The “Accountable Local Authorities, Strong Communities” Project

One of the most significant issues that Bulgaria faces today is the high level of corruption. In 2019, the country was placed last amongst the European member states (74th place out of 180 countries worldwide), according to Transparency International’s Corruption Perception Index (CPI). Suspicions regarding corruption exist not only towards high-level officials but the local administration as well. Moreover, corruption on the local level is most visible to the citizens.

From 2007 to 2018, different anti-corruption institutions were created. Unfortunately, their activities did not achieve the anticipated results. Local authorities remain, to this day, highly dependent on oligarchic interests.

This project involves creating a Local Integrity and Accountability Standard (LAIS), implementing good governance principles established in international practices, and designing a Guide for its application. The activities will occur in partnership between Scanteam, Norway, and the Anti-Corruption Fund (ACF), Bulgaria. 


Scanteam, Norway has substantial experience in realizing projects related to combating corruption and applying the Principles of Good Governance in different parts of the world. Scanteam will provide expertise in designing the Local Integrity and Accountability Standard and creating the guide for its application. It will include European and international recommendations and standards and practices for good governance, local accountability, and integrity. 


The Anti-Corruption Fund works in civil society’s interest to investigate, prevent, and disrupt corruption at all levels in Bulgaria, and specifically at high levels of government. Corruption undermines the state and harms society. Abuse of power and undue political influence raise the threat of kleptocracy while neglecting society’s long-term goals results in unprosperous economic development. The Anti-Corruption Fund’s team monitors for cases of corruption and scrutinizes Bulgaria’s regulatory and anti-corruption institutions for inefficiency and deliberate silence.

Monitoring Local Authorities on Anti-corruption and Conflict of Interest

During the period December 2023 – November 2024 ACF is working on a project called Monitoring Local Authorities on Anti-corruption and Conflict of Interest. The project monitors and analyzes the work of local anti-corruption bodies in charge of ascertaining conflicts of interest and combatting corruption in the local administration of 20 municipalities in Bulgaria. It aims to provide a comprehensive overview of their work and their transparency and accountability level. The project will also identify weak spots in the current legal framework for investigating local public officials.

The funds for this grant come from the ‘Protecting EU Values and Fundamental Rights through Public Participation and Civil Society Assistance in Central Europe—PROTEUS’ project, implemented by the Transatlantic Foundation in cooperation with the Engaging Central Europe (ECE) program of The German Marshall Fund of the United States. The PROTEUS project is co-financed by the European Education and Culture Executive Agency (EACEA) through the European Union’s Citizens, Equality, Rights and Values programme (CERV).