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Bill on amendment and supplementation of the Energy Act moved by the Council of Ministers, adopted at first reading, envisages decision for appointments to the State Energy and Water Regulatory Commission to be made by the National Assembly instead by the Government

The changes foresee that members of the State Energy and Water Regulatory Commission shall be elected and released from duty by decision of the National Assembly, not by government one as it is currently. Thus, in accordance with the Administration Act, the word “state” in the name of the regulator is to be omitted.

The idea of the mover is that the change will bring openness to the procedure for election of the Commission’s members. Another amendment separates the commission in two specialized units – “Energy” and “Water supply and sewage” which shall take independent decisions on behalf of the Commission. This shall improve the speed and the quality of the regulatory work and shall bring focus on the Water and Sewerage sector, which is now not given enough attention.

In order to provide more transparency the bill foresees holding of fewer closed meetings of the commission, except for cases when a protected by law information would be discussed. The amendments abolish the requirement for at least one member with law degree and one economist in the commission’s staff and increase the requirement for professional experience from 3 to 5 years for all members.

The bill was adopted with the votes of 153 MPs, 133 “yes” votes, one “against” and 19 abstentions. The term for proposals between the first and the second reading of the bill was extended from 7 to 14 days.

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