37 NGO Cases (2005 - 2015)

The Access to Information Programme presents a collection of 37 cases of nongovernmental organizations which have used the procedures under the Access to Public Information Act (APIA) to seek and obtain information from public bodies and to defend their right to information in the court when being refused.
The stories encompass the period 2005 – 2015 and are collected in the book “Public Participation and Access to Information (15 Years of the APIA, 37 Stories of NGOs)" which AIP has published in Bulgarian within the implementation of the project “Enhancing the Capacity of Nongovernmental Organizations to Seek Public Information” supported with a grant under the NGO Programme in Bulgaria under the Financial Mechanism of the European Economic Area 2009 – 2014 (www.ngogrants.bg).
We, hereby, present an English translation of each of the cases which have been published during the past 10 years in the AIP monthly FOI e-newsletter. Authors of the texts are either the AIP coordinators, all of them journalists, in the regional cities of the country, or by the lawyers and attorneys who have provided legal help and court representation in all of the described cases.
The Foreword is written by Gergana Jouleva, AIP Executive Director.

Quoting her words “.... the team of the Access to Information Programme is an integral part of all these stories, because we were supporting the information seekers, we were assisting them to go all the way to the end. These stories are our story.”

The Only Weapon is the Access to Public Information Act
Foreword by Gergana Jouleva, AIP Executive Director
The Use of the APIA Turned Into a Hurdling Race
How the municipal administration in Razgrad discourages citizens to seek information
Stela Kovacheva
The APIA in the Fight Against Corruption
Why the 14-days period confuses the administration of the Municipality of Sliven
Vesselina Sedlarska

Shame: The Members of the Municipal Council in Razgrad Do Not Disclose their Remunerations
Municipal officials from the cities of Lom, Montana, and Sliven call them to be more transparent
Stela Kovacheva
Clean Water at Fair Price
Boxing: Civil Association „Public Barometer” against the Water Supply and Sewerage Systems Ltd – Sliven
Diana Bancheva
The Exchange of Forests – Corruption Practices Or Protected Third Party’s Information?
To administer justice means to attribute rights, not to read the letters
Access to Information Programme
The Civil Control Scares the Authorities But Does Not Make them More Responsive
The Municipality of Razgrad lost 9 access to information cases but regardless of the court decisions stubbornly keeps its secrets
Stela Kovacheva
Is the Water Food?
The reason why there is no centralized electronic data base with updated information about the quality of drinking water
Diana Bancheva
The movie “Authorities Refuse Access to Information” is permanently on screen in the City of Razgrad
The team of the Mayor Boyadzhiev ignores the unwanted questions after an oral order
Stela Kovacheva
Themis’ Collisions
After four years of litigation, the court has decided that the citizens have the right to know what amount of their taxes goes for trips of municipal officials
Stela Kovacheva
A Recepient of the “Golden Key” Award Started Searching Information on EU funds spending
The NGO sector is again faster than the government in defending the public interest
Stela Kovacheva
The Good Strategist Makes a Victory Out of Any Loss
Yulian Cholakov, a chairperson of the Association for Optimization of Justice and Administration, gives examples of the APIA efficiency in exercising control over the work of the authorities
Diana Bancheva
The Requirement for E-signature on an E-Request Is Wrong
If everyone has the right of access to information, the respondent should not care who the requestor is
Diana Bancheva
The Supreme Administrative Court Repealed a Municipal Regulation On the Ground of Not Being Put On Public Discussion
The Municipality of Burgas adopts acts without the required public consultation
Silvia Shatarova
National Electronic Data Base of Water Supply Services
We are struggling to register a customers’ organization in order to take part in the sessions of the State Energy and Water Regulatory Commission as an interested party
says Yurii Ivanov from the “Public Barometer”
Diana Bancheva
If a Single Life is Saved, All Efforts Are Worth
The combustion of waste materials happens at 800 degrees, while it should be at over 1,100, to avoid the emission of hazardous dioxin and furan
Diana Bancheva
A Map of How Municipalities Disclose Information About EU Funds
A civil coalition collects information about non-transparent practices within the framework of a unique project
Krastina Marinova
Doctor Litov Has Pressured the Municipalities of Hisar, Karlovo, Stamboliiski and Asenovgrad
The animal protection activist was refused information on the number of stray dogs which have been euthanized
Galina Konstantinova
“World for All” Against the Double Standard of the Administration
How the civil association has made it through the “silent refusal” labyrinth of the Municipality of Silistra
Yordan Georgiev
An Obstinate Citizen Who Seeks the Truth
Georgi Lazarov is challenging the local authority as an individual and as a Chairperson of the Association “Citizens for the City of Pazardzhik”
Kornelia Boyadzhieva
The Health Insurance Fund Regional Office in Burgas Violated the APIA, the Court Stepped In
Doctor Maksheva refused to provide access to information to the Institute for Legal Analyses and Research
Silvia Shatarova
A Civil Association Sued the Municipality of Radomir
The public administration has hidden how much does it owe to the waste management company “Mesko – Ko MM5”
Ilyana Ivanova
The Engineer Filed a Record Number of Access to Information Requests
According to Georgi Serbezov, the refusals based on absurd grounds are increasing, the administration is going around the APIA
Galina Konstantinova
Regional Social Security – Razgrad Respects the Law Only As Last Resort
After a judgment against the regional office of the National Social Security Institute under the APIA, the office was punished by the Commission for Prevention and Establishment of Conflict of Interests
Stela Kovacheva
Fight and Arrest as a Result of Unsigned Protocol
The Chairperson of the Association "Varna – Free Economic Zone" Kancho Bonev got an arcade of the left eyebrow, swelling eye and hypertensive crisis
Krastina Marinova
The Unfortunate Information Requestor
The adventure of the chairperson of the Association for the Protection of Animals – Varna in the world of formalized public administration
Fany Davidova
(Un) Grounded Suspicions of Two NGOs
How greater transparency of competitions is in the benefit of both the organizers and the participants
Darina Palova
Environmentalists Stopped Illegal Felling with the Help of the APIA
A private forester from the town of Elena is being sought after an inspection triggered by the Association “Veliko Tarnovo for the Forest”
Zdravka Maslyankova
The Only Weapon is the APIA
The deputy chair of “Ekoglasnost” Petar Penchev talks about the court cases and the key role of the Access to Public Information Act
Diana Bancheva
For the Life and Health Of Future Generations
Five-member panel of the Supreme Administrative Court upheld the repealing of the positive environmental impact assessment of the National repository of radioactive waste
Alexander Kashumov
How to Re-Use Public Sector Information in Public Benefit
The WWF Danube – Carpathian Program uses the APIA to obtain complete information about the river systems in Bulgaria and the possible impact of construction and exploitation of mini hydro power plants
Alexander Dunchev
The Battles of Karen Kuzuyan
The human rights defender is winning in court access to information cases related to the stray dogs and the measures taken by the Municipality of Silistra
Kalina Grancharova
Triumph for the “Friends of the Railway Transport”
Why and how after two years and three court instances the contract between the state and the national railway transport company was disclosed
Kiril Terziiski
Petko Makes the Trail of True Open Data Despite the National Assembly
The activist from Obshtestvo.bg is one of the independent developers of electronic tools for fast and convenient connection between the state and the citizens
Stephan Anguelov
The Final Result is Important for Every Cause
The stimulation of investment should be a government responsibility. So it is logical that there is greater transparency of the supported investment projects, according to Lyuba Batembergska from the Civil Initiative “Let’s Save Karadere”
Ralitza Katzarska
Does the Bansko Ski Zone Exceed the Concession Area and Why?
After 3 years and 5 court instances the WWF and the Bulgarian public still do not have a clear answer on these issues
Kiril Terziiski
Market Assessments of Municipal Property Deals Are Subject to Disclosure Under the APIA
The court practice in favor of transparency should be sustained
Kiril Terziiski
"I Order It to be Implemented Within a Period of 250 Days…”
This is the response received by the Association “Intimate With the Nature Society” after an access to information request to the Mayor of Kuystendil
Stephan Anguelov