Opinion of BIA on the Draft Rules on the implementation of the Disability Act and Individual Assessment Methodology
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Dear Mr. Donchev

Dear Mr. Petkov,

The Bulgarian Industrial Association presents the following opinion on the cited projects:

  1. We reaffirm the view, expressed in the discussion in the National Assembly on March 21st, 2019 that the SAA staff does not have the necessary medical education or competence to perform the functions under §15, paragraph 5 of the Draft Rules, further developed in the first part of the Methodology for Individual Evaluation, namely to prepare “objective findings on the functional deficits of the disabled people on the basis of the collected data and information”. These obligations, arising from §20, paragraph 2, Art. 22, paragraph 1, item 2 and item 3 of the General Terms and Conditions have the responsibility of the specialized departments with the Social Assistance Directorates of the ASA to investigate the “disability / state of health”, “the type of difficulties in the functioning of the disabled people” and “the degree of difficulties in the functioning of the disabled people”. Obviously, these duties fall within the functions and competencies of the medical expertise of the “fitness” functionality, type and degree of disability. The valid, internationally recognized, objective and easy-to-implement tool for making such an assessment is the WHO International Classification of Human Functionality, Health and Disability (ICF). This instrument should be implemented through immediate changes in the legislation, regulating the so called “workforce expertise”. The refusal to implement the ICF and the related electronic tools, developed by WHO, creates conditions for corruption, subjectivism and numerous appeals against ASA decisions, concerning the assessment of the disability as a whole, the general health status, as well as the type and degree of the disability.

Therefore, we do not accept the objections, presented at the NCSD meeting, which took place on March 31st, 2019, that the introduction of the ICF will require more than 3 or 4 years to go through with the medical training of competent personnel. In this regard, the administration of the SAA will also need to be provided with resources for training. This, of course, does not guarantee the overcoming of some negative results, incl. the economic isolation and deactivation of large groups of humans with disabilities, who bare the potential and motivation for labor integration and seek active participation in the labor market; conditions for corruption and appeals against the decisions made.

  1. We strongly object to the new obligations for the employers under §22, par.2, item 1-2, par. 6 AND §41, par. 1 of the Draft Rules for the provision of information, concerning the “average number of staff from the previous year”, “the number of designed jobs for the fulfillment of the quota”, “personal reference to people working with an employment relationship to/or people with permanent disabilities” etc. This information is currently available to the competent state authorities, it is maintained in an electronic form and/ or can be obtained by further processing of the data, included in the contracts of employment under Ordinance 5 of 2003- MLSP, declaration, item 1 on Ordinance 8 of 2005 of the Ministry of Finance, and the decisions, issued by TEMC. We also note that the e-Government Act imposes corresponding obligations on state authorities to implement the so-called interregional data exchange. Art. 2 of the ZEL introduces the principle of the single collection and creation of data and states that “Administrative bodies, public officials and public organizations cannot require from citizens or organizations to present or prove the already existing and collected data; they are required to collect them from the primary data administrator.”  
  2. We support the input threshold for goods and services, delivered by HV enterprises, HUs and Class A social enterprises, for the period of non-fulfillment of the HH rental quota. This is an official proposal that was made by the BIA more than ten years ago, concerning the obligations for the so-called labor adjustment, regulated by the Labor Code. Rejecting the suggestions made at the meeting of the NSWU for a threefold increase of this amount, we note that at the present time they have not been implied more than 2 or 3 times in the specialized enterprises. This should be compared to the number of 55 in the period before 1990, which limits the possibilities for implementing this alternative measure.
  3. Notwithstanding the expanded volume of 40 pages, the ex-ante impact assessment of the Draft Rules of Procedure is incomplete, superficial and a poor form that identified impacts, estimated costs and benefits for the stakeholders. In this regard, we propose to draw up a new, detailed RIA, identifying the specific impacts for all stakeholders, employers and the quantified and evaluated estimates of the potential size of the main target groups, the services and benefits provided, the necessary budgetary resources and the estimated benefits and costs.
  4. As far as it concerns “labor and directly related relations, insurance relations as well as questions of living standards”, the Draft Rules of Procedure should be submitted to the NCTC in accordance to Art. 3 and Art 3a of the CT.

WITH RESPECT,

RADOSVET RADEV

Chairman of the Management Board of BIA