05 April 2015 г.

By a Decision no. 624 as of 25 March 2015 (in Bulgarian), the Administrative Court – Plovdiv repealed a refusal by the District Court – Plovdiv (DCP) to provide to Doroteia Dachkova (journalist in “Sega” newspaper) information on the amount of requests by investigating authorities for the disclosure of bank secrets, as well as on the amount of authorizations given in 2013 – 2014.


The DCP’s President had refused claiming that the request was filed through electronic means (internet) and without the electronic signature of the requester. The application was sent in a PDF format which contained the scanned copy of the request with a handwritten signature that was claimed could not be linked with enough certainty to the requester.


The Administrative Court – Plovdiv held that neither the DCP’s internal rules on access to public information, nor the APIA, gave grounds for a requirement of the use of an electronic signature. The said internal rules provided that the requests received through the DCP’s official e-mail address should contain only the data required by Article 25 of the APIA (i.e. three names of the requester, description of the information sought and address for correspondence with the requester). They do not include the e-signature of the requester as mandatory part of the request. The court added that Article 25 of the APIA led to the same conclusion.


The decision has been appealed by the DCP’s president before the Supreme Administrative Court