05 October 2012 г.

AIP has provided legal assistance in a number of cases in which citizens and journalists have sought information about the money received by public officials.

 

In the beginning of 2011, the citizen Mr. Ivan Dzhabirov filed a request to the National Social Security Institute (NSSI), demanding access to information about the amounts paid to the NSSI officials as additional material stimulus.

 

Pursuant to the Social Security Code, 15% of the money collected by the NSSI as material sanctions imposed during completed inspections should be paid to the NSSI officials in the form of additional material stimulus.

 

The citizen demanded the total amount of the sum paid to the NSSI officials beyond their labor remunerations for 2009 and 2010 in the form of additional material stimulus.

 

The Governor of the NSSI did not respond within the legally prescribed period and with the help of AIP, the refusal was appealed. With a Decision as of February 23, 2012 (in Bulgarian), the Administrative Court – Sofia City repealed the refusal and Dzhabirov received the information in the midst of the public scandal about the distribution of bonuses within the state institutions. The essence of the scandal was that heads of public bodies had attributed bonuses amounting to thousands of Bulgarian levas to themselves – the governor of the National Health Insurance Fund, the executive director of the Registry Agency.

 

In 2011, AIP also supported a court appeal against a refusal for the provision of information about distribution of bonuses within the Ministry of Labor and Social Policy.

 

The initial request was filed by the journalist Dinka Hristova from the Sega daily. She requested information about the bonuses distributed within the Ministry of Labor and Social Policy during 2011 – as additional material stimulus or any other form. The Chief Secretary denied access on the grounds that the requested information constituted personal data and the consent of the third parties was necessary for the disclosure.

 

The explicit denial was appealed and in a decision as of November 23, 2011, the Administrative Court – Sofia City (ACSC) found that the requested did not want to know the names of the ministerial officials who had received bonuses, but inquired if any bonuses were distributed and according to what criteria.

 

According to the ACSC, the information about the amount and type of bonuses distributed within the institution is public as its disclosure will allow the requestor to form their opinion on the work of the particular administration, and by what means and based on what criteria its officials are stimulated.