KPCONPI checks the head of Ninova’s office

KPCONPI checks the head of Ninova’s office
KPCONPI checks the head of Ninova’s office

There are doubts that Kaloyan Metodiev arranged for a law firm to receive contracts for over BGN 400,000 from the state without an auction or competition.

Contracts for legal services for over BGN 400,000 have been concluded by the companies in the system of the Ministry of Economy and Industry with a certain law firm. This is shown by an inspection of the ministry commissioned by the Acting Minister of the Economy, Nikola Stoyanov. Most of the contracts were signed in the period June – August on the principle of direct negotiation, and many of them have serious clauses for penalties in case of early termination.

Out of 13 inspected companies, 7 of them currently have contracts with the law firm in question, whose name is not disclosed by the MII. The audit found that state-owned companies awarded multiple contracts to this contractor, possibly to break up the amounts so as not to attract the attention of auditors. A total of 16 contracts were concluded for legal assistance in specific cases. The sum of these contracts is about BGN 180,000 and a large part of them were paid extremely quickly. There is a case of a contract concluded for BGN 36,000, which was 100% paid in advance.

Subscription contracts were also concluded with the same law firm. Under these contracts, the state paid for the law firm’s services, regardless of whether work was done or not. Three companies in the system of the Ministry of Economy and Industry have undertaken a similar obligation, the total amount being about BGN 20,000 per month or nearly a quarter of a million per year. It should be noted that these contracts are legally enforceable, but the question remains open as to what service the companies received in return for the funds paid.

The summarized information shows that in a few months, a certain law firm has generated contracts for over BGN 400,000 in the MII system alone. The majority of them were concluded by the State Consolidation Company and its subsidiaries. The course of action of the enterprises, which at the same time “opened” this office and began to enter into similar contracts, where the aim seems to have been to pay as much money as possible in the shortest time, warrants further investigation and by other specialized bodies, the ministry states.

There is a signal that one of the partners in this law firm is directly related to the head of the office of Kornelia Ninova – Kaloyan Metodiev. Additionally, there are allegations that the same law firm represents the previous Minister of Economy and Industry in her personal legal disputes.

For this reason, the Ministry of Economy and Industry referred the Commission for Combating Corruption and for Confiscation of Illegally Acquired Property to check whether there is a conflict of interest. It should be investigated whether the head of the deputy prime minister’s office for economic affairs (in the period from December to August 2022) in the Council of Ministers is directly related to one of the partners in the law firm and whether this circumstance influenced the choice in granting services from the state.

The investigation continues, and other inspection bodies will be referred to establish on what basis the same contractor was chosen by the majority of companies in the system of the Ministry of Economy and Industry and how the state interest was protected when concluding subscription contracts without counter service or with 100% advance payment.

The article is in bulgaria


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