Access to Information Programme
28/03/2013
On March 28, 2013 Access to Information Programme presented its annual report Access to Information in Bulgaria 2012 at a presconference in the Bulgarian News Agency.

Access to Information in Bulgaria report

The thirteenth access to information annual report contains:

  • recommendations for facilitating the access to information and increasing the transparency and accountability of the public administration;
  • detailed analysis of the effective access to information legislation with a focus on proactive publication of information; control and oversight of the law implementation; precision of exemptions; the provision of information by e-mail; assisting of requestors;
  • results from the 2013 AIP audit on the active disclosure of public information online by the executive bodies;
  • analyses of the access to information cases referred to AIP for legal help and consultation during 2012;
  • an overview of the most interesting developments in the FOI litigation in 2012, including summaries of cases in which AIP has provided court representation.

Specific recommendations which AIP formulates for enhancing the access to information and increasing the transparency and accountability of the institutions in 2013 are:

  • Signing and ratification of the Council of Europe Convention on Access to Official Documents;
  • Amendments to the Access to Public Information Act (APIA) which would provide for:

- assigning a specific public body to supervise and coordinate the Access to Public Information Act (APIA) implementation and to impose sanctions;
- precision of the access to information exemptions in view of omitting the vague protection of third party's interests;
- precision and unification of the standards for proactive disclosure of information and sanctions for failure to comply with the requirements;
- strengthening and imposing of the sanctions for incompliance with the APIA.

  • Amendments to the Public Procurement Act and to the Law on Normative Acts that would guarantee enhanced transparency;
  • А possibility for requestors to seek relief from the reimbursement of fees for public bodies’ lawyers in cases they lose their court case after demonstrating the public interest of the case;
  • Unification of the Internal APIA Implementation Rules which should explicitly include: accepting electronic access to information requests and no requirement for electronic signature; assisting the requestors; description of the provision of partial access to information; procedure for provision of electronic access to information (by an e-mail).

Recommendations and findings from AIP report were extensively covered by the media – more than 30 publications in national and local media.

 

The Access to Information in Bulgaria 2012 report is online available in English: http://store.aip-bg.org//publications/ann_rep_eng/2012.pdf.

 

The Report is published with the financial support of the America for Bulgaria Foundation in the framework of the project Responding to the New Demand for Freedom of Information.