Improving Bulgarian Local Government Integrity

March 2007 - February 2009
Anna Ganeva, Yana Papazova and Deyan Kiuranov

The project builds on a similar project being implemented in Romania and is designed to address the issue of local government integrity in 10 Bulgarian big and mid-size municipalities. The overriding goal of the project is to formulate and implement local integrity policies designed to institutionalize civic participation in drafting and instituting procedural and administrative safeguards against misuse of position and institutional corruption in the local administration; ensure that both society and local government are stakeholders of the policies. The overall aim of the project is to develop transparency and integrity of local government in Bulgaria, as a pre-requisite for the development of a truly democratic society, which is able to face and solve problems that might otherwise endanger justice, communication and transparent management of local administration.

In order to achieve that the project relied on a collaborative approach targeting the following groups: mayors; municipal council members; local civil servants/functionaries; representatives of local business sector involved in transactions with the municipal or town governments; citizens and representatives of the local civil society involved in local public affairs; trade unions, media journalists, NGO’s.           

 Project activities were grouped in four main categories:
A.         Diagnostics - participant observation of the operation of the local administration and in-depth interviews with local government representatives and citizens to outline key problem areas and measure impact. Two sociological surveys were conducted during the project covering the involved municipalities. The first one was conducted in the beggining aiming to make an assesment of the performance of the municipal administration; analizing the municipal policies on integrity; problems; and reccomendations.  
B.         Capacity – building - formation of 10 Local Integrity groups and building their capacity to draft, implement and monitor local integrity action plans leading to the adoption of Local Integrity Pacts.
C.        Training – training seminars and workshops for the members of the local integrity groups and representatives of the municipal councils and administrations focused on knowledge and skills transfer focusing on conflict of interest, service provision, codes of ethics, procurement procedures and transparency of decision-making.
D.        Enabling environment – activities designed to sensitize and inform public opinion on the issue of local government accountability and to create an environment conducive to improving integrity in local government.

For more information, reports from the sociological surveys and project materials, please contact Yana Papazova (yana@cls-sofia.org).
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