In June 2013, the NGO Association “Friends of Railway Transport” filed a request to the “Railway Administration” Executive Agency (RAEA) to provide access to the Agency’s annual reports on the supervision of the public service “rail transport of passenger”, as well as information on the inspections carried out by the Agency as a national enforcement body under Regulation (EC) No 1371/2007 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 23 October 2007 on rail passengers’ rights and obligations.
The RAEA refused access to the reports on the grounds of third party’s interests exemption whereas the third party – “BDZ – Passenger Services” EOOD (the national railway transport company) – had not given its formal consent for disclosure of the information requested.
The refusal was challenged before the court with the legal help of Access to Information Programme.
With a decision as of 22 January 2014 (in Bulgarian), the Administrative Court Sofia City held that BDZ itself is an obliged subject under the Access to Public Information Act (APIA) since it is a public law organization and also is financed by the state budget. Consequently, under article 31, par. 5 of the APIA, it’s consent was not necessary for the provision of the information sought.