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Penal Procedure Code amendments authorize customs officials to conduct investigations

The amendments passed by parliament to the Penal Procedure Code allow customs officials to conduct their own investigations. Customs inspectors will probe crimes under four provisions of the Penal Code related to the trade with excise duty goods without label and crimes directed against the customs control of currency and valuables as defined in the customs laws. In cases when an employee of the Customs Agency was accomplice to the crime the investigation will be carried by an examining magistrate. The customs inspectors authorized to conduct investigations will be designated by order of the Finance Minister on the proposal of the Customs Agency’s director. 

The National Assembly adopted also amendments to the Public Procurement Act allowing the municipal administrations to contract services for public works without tender to companies owned by the municipalities. The requirement is that the municipality is owner of 100 per cent of the capital of the company and the latter provides at least 90 per cent of its services to the municipality. The amendments give precise definition of “public works”. Public works are among others: exploitation, maintenance, monitoring, recultivation of installations and plants for treatment and processing of waste, as well as the activities aimed at the repeated, recycled use of waste, or for its sanitation, laid down in the municipal programs. The law envisages that a tender should be carried out for all public procurement contracts for construction valued at not less than BGN 240 000 net of VAT. Where the place of the procurement contract execution is outside of the country the amount is BGN 1,5 M.

The amendments envisage a new way of preliminary control on the part of the Public Procurement Agency. It will be conducted in two stages – before and after the publication of the notice opening the public procurement procedure.

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