Largest Concentration of Irregularities in Projects Under OP "Innovation and Competitiveness" Registered in NW Bulgaria

NW 17:22:01 22-10-2021
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Largest Concentration of Irregularities in Projects
Under OP "Innovation and Competitiveness"
Registered in NW Bulgaria


Sofia, October 22 (BTA) - The largest concentration of irregularities in the implementation of projects under Operational Programme "Innovation and Competitiveness" 2014 - 2020 (OPIC) was registered in Northwestern Bulgaria, caretaker Economy Minister Daniela Vezieva told a news conference on Friday. The region was а priority throughout the programming period because it had the highest poverty rate and the lowest economic growth in Bulgaria, she specified.

An analysis of the effectiveness and sustainability of the procedures under OPIC showed that 94 out of 333 irregularities in total are in Northwestern Bulgaria. The corrections amount to 24 million leva, a large part of which have been reimbursed, the Economy Minister argued.

During the 2014-2020 period, 2,913 project contracts worth 2.063 billion leva were concluded. Some 930 of these, worth 478 million leva, were in the northwestern region.

The OPIC's implementation in Northwestern Bulgaria has had no indirect effects because neither has the standard of living improved nor has migration decreased, Vezieva commented. That is why the Managing Authority of OPIC together with consultants will develop additional, simplified control measures to provide better spending control.

Most of the irregularities were related to the conduct of public procurements, the manner of buying funds for assets, and sustainable investing. Forty-two irregularities were established in the IT sector, the Minister said.

Taking a question, Vezieva said that the European Public Prosecutor's Office is investigating the irregularities.

RY/KK




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