Text of APIA

History of APIA

How to Get Access to Information - Handbook



Access to Public Information Act (APIA)

The Bulgarian Access to Public Information Act (APIA) was adopted in 2000.

On December 5, 2008 key amendments to the Bulgarian Access to Public Information Act were promulgated.
The amendments introduce:
- extended scope of obliged bodies by including the regional offices of the central authorities and bodies financed under EU programs and funds;
- the obligation for the provision of partial access to information;
- the obligation for proactive publication of information online; and
- the public interest test.

The amendments were introduced through two combined draft laws. The first draft law was introduced by Martin Dimitrov and a group of MPs from the opposition Union of Democratic Forces on May 28, 2008. The second draft was introduced on July 4, 2008 by the Chairperson of the Combating Corruption Committee and a group of MPs. The amendments reflect necessary changes which AIP has formulated and recommended in 2007 and 2008 in its annual reports Access to Information in Bulgaria.

2007 APIA amendments campaign
AIP has criticized the amendments when they were introduced in February 2007 due to their apparent contradiction to fundamental freedom of information standards. As a result of the initiated active public debate with the involvement of a large number of Bulgarian, foreign and international nongovernmental and governmental organizations, Bulgarian media, journalists, public figures and experts, the advocacy of AIP, and the will of some political parties represented in parliament, the initially proposed amendments were considerably changed in a positive way.

International involvement in the campaign against proposed amendments to APIA that would have weaken the access to information regime in Bulgaria:

Handbook "How to Get Access to Information" - the goal of the handbook is to assist the citizens when they seek information. The handbook shows the necessary steps in the process of requesting information. The whole team of Access to information Programme Foundation participated in the preparation of this handbook.

English Version • Last Update: 22.05.2008 • © 1999 Copyright by Interia & AIP