National Fund Directorate
Director of the Directorate
The National Fund Directorate performs the functions of Certifying Authority and Authority responsible for receiving the funds under the EU Structural Funds and Cohesion Fund in programming period 2007-2013, under the European Regional Development Fund, the European Social Fund, the Cohesion Fund, the Youth Employment Initiative and the Fund for European Aid to the Most Deprived for 2014-2020 programming period, and under the programmes for cross-border cooperation along the external borders of the European Union in programming period 2007-2013 and 2014-2020 programming period.
The National Fund Directorate is Certifying Authority responsible for the financial management of the aid granted to Bulgaria under the EEA Financial Mechanism and under the Norwegian Financial Mechanism, and for the certification of expenditure under the programmes of the Financial Mechanism Office (FMO).
The Directorate performs the functions of Paying Authority responsible for exercising financial control over the spending of funds under the Bulgarian-Swiss Programme for Cooperation.
The Directorate's functions are laid out in Article 27 of the Ministry of Finance Structural Regulations, and Council of Ministers Decisions Nos 988/27.12.2005, 792/17.12.2013, 523/31.07.2007 and 156/21.03.2014.
The Directorate is a central treasury entity to manage the aid granted to Bulgaria by the European Community under the pre-accession instruments PHARE, ISPA and SAPARD. These functions are performed on the basis of Memorandum of Understanding on the Establishment of the National Fund, signed between the Government of the Republic of Bulgaria and The European Commission (promulgated with State Gazette No 37 from 22 April 1999).
Idea of establishment
The National Fund is established in order to:
- establish an institution responsible for the financial management of EU funds (the pre-accession instruments, Structural Funds and the Cohesion Fund), which shall ensure transparency and control in the management of the EU funds;
- establish a body responsible for providing the national co-financing as a requirement for absorption of the EU funds;
- improve the financial management systems and their adaptation to the existing ones in the European union.
Participation in the process of the management of the EU funds
As a part of the institutional scheme of the management of the EU funds, the National Fund is a structure placed under the responsibility of the National Authorising Officer. The National Authorising Officer is a senior civil servant from the Bulgarian administration who has the overall responsibility for financial management of the funds under the pre-accession instruments (through a decision of the Council of the Ministers dated 06 October 2005 as National Authorising Officer is nominated Deputy Minister of Finance in charge of the National Fund Directorate). He ensures that the provision, rules and procedures pertaining to procurement, reporting and financial management are respected. He appoints Programme Authorising Officers (PAOs) and Sectoral Authorising Officers (SAOs) and signs the Operational Agreements with each of the Implementing Agencies. Following Decision No 607 of the Council of the Ministers, the National Authorising Officer is assigned with leading role in the process of preparation for Extended Decentralised Implementation System according to the Concept for achievement of Extended Decentralised Implementation System of PHARE and ISPA projects.
The Multi-Annual Financing Agreement on SAPARD Programme defines the National Authorising Officer, as an authority, under whose responsibility is placed the National Fund, which acts as the Competent Authority.
See the institutional scheme of the:
Organizational structure and staff
The National Fund Directorate consists of four divisions - "Certification and Financial Management of the European Social Fund", "Certification and Financial Management of the Cohesion Fund", "Certification and Financial Management of the European Regional Development Fund" and "Accountancy".
The main tasks of the Directorate are:
- To mobilize and to manage all funds granted to Bulgaria by the European Commission under the pre-accession instruments;
- To provide the flow of corresponding national co-financing under the pre-accession instruments;
- To approve limits of expenditure within which the Implementing agencies and the SAPARD Agency can execute payments to the beneficiaries and the contractors;
- To monitor and control the implementation of the projects;
- To maintain the reporting system for the EU funds;
- To execute overall co-ordination of the process of achievement of Extended Decentralised Implementation System of PHARE and ISPA projects and establishment of institutional structure based on the Extended Decentralised Implementation System, as a precondition for management of future Structural Funds and Cohesion Fund;
- To act as a Competent Authority on the SAPARD programme, which is responsible for issuing, monitoring and withdrawing the accreditation of the SAPARD Agency.
Information about financial implementation of PHARE, ISPA and SAPARD programmes:
Main tasks of the Directorate in relation to its future role of Certifying body and Body for receiving funds from EU:
- Draw up and submit to the Commission certified statements of expenditure and applications for payment for each operational programme, financed by the Structural Funds and the Cohesion Fund of EU;
- For each operational programme, financed by the Structural Funds and the Cohesion fund of EU, certifies that:
- The statement of expenditure is accurate, results from reliable accounting system and is based on verifiable supporting documents;
- The expenditure declared complies with applicable Community and national rules and has been incurred in respect of operations selected for funding in accordance with the criteria applicable to the programme and complying with Community and national rules
- For the purposes of certification of the statements of expenditure for the operational programmes, financed by the Structural Funds and the Cohesion Fund of EU, ensure, that it has received adequate information from the Managing Authority on the procedures and audits carried out in relation to expenditure included in statements of expenditure;
- Execute the functions of Competent body for receiving the payments made by the Commission on the Structural Funds and the Cohesion Fund, which will mobilize and manage the funds received in compliance with the applicable rules and procedures.
In connection with the above mentioned functions of the National Fund Directorate, the Minister of Finance has issued the following guidelines:
- Guidelines of the Minister of Finance concerning the Operational Programmes, co-financed by the Structural Funds and Cohesion Fund of the EU.
- Guidelines of the Minister of Finance concerning the Programmes for cross-border cooperation along the external borders of the EU.
The guidelines were issued for the Managing Authorities and Intermediate Bodies and are compulsory, thus achieving transparency and foreseeing of the process of management, payment and expenditures` certification under the Operational Programmes and the Programmes for CBC. The guidelines also comprise requirements for the beneficiaries, the which respecting will be ensured by the Managing Authorities trough their inclusion in the Guidelines for Applicants and in the Grant Contracts signed.