Regulations of the Organization and Activities of the National Legal Aid Bureau

Adopted with a Decree of the Council of Ministers No 4 of 6.01.2006, Prom SG 5/17. 01. 2006, valid as of 1.01.2006.

Chapter 1
General PROVISIONS

Art. 1. These regulations shall settle the organization and work of the National Legal Aid Bureau (NLAB), as well as the structure, the body and the functions of the separate units of its administration
Art. 2. (1) The National Legal Aid Bureau is an independent state body – legal person of the budget, and shall have its seat in Sofia.
(2) The National Legal Aid Bureau is a secondary administrator of budgetary credits to the Ministry of Justice.
(3) The National Legal Aid Bureau shall have a separate budget, which is constituted, executed, finalized and reported by itself.

Chapter 2
Organization and work of the NLAB

Part 1 
Composition and Powers of the NLAB

Art. 3 The National Legal Aid Bureau is constituted of five members – chairperson, deputy chairperson and three members selected according to and under the conditions of the Act on Legal Aid.
Art. 4 The National Legal Aid Bureau shall:
1. Execute general and methodical guidance of the legal aid activities;
2. Prepare the draft of the budget for legal aid;
3. Manage the budget funds for legal aid;
4. Develop criteria for selection and dismissal and perform selection and dismissal of the attorneys providing legal services;
5. Organize the maintenance of the National Register of Legal Aid;
6. Pay for the provided legal services;
8. Perform the control over providing the legal services;
9. Prepare bills and other normative acts in the field of legal services which are tabled at the Council of Ministry by the Chairperson of the NLAB;
9. Adopt the annual report under Art. 17 it 6 of the Act on Legal Aid and publish it on the Internet;
10. Collect statistical data and analyze the information needed for the adequate planning and management of the legal services;
11. Develop the legal aid systems of penal, civil and administrative cases;
12. Promote the legal aid system;
13. Adopt a decision for a recovery of the expenses made in the cases of Art. 27, Para 3 of Legal Aid Act;
14. Approve the forms under the Legal Aid Act;
15. Perform the international co-operation in the field of the legal aid;
16. Involve external partners and consultants;
17. Adopt a decision for remuneration under Art 19 of Legal Aid Act.
Art. 5. (1) The National Legal Aid Bureau shall be governed by a Chairperson.
(2) In his/her activity the Chairperson shall be assisted by a Deputy Chairperson.
Art. 6 (1) The Chairperson and Deputy Chairperson shall be appointed and dismissed by order of the Prime Minister and on the ground of a decision of the Council of Ministers.
(2) The proposal to the Council of Ministers shall be made by the Minister of Justice
(3) The remaining three members of NLAB shall be attorneys elected by the Supreme Bar Council.
(4) The decision of the Council of Minister and the decision of the Supreme Bar Council shall enter in force simultaneously with the date of the enactment of the second in time decision.
Art. 7. (1) The members of NLAB shall be appointed, respectively elected, for a three-year term. They may be re-appointed or re-elected for the same term.
(2) The proposals for re-appointment and re-election accordingly shall be made two months in advance of the expiration of the previous mandate.
Art. 8 Member of the NLAB can be a Bulgarian citizen, who:
1. Has a graduate legal education and legal capacity;
2. Has legal experience not less than five years;
3. Has not been sentenced to imprisonment for malicious crimes of general nature, regardless of him/her being rehabilitated;
4. Is not sole entrepreneur, manager, authorized representative or a member of managing or controlling body of a trade company or co-operation.
Art. 9 (1) The mandate of a Member of NLAB shall be terminated before the term:
1. Upon his/her request;
2. In the event of gross systematic offence of the Act on Legal Aid;
3. When sentenced with entered in force sentence to imprisonment for malicious crime of general nature;
4. In case of inability to perform his/her obligations for a period longer than 6 months;
5. In the event of him/her being put under judicial disability;
6. In the event of death;
(2) In the cases under Para 1 the Prime Minister or the Chairperson of the Supreme Bar Council shall table a proposal for a before-term termination of the mandate.
(3) The Council of Ministers or the Supreme Bar Council shall pronounce within one month period decision about dismissal, respectively about the appointment of a new member.
(4) The new Member shall end the mandate of the dismissed Member.
Art. 10 (1) The Chairperson and the Deputy Chairperson shall perform their activity under labor legal relationship and may not take another position under employment or official legal relationship.
(2) The remuneration of the Chairperson and the Deputy Chairperson shall be determined as follows:
1. for the Chairperson – three average monthly remunerations of the employed under labor or official-service legal relationship persons in the public sector, as per data by the National Statistics Institute;
2. for the Deputy Chairperson – 90 per cent of the remuneration of the Chairperson under item 1.
Art. 11 The Members of NLAB shall receive remuneration for participation in a session, equal to 50 per cent of the minimal monthly remuneration for the country.
Art. 12. The Chairperson of the NLAB shall:
1. Organize and manage the activities of the NLAB in accordance with the Legal Aid Act and the regulations of and decisions taken by NLAB;
2. Be in charge of the performance of the powers of NLAB;
3. Represent the NLAB before third persons;
4. Summon and manage the sessions of NLAB;
5. Approve the job position structure of the administration;
6. Appoint and dismiss the state officers, conclude and terminate the labor contracts with the employees of the administration of NLAB who are under labor legal relationship;
7. Table the acts under Art. 8, item 7 of the Legal Aid Act before the Ministry of Council;
8. Submit annual report before the Council of Ministers, the Supreme Bar Council and the Supreme Judicial Council about the activity of NLAB;
9. Perform in person or through empowered by him/her persons audits over the execution of the Legal Aid Act;
10. Commission the administration officers in the country and abroad;
11. Sign contracts with external partners and consultants;
13. Issue orders within the limits of his/her given powers;

Part II 
Organization and work of NLAB

Art. 13 (1) The National Legal Aid Bureau shall be a body that shall hear and decide matters within its competency in sessions.
(2) The sessions of NLAB shall be open and closed.
(3) At the open sessions persons invited by the Chairperson of NLAB may be present.
(4) The Secretary General may be present at the session as an observer.
Art. 14 (1) The sessions of NLAB shall be regular and extraordinary.
(2) The National Legal Aid Bureau shall perform a regular session at least once every two months according to agenda draft distributed in advance. The draft agenda and its supporting materials shall be at the disposal of the NLAB' members at least two days prior to the session.
(3) During the session with common majority additional items may be included in the agenda based on proposals by each member of NLAB.
(4) The National Legal Aid Bureau shall be summoned to an extraordinary session by the Chairperson, based on his/her initiation, or on the ground of proposal by at least two of its members. In this case the members of NLAB shall be informed about the date, time and the agenda of the session the day preceding the session at the latest, but not later than twenty four hours prior to the beginning of the session.
Art. 15 (1) The sessions of NLAB shall be called and chaired by the Chairperson and shall be performed in the presence of more than half of its members.
(2) In the event of absence of the Chairperson of NLAB the sessions shall be chaired by the Deputy Chairperson.
Art. 16 The absence of a member of NLAB on a regular session shall be allowed in the cases, when he/she:
1. is on a business trip;
2. is on a legal-based leave;
3. Executes another urgent job task, which the Chairperson has been notified of.
Art. 17 (1) The National Legal Aid Bureau shall adopt decisions.
(2) The decisions of NLAB are shall be adopted with open vote and with a majority of more than half of the general number of its members.
(3) As an exception and at the proposal by the Chairperson, NLAB may pass resolutions without the physical presence of the members while adhering to the majority rule under Para 2.
Art. 18 For every session of NLAB a record is kept, which is signed by all participating members and by the officer keeping the record, with the exception of cases under Art. 17 Para 3.
Part III
Relationship of NLAB with other bodies and organizations
Art. 19 The National Legal Aid Bureau interacts with the Supreme Bar Council, with the bar councils, with the bodies of the judicial power and the pre-trial bodies, with the Ministry of Justice, with other State bodies, non-governmental institutions, as well as with national and international institutions in relation to legal support provision.
Art. 20 (1) When executing its powers, the NLAB may require oral and written information, related to legal support provision, from the attorneys, the bar councils, from the bodies of judicial power and of the pre-trial bodies, and from the bodies of social support, who are obliged to provide the needed information immediately and free-of-charge.
(2) Upon executing powers under the Act on Legal Aid, the body governing the proceedings may require information from the NLAB, which shall be obliged to provide the required information.

Chapter 3

Structure, Activities and Organization of the Administration of NLAB

Part 1 
General Provisions

Art. 21 (1) The Administration supports NLAB in the execution of its powers provisioned by the normative acts.
(2) The Administration is organized in departments.
(3) The employees in the Administration of NLAB work under labor or official-service legal relationship.
(4) The total number of NLAB and its Administration is 22 regular (on the payroll) numbers and is distributed according to the Appendix.
(5) In the departments of the Administration of NLAB units may be created, and sectors in the units, based on an order by the Chairperson of NLAB.

Part II 
Secretary General

Art. 22 (1) The Secretary General shall be appointed by the Chairperson of NLAB.
(2) The Secretary General shall manage, coordinate and control the activities of the departments of the Administration of NLAB.
(3) The Secretary General shall execute the administrative management as he/she:
1. Approves a stamp model of NLAB according to the Stamp Decree;
2. Supervises the circulation of the documents and ensures that the deadlines, agreed in the resolutions of NLAB, the orders and resolutions of the Chairperson, as well as the deadlines set by him, are met;
3. Coordinates the operational interaction between the Administration of NLAB and the administrations of State bodies and the non-governmental and public organizations;
4. Requires information and materials, necessary for analysis and preparation of the questions that are due for discussion during the sessions of NLAB;
5. Proposes to the Chairperson draft agenda for sessions of NLAB;
6. Coordinates and controls the maintenance and management of the State property provided to the NLAB;
8. Performs other activities, assigned to it with a decision by NLAB or with an order by its Chairperson.
(4) In the event of absence of the Secretary General, his/her functions for each particular case shall be performed by a director of department selected by the Chairperson of NLAB.

Part III 
Information Security Employee

Art. 23 (1) The Information Security Employee shall be directly subordinated to the Chairperson of NLAB and shall manage the maintenance of classified information registries, shall execute the Law of Classified Information Protection (LCIP) tasks and shall be in charge of the duly creation, processing, preservation and submission of the classified information.
(2) With regard to the execution of the tasks set by the Law of Classified Information Protection, the information security employee shall:
1. Ensure the adherence to the requirements under the LCIP;
2. Develop a plan for physical and technical protection and controls its execution;
3. Perform regular audits of the accountancy and circulation of materials and documents containing classified information;
4. Develop a plan for classified information protection in the event of war, in the state of war or other extraordinary circumstances;
5. Perform other activities ensuing from the normative act, provisioning the protection of classified information.

Part IV 
Structure and Activities of the Departments

Art. 24 (1) According to the distribution of activities the administration of NLAB shall be general and specified.
(2) The General Administration includes the Administrative-Financial Department.
(3) The Specialized Administration includes the Legal Aid Department.
Art. 25 The Administrative-Financial Department:
1. Shall perform the following activities in regard to the document flow:
a) Administrative services and the control over the document flow in the administration of NLAB;
b) Technical preparation of the materials for the sessions of NLAB;
c) Preparation of the draft agenda for the sessions of NLAB;
d) Technical finalization of the adopted acts of NLAB;
e) Preparation and preservation of the records, the originals of the acts of NLAB and its Chairperson and the supporting documentation;
f) Protection and preservation of the correspondence and the archive files;
g) The control over meeting deadlines for the execution of tasks ensuing from the acts of NLAB and its Chairperson.
2. With regard to the human resources it shall perform the following activities:
a) The selection and professional development of the employees of the Administration of NLAB;
b) The preparation, the update and the approval of the job descriptions;
c) Support of the process of the labor performance assessment and the process of appraisal of the employees of the Administration of NLAB;
d) Preparation of the job position structure and an individual name table of positions and drafts of documents about appointment, re-appointment and dismissal of the employees in the NLAB Administration;
e) The opening, maintenance and preservation of the labor and official-service files, the update of the personal files of the employees of the NLAB Administration and the issuing of certificates and other supporting documents;
f) Preparation of internal rules for remuneration packages.
3. With regard to the finances and budget, it shall perform the following activities:
a) Preparation and justification of the draft budget for the legal services, including the draft budget of NLAB;
b) Allocation, control and analysis of the expenditures for legal services;
c) Preparation of monthly and quarterly cashier reports about the execution of the budget accounts of NLAB;
d) Financing, control and accounting of the annual resources approved with the budget and preparation of yearly balance as well as of all accounting reports with the balance;
e) Organization of a unified account reporting in the system of NLAB, preparation of a unified individual account plan of the accounts and sub-accounts used.
f) Financing and payment according to the signed contracts on behalf of and at the expense of NLAB;
g) Payment of the remunerations under art. 19 of the Legal Aid Act;
h) Organizing the collection of the expenses under art. 27, Para 3 of the Legal Aid Act.
4. With regard to the administrative activities and the management of the property, it shall perform the following activities:
a) Exploitation and management of the building assets, as well as the general and current repair activities according to the Public Procurement Law;
b) Preparation and execution of the procedures with regard to the implementation of the Public Procurement Law;
c) Providing for the hygiene in the building and the technical maintenance of the installations and equipment of the building assets of NLAB;
d) transportation services of NLAB, the maintenance and repair of the means of transport;
e) Organization of the entry regime and the security of the building of NLAB and the defensive-mobilization preparation;
5. With regard to the Public Relation and the records, it shall perform the following activities:
a) Providing information to the media about the activities of NLAB;
b) Organization of information campaigns for the promotion of legal aid;
c) Organization of press-conferences and interviews with the Chairperson and the Deputy Chairperson of the NLAB;
d) Daily preparation of the central press overview for the Chairperson, the Deputy Chairperson of NLAB and the Secretary General;
e) Preparation of message drafts for the mass communication media about every bill or bylaws submitted to Council of Ministers;
f) Organization of the commissioning of the Chairperson, the Deputy Chairperson and of the other members of NLAB and of the employees of the Administration;
g) Translation of acts, official correspondence and documents, needed for the activities of NLAB.
Art. 26 Legal Aid Department
1. With regard to the legal services:
a) Develops the drafts of acts under art. 8, item 7 of the Legal Aid Act;
b) Prepares the drafts of acts of NLAB and its Chairperson;
c) Prepares the drafts of forms under the Legal Aid Act;
d) Ensures the compliance of approved by NLAB acts with the current legislation;
e) Designs legally and technically the approved acts of NLAB and the records of its sessions;
f) Participates in the analysis and preparation of proposals for update of the current normative acts in the field of legal aid;
g) Prepares statements with regard to the implementation and execution of the Legal Aid Act;
h) Performs methodological help and coordination in relation to the legal services of activities in the other units of NLAB;
i) prepares draft contracts, signed on behalf of NRLA;
j) Organizes litigation representation and legal defense of NLAB and its acts on cases before all judicial institutions;
2. With regard to the information technology and communication:
a) Develops a project of a unified strategy for information and communication awareness of the activities of the bodies, performing the legal services, and plans the necessary resources for executing it;
b) Develops and executes programs for the implementation of modern information technology and communication in the Administration and organizes their execution;
c) Performs the maintenance and operations of the Hi-tech information systems in NLAB;
d) Ensures the maintenance of the computer equipment, local networks and the communication equipment of the NLAB;
e) Supports the users of the computer equipment of NLAB;
f) Develops and proposes the principles for information management and a hierarchal system of information access;
g) Organizes computer training for the employees in NLAB.
3. With regard to the European integration and the international legal aid:
a) Prepares statements on the draft acts of NLAB about their compliance with the achievements of the European Union law;
b) Supports the activity of the management of NLAB in the field of the European integration;
c) Prepares statements based on requests for provision of legal support in cases of international disputes under Art. 44 of the Law of Legal Support;
d) Participates in international projects concerning legal aid.
4. With regard to the control over the legal services:
a) Supports the NLAB in demanding verbal and written information in relation to provision of legal aid, from attorneys-at-law, from the bar, from the court authorities and the preliminary investigation and from the bodies of social support;
b) Supports NLAB in performing audits for the provided legal support under Art. 21 of the Legal Aid Act;
c) Supports NLAB in demanding audits from the respective body, managing the process, for confirming the volume and type of the provided legal services;
d) Performs statistical reporting for the provided legal services;
e) Supports the NLAB in preparation of prescriptions concerning deletion from National Register of Legal Aid;
f) Analyzes the information necessary for the correct planning and management of the system of legal aid.
5. With regard to the activity of National Register of Legal Aid:
a) accepts and processes the applications for entering in the register;
b) ensures the entry of information in the register;
c) prepares the information to the bar councils for the attorneys registered under Art. 21 of the Legal Aid Act;
d) issues inquiries or extracts of records from the contents of the register regarding the information which is subject to access;
e) organizes the maintenance, preservation and development of the register;
f) prepares statements on the application forms received for entering the register;
g) ensures the finalization of the register on paper and electronically and its publication on the internet;
h) ensures the update of the register;

Chapter 4 
Organization and work of the NLAB Administration

Art. 27 The rules of the administration activity, the work with documents and the coordination of the National Register for Legal Aid shall be approved with an order by the Chairperson of NLAB.
Art. 28 The employees of the administration shall perform the assigned tasks and report before their direct superior about the execution of the work in accordance with their job descriptions.
Art. 29 The entry regime, the anti-fire security and other specific regulations connected with the organization of the work of the administration shall be defined with an order by the Chairperson of NLAB.
Art. 30 The working hours of NLAB and its Administration shall be from 9.00 am to 5.30 pm with a lunch break from 12.30 to 1.00 pm on a five-day working week.
Art. 31. The Employees of NLAB can be rewarded with honors and awards under conditions and order defined by the internal regulations for remuneration, which are approved by the Minister of Justice. The amount of a financial or material award cannot exceed the amount of the basic salary of the employee.

CONCLUDING PROVISION

Sole Paragraph. The regulation hereby is adopted under Article 7, Para 2 of the Act on Legal Aid
Appendix to Art 21, Para 4
Total number of employees of the National Legal Aid Bureau and its Administration – 22
Chairperson 1
Deputy Chairperson 1
Secretary General 1
Information Security Employee 1
Administrative-Financial Department 9
Legal Aid Department 9

Function, objectives, tasks

The National Legal Aid Bureau:

  • Performs general and methodical management of the activities on providing legal services;
  • Works out draft budget for legal services;
  • Has at its disposal the funds of the budget for legal services;
  • Organizes keeping of the National Register of Legal Aid;
  • Pays the provided legal services;
  • Performs the control over providing the legal services;
  • Prepares drafts of laws and other normative acts in the field of the legal services, which shall be tabled in the Council of Ministers by the President of NLAB;
  • Analyzes the information needed for the adequate planning and management of the system of legal services;
  • Promotes the system of legal aid;
  • Performs the international legal cooperation in the field of the legal services.

About NLAB

National Legal Aid Bureau was established with the Legal Aid Act , with effect from 01.01.2006 Prom. SG . issue . 79 of 4 October 2005 , amended . SG . issue . 105 of 29 December 2005 , amended . SG . issue . 17 of 24 February 2006 , amended . SG . issue . 30 of 11 April 2006 , amended . SG . issue . 42 of 5 June 2009 , amended . SG . issue . 32 of 27 April 2010 , amended . SG . issue . 97 of 10 December 2010 , amended . SG . issue . 99 of 17 December 2010 , amended . SG . issue . 9 of 28 January 2011 , amended . SG . issue . 82 of 21 October 2011 , amended . SG . issue . 99 of 16 December 2011 , suppl. SG . issue . 82 of 26 October 2012 , amended . SG . issue . 15 of 15 February 2013 , amended . and supplemented . SG . issue . 28 of 19 March 2013

Legal aid is organized by the National Legal Aid Bureau ( NLAB ) and the Bar Council.

NLAB is an independent state body - legal entity funded - second officer to the Minister of Justice , based in Sofia.

NLAB have its own budget, which is established, implemented , completed and reported by him. Revenue and expenditure of the budget NLAB be drawn on the classification of revenues and expenditures of the state budget.

NLAB be assisted by the administration.

Organization of the work of NLAB, structure, composition and functions of various departments in his administration are determined by regulations to be adopted by the Council of Ministers .

Team

President:

Elena Nikolova Cherneva-Markova

Elena Nikolova Cherneva-MarkovaDate of birth 19.06.1954 in Plovdiv

Professional Experience

Since April, 9th 2012 President of NLAB
1984-April, 9th 2012 Attorney at Sofia Bar Council
2005-2009 Chairman of the Consultative Council with the President of the State Agency for Youth and Sports
2002-2009 Consultant for Ministry of Defense structures
1981-1984 Jurisconsult with the Bulgarian Professional Union
 

 

Education

1980 - graduate from the Faculty of Law at Sofia University St Kliment Ohridski with a degree in law


Deputy-President

Vilma Petkova Vasileva

Vilma Petkova Vasileva

Date of birth 28.10.1968

Professional Experience

13.01.2006 Deputy President of NLAB
2002-2006 Head of Administrative Legal Services and Human Resources Department in Execution of Punishment Directorate General at the Ministry of Justice
2002-2005 Member of the Management Council of Bulgarian Union of Executory Officers
1998-2002 Inspector in the Inspectorate with the Minister of Justice under the Judicial System Act
1996-1998 Attorney at Bar Association - Vidin
1994-1996 Chief Jurisconsult at Trade bank ”Balkanbank”
1993-1994 Jurisconsult in Regional Hospital - Vidin

Education

1992 – graduate from the Faculty of Law at Sofia University St Kliment Ohridski with a degree in law


Members:

Nely Lubomirova Viodorova

1

Date of Birth 31.01.1963 in Sliven

Professional Experience

Since april 2015 Member of NLAB

since may 2013

Member of Supreme Bar Council
2007-2012 Two mandates a member of  Control Board at Sofia Bar Assosiation
 since 1991 Registered as attorney at Bar Assosiation - Sofia

 

Education

1990 - graduate from the Faculty of Law at Sofia University St. Kliment Ohridski


Milen Borislav Ralchev

Ralchev

Date of birth - 23.08.1966 in Varna

Professional Experience

Since 25 October 2013     Member of NLAB
2013     Member of Supreme Bar Council
2007-2011     Member of Varna Bar Association
1992     Registered as attorney ar Varna Bar Association

 

 

Education

1991 - graduate from the Faculty of Law at Sofia University St. Kliment Ohridski


Zlatina Hristova Georgieva

606-1

Date of Birth 08.05.1966

Professional Experience

Since april 2015 Member of NLAB
Since 2014 Lecturer at Sofia University St Kliment Ohridski 
since 2008 Member of Plovdiv Bar Association
since 2004 Member of Arbitral court
2001-2004 Syndic
Since 2000 representative of industrial property - Patent office of Republic of Bulgaria
since 1990 Attorney at Plovdiv Bar Association

Education

1990- graduate from the Faculty of Law at Sofia University St Kliment Ohridski with a degree in law.