On July 4, 2014, Access to Information Programme held a public discussion with representatives of NGOs, active citizens and civil society groups to discuss necessary amendments to the Access to Public Information Act (APIA). The forum took place in City Hotel, Sofia.
The discussion is the third out of five planned public discussions with interested groups within the project “Advocacy Campaign for Amendments to the Access to Information Legislation,” supported by a grant under the NGO Programme in Bulgaria under the Financial Mechanism of the European Economic Area 2009 – 2014.
The discussion was focused on five main areas identified as problematic on the base of access to information practices which AIP has been monitoring:
- Precision and unification of the standards for proactive disclosure of information;
- Introduction of clear obligations to respond to e-requests and provide information electronically;
- Precision of the access to information exemptions;
- Strengthening and imposing of the sanctions for incompliance with the APIA;
- The need for oversight and control over the APIA implementation - establishment of an Information Commissioner.
A memorandum with opinions and recommendations as a result of the discussion are published in Bulgarian in the section “Statements and proposals”: http://www.aip-bg.org/publicdebate/Предложения_и_становища/208182/.
Pictures from the discussion are available at: http://www.aip-bg.org/about/gallery/105224/.
The two remaining planned discussions will be with APIA responsible officials; and lawyers and judges and will be held in October 2014.
Everyone is invited to submit a statement or opinion with regard to necessary amendments to the Access to Public Information Act by sending an e-mail: APIAconsult@aip-bg.org.