On October 14, 2014, Access to Information Programme held a public discussion with public officials from central bodies of power and local self-government bodies responsible for the APIA implementation, to discuss necessary amendments to the Access to Public Information Act (APIA). The forum took place in City Hotel, Sofia.
The discussion is the forth 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 discussed topic was the draft bill for APIA amendments which would introduce the revised Directive 2013/37/EU on the Re-use of Public Sector Information, prepared by a working group at the Ministry of Transport, Information Technologies and Communications. AIP experts Gergana Jouleva and Alexander Kashumov took part in the working group which seated during the summer of 2014 and presented AIP statements at its sessions.
A memorandum with opinions and recommendations as a result of the discussion will be published in the section “Statements and proposals”: http://www.aip-bg.org/publicdebate/Предложения_и_становища/208182/.
A summary of the discussed topics was published in AIP FOI monthly newsletter for October 2014 (in Bulgarian): http://www.aip-bg.org/publications/Бюлетин/Необходими_ли_са_промени_в_ЗДОИ/101517/1000486378/.