Comparative data of the audit show a considerable improvement in the active transparency of public bodies in Bulgaria.
On April 5, 2017 at the Press Club of the Bulgarian News Agency, Sofia, the Access to Information Programme presented the Results from 2017 AIP audit on institutional web sites.
The results are available here: http://www.aip-bg.org/en/surveys/2017/101257/.
The aim of the audit is to evaluate if the executive bodies fulfill their obligations for proactive publication of information online under the Access to Public Information Act (APIA) and other legal regulations and to assess how they respond to electronic requests.
In the lack of a public body to coordinate and control the implementation of the APIA, including the obligations for proactive publication of information, the AIP Audit serves as a model publication scheme for public bodies to increase their active transparency.
The 2017 audit was performed within the period 7 February – 31 March 2017 by seven reviewers from the AIP team. 566 web sites of executive bodies at a central, regional, and local level, and also public-law entities and independent state bodies were reviewed and assessed along a checklist of 118 (139 for the municipalities) indicators. The maximum score is 99,2 (111,7 for municipalities).
Within the audit, 566 electronic requests were filed for the list of the categories of information, subject to mandatory publication online concerning the sphere of activity of the respective administration, as well as the formats in which it is available. The information is subject to proactive publication pursuant to Art. 15a, Para. 3 of the APIA.
On March 14, 2017, the AIP sent the results to all of the audited institutions for feedback and considered all received statements, reflecting them in the Rating.
The assessment indicators in the checklist are combined in three groups, reflecting:
Availability of institutional, organizational, operative, and contact information under Art. 15, Para 1 of the APIA
Availability and content of the Access to Information Section under Art. 15a, Para 2 of the APIA
The obligation for launching and maintaining an Access to Information section with specific content that aims to facilitate the exercise of the right to information is effective since 2008. The 2015 APIA amendments introduced additional categories for online publication in the ATI section.
Availability of budgets, financial reports, conflict of interest declarations, public procurement information under the Public Finances Act, the Public Procurements Act, the Law on Prevention and Ascertainment of Conflict of Interests
Availability of publications connected with specific obligations for Municipalities
Map Visualizing Results of Budget, Financial Transparency and Integrity of Municipalities
The results from the implementation of the obligations of the 265 municipalities in Bulgaria to proactively publish information on their budgets, financial reports, conflict of interest declarations, public procurements are visualized in the 2017 Budget, Financial Transparency and Integrity Map of Municipalities of Bulgaria.
2017 Active Transparency Ratings
The web based audit module generates a different types of ratings:
Also, Ratings of agencies, commissions, independent state bodies; Ratings of the institutions by region; Ratings of the regional offices of the Ministry of Interior, of the Ministry of Environment and Waters, the Ministry of Education, the Ministry of Agriculture and Foods, etc.
Responses to the e-requests and information provided
The AIP publishes the answers to the 566 e-requests filed within the audit and the provided information: http://www.aip-bg.org/surveys/db/2017ii/responses.php?type=RESPONSEDATA (in Bulgarian).
The web based audit system also allows to follow the statistics on the responses and the provision of the requested information.
Functionality and filters of the audit system
The web based audit module was launched in 2010 and is part of the AIP internal Information Management System. It allows for the generation and visualization of the results by each of the indicators, by institutions, by administrative regions, by type of institutions, by the way of response to the e-request, etc.
The 2017 audit was performed within the project Civil Center in Support of Transparency in Public Life supported with a grant by the America for Bulgaria Foundation.