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by Lt.Col. Nikolay Yordanov, Security Service, Ministry of Defense, Bulgaria

Security Service - Military Counter Intelligence and Military Police is a separately organized special service providing for the security of MoD and BA. The Service supplies the MoD Managerial body with informational and analysis backing on national security issues, duly develops and implements appropriate counter-measures towards encroachments against the Armed Forces, and investigates crimes.

The analysis of risk factors in global, regional and national aspect defines corruption, economic and financial crimes in their relation with international terrorism, illegal trade of weapons and WMD, organized crime and dissemination of drugs as a potential threat to the security of the Republic of Bulgaria as a whole and to the MoD in particular.

The effective deterrence of acts of corruption requires incisive knowledge of the basic forms and indications of corruption, organization of a due and reliable set of neutralizing measures and their smooth performance.

In the process of re-structuring of MoD under the present economic situation in Bulgaria /the Currency Board/ the possible encroachments against the MoD economic and financial stability ould threaten the national security.

The illegal actions are a prerequisite for financial destabilization, failure of the Bulgarian Armed Forces to fulfill its duty to safeguard the national security, impossibility for the structural sectors to function properly, and impediment of the maintenance and the modernization of the military equipment and armament.

In order to succeed in the effective neutralization of corruption in the system of MoD, the MSS worked out a profound analysis and determined the main potential encroachment trends against the MoD economic and financial stability. In accordance with the drawn conclusions a programme was initiated to optimize the operative and the operative retrieval activity for detection and neutralization of the symptoms of corruption and for investigation of economic offences.

The main potential trends of criminal encroachments against the MoD economic security are as follows:

  • Violations of the procedure of competitions held under the provisions of the Public Procurement Act committed by officials and aimed at favouring certain companies in order for the official to gain personal advantage;
  • Realization of illegitimate 'lobbying' schemes by officials in favour of certain companies;
  • Delivery of useless or non-standard spare parts for military equipment and armament;
  • Contracting and executing unprofitable for MoD agreements favouring civilian contractors;
  • Illegitimate transformation, re-categorization and fictitious write-off of military assets with the purpose of either concealing shortage or registering amounts unaccounted for and their appropriation by the responsible official;
  • Diversion of financial means from MoD budget through schemes for fictitious industrial, construction-assembly and repair-remedial activities in the relevant sites;
  • Deliberate decreasing in value of MoD assets followed by contracting unprofitable for MoD agreements;
  • Permanent impediment of the realization of industrial projects, scientific and developmental research aimed at slumping the price of the trade companies acting under the authority of the Minister of Defence;
  • Preparation and execution of MoD trade contracts for special production either with unlicensed contractors or with unknown final consignees, thus creating opportunities for violating UN restrictions and compromising MoD and the Republic of Bulgaria;
  • Illegitimate transfer of assets between MoD-owned trade companies aimed at personal profit in case of privatization;
  • Realization of production-commercial relations between the MoD and civilian companies resulting in damages to the national budget and compromising MoD through not paying customs and tax rates;

A major objective of MSS is the preventive activity connected with uncovering of signs of prepared illegal acts against MoD financial stability and neutralizing the occurrence of damaging after-effects.

The supply of objective information to the management bodies of MoD concerning economic stability issues and the initiation of relevant managerial action is a binding condition for the financial stability and the fighting efficiency of Bulgarian Armed Forces.

MSS activity for detecting and neutralization of committed encroachments on MoD security is carried out through the use of all legal means and with the cooperation of the institutions involved with security issues according to the responsibility dividing principle:

  • Criminal prosecution including the respective military police investigation;
  • Administrative investigation which is in the authority of the commanders and the chiefs of BAF;
  • Financial control and audit - exerted by the State Financial Control at the Ministry of Finance and the 'Financial Control' Directorate;

The essence of the actual functions of MSS in the fight against corruption is that our efforts are aimed not only at proving the bribe acceptance but most of all we undertake actions to uncover, neutralize and investigate the illegal actions of the official involved, which he was bribed for.

We consider misuse of office the following cases: when the official accepts bribe, solicits or extorts bribe. The violations of office are carried out through: circumventing the legal requirements for publicity, competitiveness and clarity of the competitions; favouring certain contractors; not sanctioning violations; deliberate transfer of financial means towards certain spheres.

In the absence of bribe we also consider misuse of office the following cases:

  • Illegitimate patronizing and nepotism;
  • Theft of assets;
  • Diversion of financial and material assets;

Thus the efforts of MSS are mainly concentrated on detecting the signs of misuse of office, neutralizing the occurrence of damaging after-effects and investigating of already committed offences.

The active civilian control over the MSS work plays a significant rele for the effective deterrence of corruption. The legal basis for exertion of legislative, judicial and administrative control ensures the due and unprejudiced realization of anti-corruption activities and make it impossible for the act of corruption to be concealed.

MSS refers to the problems of fighting corruption and the breaches against the economic and financial stability taking into consideration their close connection with the fight against international terrorism, illegal trade of weapons and products with a possible double purpose, biological, chemical and radioactive substances, organized crime and drug-trafficking.

The comprehensive evaluation of the above mentioned threats and the well-organized counter-measures of MSS provide for the due neutralization of the risk factors.

The exchange of information between MSS and the Special Services of NATO member states is an extremely significant component of the combating international terrorism, illegal trade of weapons and WMD and corruption, thus providing for the fulfillment of Bulgaria's obligations concerning the system of collective security.

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