In 2019 the institution of the Ombudsman of the Republic of Bulgaria was accredited by the United Nations with the highest A STATUS, in accordance with the Paris Principles, as a National Human Rights Institution.
The latest amendments to the Ombudsman Act from 2018 vested in the institution the power to receive and deal with complaints and reports of violations of citizens’ rights and freedoms, not only on the part of state and municipal authorities and their administrations, or by persons entrusted with the rendering of public services, but also by private entities. In exercising this power, the Ombudsman can also make proposals and recommendations for the promotion and protection of the endangered citizens’ rights and freedoms from private entities. The trend in recent years for an increased number of complaints is a result of the high confidence in the Ombudsman, the assistance received by citizens and organisations and last but not least the consistent policy of actively opening the institution to the public through meetings with non-governmental organisations and professional associations, meetings with citizens united for the resolution of a particular problem, holding round tables on specific topics, more frequent visits to specialised institutions, increasing the time for personal visitations in the reception room and organising various types of open days in a number of towns.
The Ombudsman may approach the Constitutional Court with a petition to establish unconstitutionality of any law whereby any rights and freedoms of citizens are violated; submits a request for an interpretative decision or interpretative decree to the Supreme Court of Cassation and/or the Supreme Administrative Court.
With regard to rulemaking, the Ombudsman makes proposals and recommendations for elimination of the reasons and conditions which create prerequisites for violation of rights and freedoms, including proposals for regulatory amendments; submits opinions to the Council of Ministers and the National Assembly on bills relevant to human rights.
The public defender monitors and promotes effective implementation of signed and ratified international instruments in the field of human rights, and also makes proposals and recommendations to the Council of Ministers and the National Assembly concerning the signing and ratification of international acts in the field of human rights.
The Ombudsman monitors the implementation of the following international legal acts in Bulgaria:
Since 2019, the Ombudsman of the Republic of Bulgaria has administrated the Monitoring Council established under the Persons with Disabilities Act.
The activities of the Ombudsman and his or her administration are financed by the state budget and/or other public sources.