site.btaGERB Claims that Bulgarian Development Bank Misspent Public Funds under Kiril Petkov as Caretaker Economy Minister
GERB party representatives told a news briefing on Monday that they had information about public funds having been irregularly spent by the wholly state-owned Bulgarian Development Bank (BDB) while Continue the Change leader Kiril Petkov, then caretaker Economy Minister, was its principal.
GERB had approached incumbent Innovation and Growth Minister Alexander Pulev, and it transpired from his answer that an October 19, 2021 BDB Management Board decision on a BGN 1 billion bond issue was confirmed by the Supervisory Board on November 18 but without a decision of the principal, said GERB MP Temenuzhka Petkova. The bond issue was planned to be released in the second or third quarter of 2022 or not at all. Pulev's answer also made it clear that this procedure was terminated by a Management Board decision which was not confirmed by the Supervisory Board.
The Management Board's single-handedly decided to terminate the procedure, but not before BGN 1 million were paid in fees to consulting and law firms hired to consider all aspects of the prospective bond issue, said GERB Floor Leader Desislava Atanasova.
Atanasova received an answer from Pulev on Friday but will continue to enquire whether the law and consulting firms had advised BDB to give up the bond issue and whether the Innovation and Growth Minister will hold the Management Board and the Supervisory Board responsible under the BNB Articles of Association. In the meantime, BDB spent BGN 560,000 on other consulting and legal services, Atanasova added.
"If public funds are spent solely and exclusively by a Management Board decision, without the Supervisory Board or the principal being aware of this, who will be responsible for the BGN 1 million spent without the bank going ahead with the planned issue," the Floor Leader asked. GERB will ask whether he had been notified at all of the decisions taken by the Management Board, whether he will hold anybody to account, and whether he will refer the case to the Public Financial Inspection Agency.
Later on Monday, Pulev's Ministry confirmed the information about the BGN 1 billion bond issued planned by BDB in 2021 BDB and that nearly BGN 1 million had been paid in lawyer and consultant fees even though the bond issue was not released.
The sole owner of the capital has given the newly appointed Supervisory Board until November 29 to report the entire information on the case to the Innovation and Growth Minister. Based on the information reporter, Pulev will take a decision and will make it public, and will be guided in his actions solely by the rule of law and protection of the State's interests.