In May 2015, journalists who have won the First AIP Competition for Journalistic Investigations finished their work. All articles are available in section Investigations in Bulgarian: http://www.ati-journalists.net/bg/investigations/Razsledvania/205492/.
With the purpose to further support investigative journalism for enhancing government accountability, integrity and transparency, at the end of 2014, AIP announced a call for proposals for journalistic investigations on topics of high public interest. Among the requirements was that the investigations are done with the help of the Access to Public Information Act.
The first call resulted in 22 applications. A jury of seven renowned public figures assessed the journalistic proposals on the base of developed assessment criteria.
Within January to April 2015, nine awarded journalists from national and regional media prepared and published articles, series of articles, and a book in national and regional media, blogs, social media and on AIP specialized web site Access to Information and Journalistic Investigations: www.ati-journalists.net. The publications were based on information obtained using the APIA and public registers with the core help of the AIP legal team. The significance of the investigations was proven by dozens of reprints and thousands of readers.
The investigations encompassed the following topics of high public interest:
- the inefficiency of an European Union funded program at the amount of 100 million BGN (c. 50 million Euro) for vocational training and increase of qualification of unemployed/ employed managed by the Ministry of Labor and Social Policy - a topic investigated by journalist Stela Kovacheva who is a correspondent of Standart daily for the regions of Razgrad and Silistra;
- the financial deficit in the funding of hospitals compared to the permanent increase in the budget of the National Health Insurance Fund - a topic investigated by journalist Krum Blagov - printing house Reporter;
- how the process of granting security clearances by the State Agency for National Security could be used as a tool for political and economic influence - a topic investigated by journalist Krassen Nikolov from the Mediapool.bg;
- the suspicious conditions for renting two ferryboats of a state-owned company serving a Bulgaria – Ukraine line - a topic investigated by journalist Spas Spassov who is a correspondent of Dnevnik.bg and Capital weekly for the region of Varna;
- the sale of state-owned plots of land at the Bulgarian seaside at prices much lower than the market values causing financial damages of up to 50 million BGN (c. 25 million Euro) - a topic investigated by journalist Lili Granitska from the Mediapool.bg;
- the lack of transparency in the registration of field experts for court cases resulting in obstacles and delays in the proper administration of justice - a topic investigated by journalist Dorotheya Dachkova from Sega daily;
- political and economic relations behind the unexpected bankruptcy of the 4th largest in the country Corporate Commercial Bank and the double standard of the responsible authorities - a topic investigated by Edvin Sugarev, a freelance journalist;
- the involvement of the communist State Security Services in trafficking of cultural and historical items during the period of 1972-1989 - a topic investigated by journalist Hristo Hristov - founder and editor of the web portal State Security Services (desebg.com);
- the lack of transparency and clear rules which fuel shadow businesses in the electricity market - a topic investigated by journalist Vladislava Peeva from the Mediapool.bg.
The journalistic investigations were supported within the project Civil Center for Support of Transparency in Public Life supported by a grant from the America for Bulgaria Foundation).