On February 20, 2015 in Sofia, Access to Information Programme (AIP) held the annual meeting with the journalists of its country-wide coordinators' network. After the opening words by the coordinator of the network, Nikolay Ninov, the journalists outlined the current situation of the access to information in the country. They presented statistics of the requests filed to the municipalities and the regional structures of the executive power bodies; the attitude of the administration towards the requestors; characteristics of the issued refusals, access to information litigation of citizens, journalists and NGOs.
AIP Executive Director Gergana Jouleva presented key achievements from AIP advocacy activities in 2014. The 2015 goals and challenges before AIP and the coordinators' network were outlined.
The Head of AIP legal team Alexander Kashumov presented problems and tendencies related to the access to information legislation - mainly AIP participation in the working group at the Ministry of Transport, Information Technolgies and Communications with the mandate to amend the Access to Public Information Act with the purpose of introducing the EU Directive on the Re-use of Public Sector Information in the national legislation.
Darina Palova and Fany Davidova from the AIP legal team presented statistics and characteristics of the cases referred to AIP for legal help and consultation during 2014. Kiril Terziiski presented an overview of ATI litigation.
Diana Bancheva, AIP communications coordinator, presented statistics of the AIP web sites traffic and the updated specialized web site Access to Information and Journalistic Investigations.
Stephan Anguelov from AIP legal team made a review of exisitng strategies and plans for achieving the open government.
AIP presented the Coordinator of the Year award to Tsvetan Todorov, AIP coordinator in Lovech. He is acknowledged with the award for a second time for his persistent and effective advocacy work in the region by using the Access to Public Information Act in his journalistic work, going to court to challenge information refusals, assisting requestors, andreporting on access to information developments in the media.
Interview with Todorov was published in AIP monthly FOI Newsletter for February 2015 (in Bulgarian).
The annual meeting was held within the project Civil Center for Support of Transparency in Public Life supported by a grant from the America for Bulgaria Foundation.