Managing Authority
67, William Gladstone Str.
1000 Sofia
Fax: +359 2 988 4820
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Nov 2, 2009


Following the amendments to the legislation in the water supply and sewerage sector and European Commission's recommendations to introduce criteria for economic effectiveness and restrictive parameters during preparation and evaluation of project proposals, a new approach is being developed and will be endorsed for management of priority axis 1 Improvement and development of water and wastewater infrastructure in settlements with over 2000 PE and in settlements below 2000 PE within urban agglomeration areas of OPE.

Simultaneously, the approved mechanism for management of OPE priority axis 2 is being updated as required by the adopted Council of Ministers' Decree No. 209/2009. The measures will lead up to improved project conditions and requirements, and will contribute to funding projects that have the greatest impact in terms of costs and achieved benefits for the environment.

On the other hand, in order to apply the principle of sound financial management and ensure efficient and purposeful expenditure already approved by contracts, a review is currently performed of signed construction and technical assistance contracts under OPE priority axes 1 and 2. The findings of that review could possibly lead to changes in projects' scope and parameters, and to imposing of measures for more rigorous control over implementation.

In that relation, the Managing Authority of OPE recommends to beneficiaries to temporarily suspend the launch of new public procurement procedures under contracts, funded under OPE priority axes 1 and 2, as from 30 October 2010. If you nevertheless decide to launch new public procurement procedures, please bear in mind that you run the risk of not being reimbursed for the associated expenses. Besides, if during the evaluation of a project it is established that changes in the scope of activities is required, the procedures must be then terminated and launched anew.

Additionally, we would like to inform you that the Ex-Ante Evaluation Department at MoEW Directorate EU Funds for Environment - the OPE Intermediate Body - will temporarily suspend ex-ante evaluation of already submitted documentation for assigning public procurement procedures by beneficiaries under OPE priority axes 1 and 2.

Despite all mentioned above, the implementation of already signed contracts should proceed in accordance with their timetables. The ex-post control of already signed public procurement agreements for the purposes of verification of payments will also continue to be exercised by EU Funds for Environment Directorate.

The current measure is only temporary and by no means implies termination of a grant contract. Please keep in mind that duration of a grant contract will be extended to match the period of project suspension. Once the review of funded projects is over, we will hold stage-by-stage meetings with beneficiaries in order to define the specific measures for each grant contract. Immediately after they are agreed on by the MA of OPE and the beneficiary, you will be notified on lifting of the temporary measure and resuming the process of agreement signing.