All Eco-Ministry Regional Directors get Dismissed

Aug. 01, 2013
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All Eco-Ministry Regional Directors get Dismissed
Following the last government’s decentralisation policies, over 80% of procedures to do with protected territories, the environment and waters, are carried out regionally. Without defending specific officials, For the Nature has the adopted the following position in principle:
The regional Eco Ministry directors are individual government executives and only their decisions are independent and in some cases not subject to Ministerial control. This necessitates the requirement that these positions be filled by experts who are very familiar with the relevant legislation and have experience in applying it.

After they are appointed by a selection process, their dismissal needs to be carried out through motivated orders and not be politically driven. The dismissal of an official, without motive, such is this case, is a structural problem in the administration of the Ministry of the Environment.
Such practices create uncertainty and only motivate people who accept to take these positions for just one to four years to apply for them; thus encouraging corruption and the lack of professionalism.

Such actions have so far led to the fact that, even after a selection process, people who have never worked in civil service, even less so in the Ministry of the Environment administration are appointed; for them the first few years of their professional employment are to do with familiarising themselves with the situation and legislation which they need to apply.
The Rila, Pirin and Central Balkan national parks are the most important protected territories in Bulgaria. They are constantly being attacked by hundreds of kilometres of ski runs, forestry and lately a hunt for subsidies. Their management plans are about to be updated, and the persona of their directors will play a major role in the protection of these parks.

The coalition For the Nature recommends to the Minister of Environment and waters that she should carry out a thorough, objective check of the corresponding administrative organs, the results of which should inform any personal decisions, before taking any steps to dismiss officials.
The legislation amendments aiming to dispose of the option of unmotivated dismissals and the introduction of a professional start and growth within the territorial organs are absolutely necessary for such administrations, which apply a large number of legal provisions and whose actions could become motives for penal procedures against Bulgaria from the EU.
The coalition For the Nature insists that the selection process for future directors should include representatives of the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences and professional organisations, with the aim of ensuring transparency and objectivity in decisions to do with human resources.