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Bulgaria: New whistleblowing draft law submitted to Parliament

A new Bill for the Protection of Persons Submitting Reports or Publicly Disclosing Information about Violations, No. 48-254-01-5 ('Bill. No. 48-254-01-5') was adopted, on 9 November 2022, at first reading, by the Parliamentary Committee on Legal Affairs, following its submission, on 19 October 2022, to the Bulgarian Parliament, and subsequent first readings in the relevant Parliamentary Committees.

More in detail, the transcript of the debate within the Committee on Legal Affairs explains that Bill. No. 48-254-01-5, which was introduced by the former Ministry of Justice, Nadejda Georgieva Yordanov, and a group of people's representatives, differs in various aspects from the Bill for the Protection of Submitting Reports or Publicly Disclosing Information about Violations, No. 48-202-01-4 ('Bill No. 48-202-01-4'), which was approved by the Council of Ministers on 28 September 2022.

Specifically, the transcript outlines that the differences between Bill. No. 48-254-01-5 and Bill No. 48-202-01-4 encompass, among other aspects:

  • scope;
  • range of covered entities;
  • requirements for the creation of an external reporting channel; and
  • judicial review of the decisions of the Commission for Combating Corruption and Confiscation of Illegally Acquired Property ('KPCONPI').

Notably, the transcript highlights that Bill. No. 48-254-01-5 seeks to introduce technical requirements for the creation of external reporting channels, whereby personal data of whistleblowers can be cryptographically anonymised.

Further to the above, the transcript provides that the parties involved in the debate suggested that Bill. No. 48-254-01-5 and Bill No. 48-202-01-4 be discussed together, with the specific differences between the two being examined at second reading.

You can read Bill. No. 48-254-01-5 here and the transcript here, and access the legislative portal for Bill. No. 48-254-01-5 here, all only available in Bulgarian.