Access to Information Programme
The Secrets

In this section, one can find legal acts and other documents related to the regulation of the restrictions to the right of access to information.

 

In a democratic society, the right of access to public information / official documents is the principle, and its restriction is the exception to an rule, as also stipulated by Decision No. 7 as of 4 June 1996 of the Bulgarian Constitutional Court on case No. 1 /1996.

 

International standards establish that the right of access to public information can only be restricted with the purpose of protecting other rights and protected interests, in compliance with the principle of proportionality, and if necessary in the democratic society. The restrictions under the Bulgarian Access to Public Information Act are:

  • National security, defense, foreign policy or the protection of the constitutional order – the so called “state secret;”
  • Preparatory work of administrative decisions (opinions and recommendations, reports and consultations) – a restriction under Art. 13, Para. 2, Item 1 of the Access to Public Information Act;
  • Opinions and statements related to on-going or prospective negotiations – a restriction under Art. 13, Para. 2, Item 2 of the Access to Public Information Act;
  • Rights and protected interests of a third party – trade secret;
  • Rights and protected interests of a third party – personal data.

In some cases, the restriction is regulated by a specific law. For instance, the question of which information can be classified as state or official secret and under what conditions, is subject to the provisions of the Protection of Classified Information Act. The Personal Data Protection Act provides for the definition of these data.