In November 2017 the National Assembly of the Republic of Bulgaria adopted an entirely new Concessions Act, which transposes into the national legislation Directive 2014/23/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 26 February 2014 on the award of concession contracts. The new Concessions Act revoked the old Concessions Act (from 2006) and the Public-Private Partnership Act (from 2013).
Concessions Act shall govern public-private partnership where an economic operator executes works or provides services awarded by a public authority by way of a works concession or a services concession.
The purpose of this Act is to ensure:
- the development of a high-quality and affordable infrastructure and services of general interest through partnership between public authorities and economic operators;
- responding to societal needs through the involvement of private investment in works and in the provision and the management of services at the best price-quality ratio;
- effective and efficient spending of public resources and of resources from the European Structural and Investment Funds and programmes;
- economic efficiency in the management of public property safeguarding the interest of citizens and society.
The sub-legislative regulation to the Concessions Act is currently being prepared.
The Economic and Social Policy Directorate within the Administration of the Council of Ministers provides methodological guidelines for the implementation of the Concessions Act.
The State Aid and Real Sector Directorate within the Ministry of Finance assists the Minister of Finance with the execution of his functions in the field of concessions.
According to Article 39, Paragraph (2) of the Concessions Act, the Minister of Finance shall implement the state policy regarding the effective and efficient spending of public resources upon the planning and performance of concessions and:
- shall issue written instructions regarding the financial and economic elements of the concession when the preparatory steps are taken and the concession contracts are performed;
- shall submit proposals to the Coordinating Council for the adoption of guidelines regarding the financial and economic elements of the concessions;
- shall approve annually a cost estimate for financing the expenditures on State concessions;
- shall carry out a preliminary assessment regarding compliance with fiscal rules and restrictions under the Public Finance Act of projects for state concessions with payments by the grantors prior to the inclusion of any such projects in the action plan for state concessions, under terms and according to a procedure established by the ordinance referred to in Article 35;
- shall give an opinion regarding the financial and economic elements of the projects for state and municipal concessions with payments by the grantors prior to the initiation of the respective concessionaire designation procedure;
- may send an observer to attend the meetings of the commissions for conduct of the concessionaire designation procedure in a non-voting capacity.
Grantors shall be obliged to provide the Minister of Finance, in connection with the powers thereof under Article 39, Paragraph (2), with the information required thereby related to the preparation and conduct of the concessionaire designation procedures as well as to the performance of the concession contracts.
The Minister of Finance may be assisted for the activities referred to in Items 4 and 5 of Article 39, Paragraph (2) by the Bulgarian Development Bank.
- Concessions Act, effective 01.01.2018
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