Socialists want prosecution investigation of Bulgarian Food Safety Agency

Kristian Vigenin, MP of the opposition Bulgarian Socialist Party (BSP), demanded that the prosecutors probe the work of the Bulgarian Food Safety Agency (BFSA), in particular the public procurement procedures held in the past several years. 

Vigenin said that if the prosecuting magistracy does not act on its own initiative, the BSP will lodge a formal alert about BFSA in the coming days.

The media raised the alert about a public procurement procedure launched by BFSA for the supply of ovine rinderpest testers. The testers supply contract is worth 336,185 leva VAT excluded, and the procurement was awarded to the Globul Vision 2018 computer company, which was created a month ago with 500 leva in capital.

The testers are needed after a recent outbreak of ovine rinderpest in Southeastern Bulgaria which required the culling of hundreds of sheep and goats amid harsh protests by farmers.

On Friday Prime Minister Boyko Borissov promised to halt what he described angrily as "a scandalous tender". Speaking to journalists, Borissov pledged to investigate the case and cancel the tender if problems are found. Sometime after that, BFSA's head Damyan Iliev said at a news conference that he is cancelling the procedure after speaking to Borissov on the phone.

In Varna on Saturday Vigenin argued that the cost of the contract is considerably higher than the quantity of testers. The MP also said that what has happened over the past few weeks confirms BSP's position that Agriculture, Food and Forestry Minister Roumen Porozhanov should resign.

Vigenin also said that when Parliament returns from its summer recess, measures should be taken to fill the gaps in the legislation which have left BFSA without control of its work. Vigenin said that in a herd where two infected animals were announced, neither the animals in question nor any other animals are sick or dead 40 days after samples were taken, which the MP noted raises many questions.

The BSP also wants to know how the companies who do disinfection works at border checkpoints are selected, and why there were direct negotiations with a concrete contractor instead of competitive bidding.


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