Access to Information Programme
18/04/2018

On April 18, 2018 at the Press Club of the Bulgarian News Agency, Sofia, the Access to Information Programme (AIP) presented the Results from 2018 AIP audit on institutional web sites.

 

The results are available here: http://www.aip-bg.org/en/surveys/2018/108021/.

 

The aim of the audit is to evaluate how the executive bodies fulfill their obligations for proactive disclosure 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.

 

Audit Methodology


The 2018 audit was performed within the period 6 February – 30 March 2018 by seven reviewers from the AIP team. 567 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 108 (122 for the municipalities) indicators.

 

Within the audit, 567 electronic requests were filed for the annual report on the APIA implementation in 2017. The obligation for the preparation an publication of the report, including data on information requests, issued refusals and grounds for that, was established with the adoption of the APIA as early as 2000. The obligation for the online publication of the report was introduced with the APIA amendments in 2008 (Art. 15a).

On March 14, 2018, 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 four 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

 

Accessibility and usability of the information on the web site


Results


2018 Active Transparency Ratings


The web based audit module generates different types of ratings:

 

Active Transparency Rating of Central Government Bodies


Active Transparency Rating of the Local Government Bodies (265 Municipalities)

 

Active Transparency Rating of the Regional Governors’ Administrations


Active Transparency of Regional Bodies of Executive Bodies

 

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.

 

Comparative Ratings show the percentage of implementation of the obligations for proactive publication of information online in 2016, 2017 and 2018.

 

Comparative Data of the Results 2016 – 2018


Comparative results from audits performed by the Access to Information Programme covering 565 in 2016, 566 in 2017 and 567 institutional web sites in 2018, prepared by the AIP Executive Director Gergana Jouleva, show the following trends:

 

Institutional Information


Operational Information


Access to Information Section and its content pursuant to Art. 15 a, Para. 2 of the APIA


Budget and financial transparency, and integrity. Public Procurements


Obligations for proactive disclosure mandatory for Municipalities only


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 2018 Budget, Financial Transparency and Integrity Map of Municipalities of Bulgaria.

 

Responses to the e-requests and information provided


The AIP publishes the answers to the 567 e-requests filed within the audit: http://www.aip-bg.org/surveys/db/2018ii/responses.php?type=RESPONSEFILES (in Bulgarian), as well as the provided information: http://www.aip-bg.org/surveys/db/2018ii/responses.php?type=RESPONSEDATA

 

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. for a year.

 

The audit was performed within the project Transparency Advice Center supported by a grant from America for Bulgaria Foundation.