On December 18, 2020, the Access to Information Programme (AIP) presented certificates to students from the professional program “Public Communications and Information Sciences” at the New Bulgarian University for successfully passing the practical course “Access to Information Public Communications.” The AIP delivers the course in a fifth consecutive year, encompassing the period November – December 2020.
AIP Executive Director Dr Gergana Jouleva and the lawyers from AIP legal team Kiril Terziiski, Stephan Anguelov and Alexander Kashumov were the course lecturers.
10 students from BA "Journalism" and the MA "International Business Communications" were acquainted with legislation in the field of access to information and with examples from APIA implemention. The students prepared requests for access to public information and sent them electronically to various institutions. The topics referred to existing problems in the areas in which they live or questions to which they could not otherwise be answered. AIP lawyers advised on the formulation of applications and the identification of responsible institutions.
Requests were sent to the Minister of Education and Science, the Minister of Labor and Social Policy, the Chairman of the Management Board of the Road Infrastructure Agency, the Chairman of the National Social Security Institute, the mayors of Sofia City Municipality and the municipalities Gorna Malina and Gotse Delchev, as well to the mayors of Sofia City's "Iskar" and" Triaditsa" regions. The students' questions referred to current and planned infrastructure projects, budgets and costs for repairs, data on the insurances and leaves of civil servants, educational qualification of public sector employees, etc.
The course is held in partnership with the Mass Communications Department of the New Bulgarian University and takes place within the project Transparency in Administrative Justice supported by the America for Bulgaria Foundation.