History of APIA adoption

The Access to Public Information Act was promulgated in the Official Gazette on July 7, 2000. The campaign for its adoption and  public discussions began in 1998. The APIA regulates the procedures for implementing the constitutional right of individuals to seek and receive information about the public life in Bulgaria. The APIA is a prerequisite for the civil participation in the public debate and defining the public policy. It guarantees the transparency in decision making process and the awareness of the society of questions of public interest. The Access to Public Information Act implements the fundamental principle of openness and accountability of the public administration.
The first draft bill was submitted to the Council of Ministers in June/July 1999 in pursuance of the adopted by the Cabinet Strategy for a new administrative system in Bulgaria.
Nearly a year after voting the bill at first reading it was adopted by Parliament at second reading. During that year numerous public discussions throughout the country were held. On September 23, 1999 a Round Table in the Parliament was organized. International experts shared their experience in adopting and implementing legislation on access to information. They submitted a statement on the draft bill and presented it to the MPs. The AIP team summarized the recommendations made during the public discussions.
Here you may find the statements  and comments of leading experts in the field of freedom of information.

Access to Public Information Act. Draft.

The Right of Access to Information • CONCEPT ON LEGISLATION from 1998.
The concepts elaborate the principles of a future law, including its purpose, who should have the right of information access, institutions that should be obliged to provide access, the scope and purpose of access to information, the exceptions to this right, and the mechanisms for providing information and for the protection of this right.

Experts who took part in the group working on the concept were: Alexander Kashumov, Gergana Jouleva, Dimitar Totev, Vesela Terzieva and Yonko Grozev from the Bulgarian Helsinki Committee, Meglena Kouneva, a lawyer from the legal department of the Council of Ministers, Konstantin Palikarski, Fany Davidova. Also, Valeri Dimitrov, Stanislava Kuyumdzieva, Ralitsa Peeva got into the discussions.

Opinion on the Access to Public Information Bill, N 902-01-34, proposed by the Council of Ministers, Thirty-eighth National Assembly Committee on Human Rights, Religions, Appeals and Petitions of Citizens

Opinion Of Committee on Legal Issues and Legislation on Anti-Corruption, Thirty-eighth National Assembly Committee on Legal Issues and Legislation on Anti-Corruption

Preliminary comments and recommendations by a group of legal experts of Access to Information Programme and Bulgarian Helsinki Committee related to the Access to Public Information draft Act (also available in PDF)

Concrete Proposals by AIP to Reword Parts of the Access to Public Information Bill

ARTICLE 19 • The International Centre Against Censorship • MEMORANDUM ON THE BULGARIAN DRAFT LAW ON ACCESS TO PUBLIC INFORMATION (also available in PDF)


OBSERVATIONS Of the Covington & Burling Regarding : the Access to Public Information Bill (also available in PDF)