Last week in the National Assembly the new draft-law for the protection of whistleblowers was submitted for the implementation of the Directive 2019/1937 EC. The authors of that new draft-law are representatives of GERB political party which voted “against” the previous draft-law submitted by the Council of Ministers of the Republic of Bulgaria at the end of 2022.

Unfortunately, the proposed draft-law repeats the vulnerabilities of previous draft-law and more specifically to have one authority for the receipt of reports, in the proposed texts it is said that will be the Commission for Personal Data Protection. That Commission will forward the reports and will give instructions for the investigation by the competent authorities, as well as to check the lack of a benchmark for internal system for submitting the reports.

Transparency International Bulgaria continues to insist on changes to the texts in this draft-law:

  • The control functions for the implementation of the law must be clearly distinguished. The law gives certain actions on the reception of the reports on the one hand, and on the other hand, actions on the verification and feedback of the submitted reports must be prescribed. The reports detection and reaction are essentially actions in different areas of administrative activity and business. This is a legally regulated activity that exists even now. It is provided in various  laws and in these laws, it is intended to have such a relevant competent authority.
  • Monitoring compliance for the implementation of the requirements of the proposed draft-law is a different activity. It is difficult to choose a single model of implementation of this control worldwide, but there are quite a few examples that these are part of the Ministry of Justice’s activities.
  • One of the models is the centralized – with one entry point and the other is decentralized or dispersed. In the decentralized model each competent institution receives the reports in its are of competence by complying with the requirements for the whistleblowers. In the centralized systems the competence of the authority that receives reports is reduced to their technical acceptance and re-send them to the relevant competent authority and takes no further actions.

TI-Bulgaria appeals for the creation of a working legislation for the protection of whistleblowers in Bulgaria that will operate for the benefit of business, employees, and society.