Road Infrastructure Agency Chief Dismissed Over Halted Repair Works
Sofia, July 20 (BTA) - Caretaker Regional Development and Public
Works Minister Violeta Komitova dismissed on Monday the
previously appointed by her Road Infrastructure Agency (RIA)
Management Board Chairman, Apostol Minchev, her Ministry said on
Minchev has single-handedly decided to halt all reconstruction
works implemented by the Agency.
He sent a letter to halt all works and remove equipment until
Minchev's decision runs against the policy of the Regional
Development Ministry. The letter to halt all projects for repair
and reconstruction of roads on the national network has in
effect blocked the operation of construction companies.
Later BTA learnt from the Regional Development and Public Works
Ministry that Minister Komitova has dismissed also Ivaylo
Denchev, member of RIA's Management Board.
Meanwhile Minister Komitova said that a document authorizing
payments has been found and speculated that these may be
companies close to the dismissed RIA leadership.
At the end of May Apostol Minchev was appointed Chair of the RIA
Management Board and Vesselin Peykov and Ivaylo Denchev were
designated as members of the Agency's Management Board.
Komitova has invited all mayors and companies affected by
Minchev's order to a meeting on July 23.
Later on Tuesday, the press centre of the Finance Ministry said
that Minister Komitova and caretaker Finance Minister Asen
Vassilev have submitted an alert to Prosecutor General Ivan
Geshev, referring RIA for spending funds from the State budget,
which was established during an analysis by the Finance Ministry
based on documents and references provided by RIA.
Attached to the alert are reports to the Management Board of RIA
from the head of the Directorate for Road Infrastructure
Maintenance (RIM) in the Agency, which contain additional and
extraordinary assignments for repairs. The reports say that at
the moment the RIM Directorate does not have the necessary
financial resources to provide assignments and that the "the
necessary funds should be provided through targeted funding
(Decree of the Council of Ministers)". According to the
ministers, the decisions of the RIA Board to assign the
implementation of activities in the absence of funds to pay for
the work performed were adopted in deviation from the statutory
rules, as the RIA Board does not have the authority to instruct
the Council of Ministers on decrees. The decisions deviate from
the provisions of the Public Finance Act (PFA), the instructions
to it and the Financial Management and Control in the Public
Sector Act (FMCPS).
The alert also indicates cases the estimated value of contracts
concluded with public procurement was significantly exceeded.
According to a report provided by RIA, the Management Board of
the Agency assigned additional and extraordinary tasks many
times over the value of the concluded contracts, as in 40
contracts the total excess is 2.9 billion leva over the value of
the contracts. According to a report by RIA, with an approved
budget of the Agency for Current Repair and Maintenance for 2021
amounting to 382 million leva, the Agency has assigned
activities worth nearly 2.9 billion leva, of which 1.45 billion
leva for 2021 and 1.4 billion leva for 2022 and following years.
This was done in violation of PFA, FMCPS and the Public
Procurement Act. RI/ PP, DT