On January 17, 2020, the Access to Information Programme (AIP) presented certificates to the students from professional program “Public Communications and Information Sciences” at the New Bulgarian University for successfully passing the practical course “Access to Information Public Communications.” The AIP delivers the course for a forth year, encompassing the period November – December 2019 in partnership with the Mass Communications Department of the New Bulgarian University and is within the project Transparency Advice Center supported by the America for Bulgaria Foundation.
In the last few years, Bulgaria has faced challenges regarding the civil society similar to those in some other countries of Central and Eastern Europe: smear campaigns against groups of CSOs, increasing anti-EU propaganda and actions stigmatizing human rights groups.
Last year, the mayor of Sofia announced in front of journalists that a commission of the contracting authority (ie Sofia Municipality) had inspected the site of central city street repair a day earlier and found some problems. Nevertheless the construction was announced as "finished". At the same time, the mayor said that certain sanctions have been imposed on the contractor of the site, the major construction firm GP Group AD.An access to public information lawsuit followed, and after some months of the Municipality refusing to disclose documents on the case, the court finally obliged it to do so.
"This case has gained serious publicity, precisely because of the suspicion that the executive authorities, which are called upon to implement such measures, did not notrespect the fundamental rights of these citizens under the European Convention on Human Rights," says Alexander Kashumov, head of AIP's legal team.
Investigative journalists won a lawsuit against the state Road Infrastructure Agency. It turned out the value of vignettes sold by the then only private provider of this service exceeds five times the worth of vignettes sold by the state Road Infrsatrucute Agency. According to the Court, this information is not a trade secret and the Agency is not taking into account the public interest
The team of Access to Information Programme wishes you health and successful initiatives in 2020!
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