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Administration and Management

CSD's approach to its administrative procedures has always been based on the understanding of the significance of sound management for the delivery of its contribution in the reform process in Bulgaria. The enhancement of the institutional capacity of the Center is based on the continuous blending of professionalism in both policy analysis and internal financial management and administration. In the past year, CSD has been increasingly implementing complex projects requiring the involvement of staff from its various programs. This necessitated a special efforts to improve inter-program coordination. More and more integrated projects also make team building policies a must. These include coordination meetings under various formats which are an integral part of the management process.

A long established emphasis of CSD's administrative procedures is the development of an effective system for self regulation. In addition to the requirements of the regulatory framework for non-profit organizations in Bulgaria, CSD is establishing and applying its own internal rules designed to introduce best international practices in NGO governance. These cover administrative and financial management, recruitment, accounting policies, etc.

Rules and regulations are updated annually reflecting both changes in domestic legislation in Bulgaria and new international models. In 2001, the Center for the Study of Democracy was among the few nonprofit organizations in Bulgaria to reregister under the new NGO legislation as a public benefit organization. CSD was one of the leading organizations which promoted the distinction between public benefit and private benefit in the legislation, which entered into force in the beginning of 2001. For the public benefit organizations, the new law makes a number of provisions for avoiding conflict of interest, independent external control of the use of funds, stricter reporting rules, etc. Regardless of the fact that the Center has been applying these or similar procedures and undergoing independent external audit since 1993, special training was organized for the CSD management on the new requirements of the law.

CSD has been implementing best international practices in accountability and transparency in the receipt and use of funds for almost 10 years now. The financial report for the preceding year - for 2001 audited by KPMG (their independent opinion and CSD's financial statements follow) - is an integral part of CSD's annual report. The Center works with a significant number of development agencies and donors and it is crucial that maximum financial transparency is ensured. "Behind the scenes" of this effort is a very professional administration which has established a well functioning coordination with the project managers at CSD to produce complete, accurate and timely reports for the various projects.

Investing time, effort and funds into maintaining good management practices is important not only for CSD's own activities. The Center has long been active in transferring this expertise to other Bulgarian NGOs. In 2001, CSD's Financial Manager was the lead consultant for the design and implementation of a series of seminars for NGO managers on how to reach pre-audit level under the international accounting standards. The seminar training materials were later published and made available to the Bulgarian NGO sector.

CSD was also instrumental in the development of the volume Project Management Steps. It covers general issues related to project management, allocation of resources, financial aspects and control of spending, reporting, and monitoring and evaluation. A special section provides practical examples.

The Center is among the leading organizations involved in the improvement of the regulatory environment for NGOs in Bulgaria. It provided expertise in the development of the central registry for public benefit NGOs and designed the terms of reference for the electronic version of the registry. CSD was also part of the working group which develop the changes to the tax laws regulating the non-profit sector, adopted in December 2001.

In 2001, CSD employed 52 staff of which 37 were professional and management, including part-time consultants, and 15 were support personnel. The Center also works with a significant number of external contributors.

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