20 September 2007

On September 20, 2007, a panel of the Administrative Court, Sofia, heard and scheduled for judgment a case against the refusal of the Director of the Government Information Services (GIS) to provide information about the repair works in the office of the Prime Minister in 2007. The refusal was issued in June 2007 after the request of the journalist Pavlina Trifonova from 24 Hours daily newspaper. As a response to her request, she received a letter from the Director of the GIS, which informed her that the repair works had been completed after signing a contract with the winner in a tender procedure under the Regulation for Assigning Special Public Procurements. The letter also contained scarce information on some of the requested points. With regard to the overall expenses of the repair works, the bids of the competing companies, as well as the price of each item bought in terms of the repair works, the Director of the GIS refused information on the grounds of Art. 37, Para. 2 of the Access to Public Information Act claiming that the information would have affected the interests of third parties and that they had not expressed their written consent for the provision of information. Besides, according to the Director of the GIS, the participants in the tender procedure for the assignment of the special public procurement had pointed out that part of the information in the bid was confidential. A court decision shall be delivered within 30 days.