Access to Information Programme

Access to Information Programme Foundation is a registered non-profit organization in Sofia under the Persons and Family Act, Reg. No. 13 849/96, Sofia City Court, Bulgaria.

The Foundation is re-registered on May 3, 2001 under the Law for the Non-Profit Legal Entities by the Sofia City Court and is registered in the Central Registration Database of NGOs for Public Benefit Activities at the Ministry of Justice under No. 20021030027.

The Foundation is represented by the Executive Director: Gergana Jouleva, PhD.

bul. Vasil Levski 76

fl. 3

Sofia 1142

Bulgaria

121347628

UniCredit Bulbank

ul. Aksakov 8

Sofia 1000

Bulgaria

Account Holder: Access to Information Programme Foundation

BIC: UNCRBGSF

IBAN (BGN):
BG77
UNCR
7630
1022
5620
87
IBAN (EUR):
BG42
UNCR
7630
1422
5974
10
IBAN (USD):
BG95
UNCR
7630
1122
5918
49
Seventeen years already Access to Information Programme Foundation has been perseveringly following its mission to assist the exercise of the right to information. Since its establishment in 1996, AIP has been running a permanent campaign for improving the access to information situation in Bulgaria and has been actively participating in international networks and initiatives related to the right to information.

The Goals of Access to Information Programme are:
  • to assist the exercise of the right of access to information
  • to encourages the citizens’ demand for government held information through civic education in the freedom of information area
  • to advocate for enhanced transparency in the work of public institutions at central and local level

Access to Information Programme activities:

  • AIP monitors the freedom of information legislation in Bulgaria and participates in the debates for its compliance with the international standards in the area
  • AIP works with an established network of 27 journalists in regional cities throughout the country that monitors the access to information implementation practices and gives recommendations for their improvement
  • AIP prepares and performs special access to information surveys
  • AIP provides consultations on cases concerning the right of access to information – in more than 4,000 cases already
  • AIP provides legal help in individual cases of information seeking
  • AIP raises public awareness on the right of access to information through the media, publicly expresses opinion on current problems and debates related to the access to information and its misuse at all levels
  • AIP organizes workshops, seminars and conferences on access to information
  • AIP holds specialized freedom of information trainings for civil servants and local administration officials, journalists, and nongovernmental organizations
  • AIP prepares information materials and publications for the central and local press
  • AIP maintains an Internet site with up-to-date information about the developments in the access to information area in Bulgaria and abroad
  • AIP prepares and publishes handbooks on how to exercise the right of access to information, as well as publications clarifying particular aspects of the access to information legislation
  • AIP issues and disseminates a monthly electronic Newsletter which contains national and international access to information related news
  • AIP is an active member of the International Freedom of Information Advocates Network

By participation in public debates and submission of specific recommendations and statements, AIP have contributed to:

  • The adoption of the Access to Public Information Act in 2000 and its positive amendment in 2008
  • The free access to the Trade Companies Register in the Internet
  • The free access to the State Gazette in the Internet
  • The free access to the Register of Property Owned by High Government Officials in the Internet
  • The access to the documents of the former State Security Services for the purposes of personal scrutiny or investigations

We have provided legal consultation to over 4,000 cases and have brought to court over 290 cases under the Access to Public Information Act. Due to our legal help, representation in court, and advocacy:

  • Citizens, journalists, NGOs and business receive thousands of documents per annum by exercising their right of access to information
  • We have achieved the first review of classified documents and declassification of a considerable part of them in Bulgaria
  • Litigation for access to documents of the former State Security Services was successfully completed and served as sources for creating of books like the bestsellers of Hristo Hristov Kill the Tramp, The Double Life of Agent Piccadilly, etc.
  • 2008-2009 attempts of the law enforcement authorities to legalize Internet surveillance were stopped
  • Publication of the minutes from the government sessions started
  • Online publication of government contracts with private companies started

We have organized and held 600 trainings on access to information issues. Trainings were attended by 13,000 civil servants, representatives of NGOs, journalists and students.


We have prepared and published ten Access to Information in Bulgaria annual reports. Their recommendations have contributed to changes of legislation and practices.


Since 2003 the AIP has initiated and organized the annual Right to Know Day Awards Ceremonies.


Members of the team have presented AIP experience at meetings and forums in: Azerbaijan, Albania, Argentina, Armenia, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brazil, Chili, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Georgia, Hungary, Italy, Kazakhstan, Macedonia, Mexico, Moldova, Montenegro, New Zealand, Nigeria, Poland, Rumania, Spain, Slovakia, Slovenia, Serbia, the Netherlands, Turkey, Ukraine, United Kingdom, USA, and Vietnam..


We have over 4,500 publications in the printed media and participations in radio and TV broadcasts.


Due to AIP, public awareness about the right of access to government held information has increased from 3% in 2000 to 39% in 2010, while Bulgaria ranks 37 among 95 countries with effective access to information laws.


The AIP publications are over 50. The Access to Public Information Act handbooks for citizens and for the administration have been published in several editions and thousands of copies have been disseminated to libraries, information centers, community centers, universities.


We have prepared 20 reports on the state of access to information, and our five books on the Access to Public Information Act litigation practices are well known. A number of our publications over the years focus on specific problems related to access to information and the media, the local self-government, the environment, the business sector and the judiciary.


AIP analyses have been published in prominent foreign editions.

 

Since the summer of 2011, AIP is an NGO associated with the Department of Public Information of the United Nations.

 

Access to Information Programme is a co-founder and member of the International Freedom of Information Advocates Network (FOIAnet).
Access to information Programme is a founding member of the European Civil Liberties Network.
Access to Information Programme is an associate member of the European Citizen Action Service.
Access to Information Programme is a member of network The Access Initiative.
Access to Information Programme is a member of the Network of Democracy Research Institutes.