In early December 2019, the Supreme Administrative Court opened three new interpretative cases.
The first interpretative case is to answer the following question: “Does the Committee for disclosing the documents and announcing affiliation of Bulgarian citizens to the State Security and intelligence services of the Bulgarian National Army (ComDos) have the substantive legal powers (in cases other than those under Article 28 of the ComDos Act to rule second and subsequent decisions on a specific person who has been announced to have been affiliated to the authorities under Article 1 of the ComDos Act on the basis of the same evidence when the person held also another public position after the initial administrative act was issued in the light of the imperative provision of Article 26 of the ComDos Act?”
The interpretative case was opened to overcome the inconsistencies of the case law relating to the competence of ComDos to announce of a person to the State Security on the basis of the same documents but for another public position held by that person. Some court judgments acknowledge that a second decision will be null and void due to the lack of substantive competence of the Committee since the Committee is entitled to rule on a person for the second time only when new evidence of his or her affiliation is brought. The other opinion is that a separate investigation is to be carried out every time a person is established to have held a public position or to have performed public activity. Notwithstanding the inconsistencies, the former opinion prevails in the case law, i.e. any subsequent decision of ComDos is null and void due to lack of substantive powers provided that no new documents are brought up.
The second interpretative case was opened at the request of the ombudsman who referred two questions relating to enforcement procedures under the Tax and Social Security Code and the suspension of the statute of limitations as follows: “(i) Does the opening of enforcement proceedings under Article 220(1) of the Tax and Social Security Code suspend the limitation period? and (ii) Does the notice under Article 221(1) of the Tax and Social Security Code suspend the limitation period and, if yes, does the suspension start at the time of sending the notice or the time of service of the notice?”
Some judgments hold that the following actions suspend the limitation period within the meaning of Article 172(2) of the Tax and Social Security Code: opening of enforcement proceedings or joining a debt recovery case to a pending enforcement proceeding respectively, sending a voluntary collection notice to the debtor, drawing up of inventory of the assets, imposition of distraint or seizure and others. The enforcement actions are set out in Section IV, Articles 220 et seq. of the Tax and Social Security Code. Other judgments of administrative courts hold that the voluntary collection notice sent under Article 221 of the Tax and Social Security Code does not constitute an action of the receiver as part of the enforcement proceedings concerning the recovery of public debt as its only purpose is to notify the debtor of the enforcement proceedings opened against him or her and of the subsequent recovery.
The question in the third interpretative case is as follows: “Is it admissible to have the ruling under Article 200(1) of the Administrative Procedure Code challenged by the administrative authority which has issued the act?” The need for an interpretative judgment has emerged in the dispute as to whether the administrative authority qualifies as a party to the administrative proceedings. The answer to the question will determine the admissibility of a private complaint lodged by the administrative authority against the court ruling on an appeal against the decision of the administrative authority to drop the administrative proceedings because only the parties to the administrative proceedings have the right to lodge complaints in accordance with Article 200(2) of the Administrative Procedure Code.