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Dec 15, 2008


The Minister of Environment and Water signed the first contracts under Operational Programme Environment. On behalf of the beneficiaries the mayors of municipalities signed contracts under three procedures. Blagoevgrad, Sliven, Veliko Tarnovo, Sofia district - Ovcha kupel, Pernik, Kavarna, Primorsko and Ruen signed contracts on construction of waste water treatment plants and construction of water supply and sewerage infrastructure. Troyan, Lovech, Silistra and Dolni Chiflik signed contracts on technical assistance in water sector, and Pernik and Gabrovo - on technical assistance in waste sector. The signed contracts amount to over 235 million leva. One year after the official approval of the programme we start its real implementation, said Minister Chakarov.

The grant on all approved projects amounts to over 1 billion leva. It is 30% of the total financial framework of OPE which is 1, 8 billion euro. We expect to have projects approved for minimum 30% of the resources until April-May 2009, said Minister Chakarov. Till the end of December all contracts will be signed. He reminded that after signing the contracts the municipalities have the task to organize the effective and transparent project management. The Ministry of Environment and Water supported an amendment to the Council of Ministers Decree regarding eligibility and reimbursement of expenditures under OP, made by municipalities in relation to project management. The amendment has already been approved, stressed the Minister, but it this respect the municipalities should manage and implement the projects with the necessary quality.

In this respect, a conference was held on the «Rights, obligations and responsibilities of the beneficiaries under OPE». During the conference certificates were delivered to the municipal administrations having approved projects under OPE. These municipalities turn into beneficiaries with concrete responsibilities. These responsibilities were presented by the Head of Financial Management and Control Department to the Managing Authority of OPE, Cohesion Policy for Environment Directorate. Obligations in relation to projects' financial management were presented, reporting irregularities and also amendments to the Public Procurement Act, entering into force on 1 January 2009, as well as reporting progress made on project implementation.

More than 200 participants took part - 175 representatives from 94 municipalities, representatives of the Council of Ministers, the Ministry of Finance, the Bulgarian Construction Chamber, the media etc.

Gallery – signing of contract under OPE

Gallery Conference