypass the relevant legislation. The review has identified 112 such instances involving procurement contracts with a combined value of over 200 million levs ($126 million/102 million euro).
The Public Procurement Agency is in charge of the preliminary control but it manages to scrutinise only 15-12% of the contracts tendered on an annual basis due to their overwhelming overall number.
All public tenders could be reviewed by the country's anti-trust regulator but that option is costly and complicated and with an uncertain outcome, Yordan Kisyov from the Confederation of Employers and Industrialists in Bulgaria told news portal dnevnik.bg.