The government is quietly preparing to postpone once again the introduction of personal documents with electronic identification. The new date on which the government is planning to introduce them is January 1, 2019. The previous Cabinet of Boyko Borissov had promised chip documents to become a reality in the beginning of 2018 after failing to handle this task by 1 January 2017, reports Sega.
This time, the change in the relevant provisions of the Law on Bulgarian Personal Documents is being concealed in secret – through the transitional and final provisions of a draft amendments to the MoI Act, submitted by the Council of Ministers to the Parliament on 22 August. In the motives of the bill, it is reminded that “there is a legal possibility if the applicant wants the identity cards, passport as a Bulgarian citizen and the residence permits of foreigners to contain data and certificates for electronic identity and qualified electronic signature”. Then it is indirectly acknowledged that due to a lag in its work, its practical realization will be made as early as possible after more than a year.
“As of January 1, 2018, the construction of the technical infrastructure that will enable secure electronic identification and electronic authentication to be set up in the Bulgarian personal documents will not be secured.” In view of this, the statutory time limit is extended by one year “.
The probability of the new date being the last is not particularly great considering the delays so far. It was expected that mapping would begin in 2016, but this did not happen because of unmet administrative and legislative changes. In February 2016, the Ministry of the Interior announced a public procurement contract for “building, maintaining and operating a centralized system for customizing Bulgarian personal documents” for the colossal amount of BGN 484,223,300. However, two weeks later, it was terminated precisely because of the high price. In May of that year the long-awaited Electronic Identification Act was adopted. At the personal insistence of the deputy head of GERB Tsvetan Tsvetanov, however, the provision for chip embedding in ID cards was dropped. Then the governors pledged to settle the matter in the Bulgarian Personal Documents Act. It was only in December 2016 that the legal changes that provided for the phased introduction of electronic personal documents to be launched in early 2018 were finally approved. It now turns out that this timeframe will not be respected.