On 19 September 2013, Mariana Velikova took part in a roundtable discussion about the challenges of social tendering organized by the Bulgarian Centre for Non-Profit Law and the National Association of Municipalities.
The mechanism of tendering for social services has been operational in Bulgaria for 11 years. At its launch in 2004 there were only two tenders leading to the commissioning of two social services. Data for 2012 shows the outsourcing of 178 service totaling about 16 million leva. There are 1262 social service providers registered with the Agency of Social Assistance. Deputy Minister of Labour and Social Policy Lazar Lazarov said that many municipalities use social service providers but the most important question is how to ensure quality of care and stability over time. The Deputy Minister said that within the MLSP a working group was formed to develop a mechanism for providing social services delegated by the state through public-private partnership.
Challenges faced by all partners include creating opportunities for the application of the model of social tendering in other public areas and deciding what ultimately needs to be done so that the benefits for the service users will be higher.