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Parliament adopted at second reading amendments to the Vocational Education and Training Act
September 10, 2009

The National Assembly passed at second reading on September 10, 2009 amendments to the Vocational Education and Training Act. The amendments allow students trained in 12th grade in the school year 2009-2010 in an occupation with a third level of qualification to complete their studies by correspondence or another form of self education during the 2010-2011 school year. Up to now they had to go through a 13th grade in order to be qualified for the final diploma.
The changes are introduced, due to the curtailing of the 13th year of education, previously adopted for such schools and the impossibility to cover in one year all the curricula, scheduled for 12th and 13th grade. The mover of the bill, explains in the motives that otherwise it could have the negative effect of students not being prepared enough to pass the theoretical and practical state exams to acquire a degree of professional qualification.

Parliament approved the 2008 Annual report of the Commission on the Protection of Competition. In 2008, the Commission has imposed fines and penalties amounting to EUR 8 610 738. Financial penalties imposed for prohibited agreements, decisions and cartel policies amount to BGN 2 853 000. One of the Commission decisions has imposed financial penalties on 14 Insurance companies and one Association at the amount of BGN 2 470 000.

The Commission has found that the sanctioned insurance companies have signed a memorandum aimed at setting and enforcement of uniform minimum premiums for the insurance policy of” Civil liability” as well as at determining the maximum commissions amount to insurance brokers. According to the CPC, the arrangements reached between the participants in the memorandum have anti-competitive purpose and represent a heavy restriction on competition. Last year the CPC has initiated a total of 867 procedures, including 652 in violation of the Public Procurement Act, nine of the Concessions Act and 206 under the Act for Protection of the Competition.

MPs approved the Annual report of the Agency for Post - Privatization Control for 2008. According to the document, the Agency is monitoring 6 827 privatization contracts concluded until December 31, 2008. Since the establishment of the Agency till the end of 2008, the cash receipts in its transit account amount at BGN 93 081 833. The revenues, during the reporting period were BGN 12 956 425. The post – privatization control shows that the overall contracted investments in the privatized enterprises, in the period 1994-2007, were BGN 6 766 858 922. Compared to this number 69 percent of the buyers were found to have performed or even over performed on their investment programs.
Analysis of the monitoring results, showed that 31 percent of buyers in part or entirely failed to meet the agreed investment programs and have not invested in the privatized companies the total of BGN 2 097 593 044 .
The Agency has collected in 2009 about 17 million of outstanding receivables, and for about BGN 400 million court proceedings are pending at different instances. This information was revealed by the chair of the parliamentary Committee on Economic Policy, Energy and Tourism, Martin Dimitrov during the discussion. He said that the challenge for the Ministry of Economy, Energy and Tourism was to determine how the money owed could be collected and what portion of them should be written off.
At the same sitting, the National Assembly approved the 2008 Annual report of the Commission for the Protection of Personal Data.
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