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Nov 27, 2009

OPE MONITORING COMMITTEE APPROVED NEW PROJECT SELECTION CRITERIA IN WATER SECTOR

The Minister of Environment and Water Nona Karadjova stressed that "OP Environment is an instrument to achieve the national policies and priorities in the sector. For the successful implementation of the programme it is extremely important to ensure transparency in the selection of contractors under OPE projects. The Ministry will publish templates of public procurement documentation including terms of reference. It will not only guarantee transparency but will contribute to minimizing the risk in assigning the implementation of activities".

At present efforts are directed to simplifying the procedures and templates on project reporting, Minister Karadjova said. She reminded that under the initiative of the new governing body of the Ministry every Thursday is a consultation day for beneficiaries. It is another opportunity to receive an expert support by the Managing Authority and the Intermediate Body related to project implementation.

Mrs. Malina Kroumova, Acting Head of Cohesion Policy for Environment Directorate, OPE Managing Authority, presented the new mechanisms on the construction of water and waste infrastructure to be financed under OP Environment.

The representative of DG Regional Policy, Mr. Valeri Natan, expressed the EC support on the new mechanisms. They correspond with the three main priorities of the Commission: investment in strategic and priority project; ensuring the economic and financial relevance of the investment; and last but not least conformity with the law. He presented EC position supporting the conception regarding beneficiaries' co-financing. It will make beneficiaries more responsible with regard to projects preparation and implementation as well as with regard to EU funds absorption.

OPE Monitoring Committee approved the project selection criteria included in the new water sector mechanism.

A document on the overall implementation of priority axis 3 will be discussed during the afternoon session which was preliminary coordinated with all stakeholders. The draft indicative annual work programme for 2010 will also be submitted for approval.