How officials from four municipalities have absorbed BGN 700,000 on EU projects

The activities on European funded projects are mostly carried out during working hours for which municipal officials also receive their salaries.

Employees in the Municipality of Gabrovo have received just over BGN 300,000 on 23 projects. In Sevlievo – BGN 271,000 and in Dryanovo and Tryavna – BGN 68,000 and BGN 33,000, correspondingly.
Illustration: “Pro Veritas”

Municipal employees in the four municipalities of Gabrovo District, who participated in project management teams with European and national funding, have earned nearly BGN 700,000 over their salaries. The report is for a three-year period – from the beginning of 2015 to the autumn of 2018. In some cases the bonuses are tens of thousands of BGN and their size is not proportional to the value of the projects.

The highest amount is paid to employees in the Municipality of Gabrovo – slightly over BGN 300,000 on 23 projects. In Sevlievo, the money is slightly less – BGN 271,000 for officials appointed to the teams of 17 projects. /n.b. of editor: the total number of projects implemented by the Municipality of Sevlievo is 24, but seven of them had no management budget/. Compared to this, the amount received by employees in the municipalities of Dryanovo and Tryavna is negligible – BGN 68,000 and BGN 33,000, correspondingly. “Pro Veritas” received information under the Access to Public Information Act (APIA). However, Gabrovo Municipality saved the details.

Small secrets

Despite the explicit request to specify the amount of remuneration for each person employed in the project management team, the administration in Gabrovo presented only a summary report from which no detailed information can be obtained. The data is too general and shows that the biggest budget for management was for the project “Gabrovo – investments for building a modern urban environment”. Its value is BGN 11 million and the amount distributed among seven municipal employees is almost BGN 61,000 or BGN 9,000 per person, on the average.

The Unified Management Information System for the EU structural instruments (UMIS) provides more information. The money for one of the biggest investment ventures in Gabrovo was received by Deputy Mayor Nikolay Merazchiev, appointed as a technical specialist in architecture, the director of Directoarte Mariana Kostadinova, who is the project leader, the chief experts Momchil Kornazov, Ivan Ivanov, Milka Kehayova and Vasil Georgiev, technical project specialists and Deyan Dontchev – Head of Unit. For him the reference does not give clear information about the position he has occupied in the project management team.

For all from the heart

Another BGN 35,000 were distributed in Gabrovo between eight local authorities officials working on the project “Development of sustainable urban transport in the town of Gabrovo”. The value of this project is BGN 13.4 million, but its management budget is almost half that of the modern urban environment project.

Four local authorities officials have received total of BGN 23,700 to run the project “Support for Independent Life”. The bonuses for the same number of employees for “Portfolio for Effective Support of Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises” are BGN 21,000. The additional income of the team, which has introduced “Complex for Social and Health Services for Children and Families” is BGN 22,000. BGN 15,000 is the budget for management of the project “Integration Measures for Increasing School Opportunity for Children in the Municipality of Gabrovo”, paid to four employees.

The Chief Legal Expert of the Municipality of Gabrovo has worked in the teams for management of five projects, as shown by the reference requested by “Pro Veritas”. However, it is not clear whether it is only one employee, as Gabrovo municipality has two Chief Legal Experts. Most frequently, senior experts, chief experts, senior accountants, and directors of Directorates are appointed to manage projects. Only for three projects Deputy Mayors are hired.

Heavy labor – from morning to dusk

In Sevlievo, the largest amount paid for project management is BGN 66,000. The project is “Implementation of measures for energy efficiency in multifamily residential buildings”, whose value is BGN 4.7 million – almost three times less than the largest Gabrovo project /n.b. of the editor – cited above, amounting to BGN 13.4 million). Funding is under the Operational Program “Regions in Growth” and the management money has been received by seven officials. The largest amount – BGN 20,000 was paid to Kalina Georgieva, deputy mayor of the municipality and project manager. Her name flashed in 2013 with her work on the so-called Water Cycle. Then Georgieva was appointed in the city administration on a 12-hour working day – 4 hours as Deputy Mayor and with a second employment contract for 8 hours as the project manager, for which she was paid BGN 46,000 over the salary. / n.b. of the editor – the data were also received under the Access to Public Information Act (APIA)/.

The most – for the technical assistant

One of the technical assistants of the “Implementation of energy efficiency measures” in Sevlievo was paid almost BGN 12,000 and the other BGN 8,500. The officials who worked as a coordinator, lawyer, accountant and investor control have signed under the amount of BGN 4 to 7 thousand.

Under a project with a similar budget – “Energy efficiency in the educational infrastructure of the municipality of Sevlievo”, the management money is significantly less. Its manager is the director of the “Territory and Urban Planning” Directorate, whose remuneration is BGN 6,200 and is less than the remuneration paid to the coordinator – Deputy Mayor Nevena Todorova, who received almost BGN 11,000. The largest is the fee of the technical assistant – about BGN 13,000.

Almost 20 thousand leva have been received by four employees from the management team of the project “Provision of resident type social services for children and young people with disabilities” in Sevlievo. About BGN 31,000 are paid to the same number of employees for managing the project “Equal opportunity for all”. Two officials who managed a project to build a day center for disabled adults, received total of BGN 7,500.

The Independent Life of Municipal Officials

In Dryanovo, the municipality has worked on seven projects, with two of them having no remuneration for a management team. The biggest remuneration is paid for the management of the project “Energy Efficiency of Buildings” – total of BGN 18,000 to four employees.

In the Municipality of Tryavna, they have implemented seven projects with European funding. The biggest remuneration for management – a little over BGN 15,000 has been received by five municipal employees hired for work at the “Center for Independent Life”.

Most often – in working hours

The employment of municipal employees for project work is allowed in three ways – by civil contract, as additional remuneration to the main employment contract or as a second employment contract.

The activities on projects with EU funding are most often carried out during working hours, for which the municipal employees also receive their salaries. This means that for the same hours worked, they are paid twice – once on a basic employment contract and second time – for the implementation of a specific project. And the extra money for some employees equaled their annual salary.

 

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