MPs approved at second reading amendments to the Special Surveillance Means Act, and decided to close the National Bureau for Oversight of the use of Special Surveillance Means
October 22, 2009
The National Assembly adopted at its meeting, October 22, 2009, at second reading, amendments to the Special Surveillance Means Act and decided to close down the National Bureau that used to oversee their lawful usage . The changes in the law envisage this activity to be assumed in the future by a special committee in the parliament. The latter will monitor the authorization procedures, implementation and application of the SSM and the storage and destruction of information obtained through them. The Commission will monitor the protection of the rights and freedoms of citizens against the unlawful use of SSM.
Civil servants in the SANS and the “Execution of Penalties " and "Security" Directorates at the Ministry of Justice will be entitled to carry automatic weapons and ammunition. This provisions were laid dawn with the amendments to the Control of Explosives, Firearms and Ammunition Act, which were passed at second reading in the parliament. The amendments also authorize state officials from both the SANS and the above two directorates, whose service is longer than 10 years to buy a firearm.
The National Assembly rejected the draft of the Patient’s Rights and Obligations bill, submitted by Vanyo Sharkov and and a group of MPs. The Committee on Health Chairman Lachezar Ivanov expressed his criticism saying that the proposed bill was largely duplicating the existing regulations, while leaving some issues unresolved. Ivanov noted that patient organizations also have expressed reservations about the concept of the bill.
The National Assembly ratified the Convention on Social Security between Bulgaria and the Republic of Korea, signed on October 30, 2008. The document provides that the two countries will take into consideration and respect the length of service for retirement purposes acquired under the legislation of each of the two countries in the assessment of entitlements that can be acquired under the Agreement. For Bulgaria, these are retirement pensions for contributory income and for old age, for disability due to sickness and survivors' benefits. Under the agreement, arising disputes will be resolved by way of negotiations between the competent authorities in the two countries and by a special arbitration panel in addition. The implementation procedures of the agreement will be covered in a separate Administrative Agreement, which is expected to be signed by the competent ministers during the visit of President Georgi Parvanov at the Republic of Korea, 24-27 October, 2009.
The National Assembly elected from its quota Tsanka Todorova Tsankova-Petrova to serve as Judge to the Constitutional Court with the votes of 175 deputies, with none against and without abstentions. Mrs. Petrova had served two-terms as Vice-Dean of the Law Faculty of Sofia University “St. Kliment Ohridski ", as Scientific Secretary of the Council of Ministers’ Higher Attestation Commission, as arbitrator in the Arbitration Court at the Bulgarian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, as Head of the Civil Law Branch of the Advisory Committee on Legislation of the 39th and 40th National Assembly.
After long and animated discussion, the parliament rejected with 53 votes for, 82 against and 44 abstentions, the report of the Protection against Discrimination Commission. MPs from the PG GERB, Ataka and the Blue Coalition stated that the Commission has been politicized and was not doing the work for which it was created. Representatives of Ataka commented that the Commission was useless. The counterarguments of the MRF and the Left were that the purpose of the majority was to replace the members of the Commission and stated that such an institution is necessary and is designed according to European requirements.
Kalin Hristov was sworn in at the National Assembly as Deputy Governor of the National Bank in charge of the Emission Department . His mandate is for six years and begins formally on October 23, 2009.