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Frequently asked questions

1. What is my right to information?
The right to access government information is the right for every citizen or organization to receive copies of government held documents, without the need of a justification.

2. What are the public institutions that are obliged to provide access to information?
These are the bodies of the central and local government as well as publicly funded organizations such as the National Social Insurance Institute, National Health Insurance Authority and others.

3. Are there any public institutions or government bodies that are not obliged to provide information under APIA?
No. However, companies, even public service providers, are not obliged to provide information.

4. What kind of information may I request?
You may request any type of information. If you request information classified as state or office secret or as personal data, you will not receive it. You do have the right however to receive the information (the documents) with the classified information deleted. This is called partial access.

5. Can other people request my personal data from government bodies?
No. Personal data cannot be released. In specific cases when such a release is necessary your prior consent must be sought.

6. Is there any information I cannot request under APIA?
Yes. You cannot use APIA to access the State archives.

7. Are government bodies going to publish more information and to be more transparent, compared to the period before the APIA was adopted?
By law they are now obligated to publicize much more information than before APIA was adopted. However, there is no practice yet on how they fulfill these obligations.

8. How can I request information?
In verbal or written form, your choice. There are certain requirements with regard to a written request - it should contain the full name, address and personal identification number / foreigner identification number of the requestor as well as the desired form of access.

9. Should I pay?
Yes, the fee for the verbal request is 1.5 lv. per 15 minutes; you can obtain copies of the documents for the cost of the copying - 0.09 lv. per page. You could also receive the information on diskette or CD.

10. What do I do if I am not given the information I request?
If you have made a verbal request, you should write a written one. If you still do not receive the information wanted, you can request judicial review. You should consult with a lawyer or call AIP Foundation.

11. Where can I find more information on APIA?
The law is published in State Gazette issue 55 of 07 June 2000. To this day the most serious organization in this area is AIP (since 1996), which has published brochures and research on the issue. You can find the complete texts on the AIP web site at www.aip-bg.org

12. Where I could share my opinion on APIA?
Write to: AIP, fl. 3, 76, Vassil Levski Blvd., 1142 Sofia, Bulgaria or email us.

13. Who can assist me if my request is turned down?
If the request is denied you can file an application to the respective district court or the Supreme Administrative Court. Please seek professional assistance from a lawyer or call AIP. Our services are free of charge.

14. Could someone else file a request for information on my behalf?
Yes, it is possible. You need a proxy, signed and sometimes verified by a notary public.

15. How can I donate to your cause?
We always appreciate the support we receive from our donors. We receive bank transfers to our bank accounts as indicated in the web site. You can also send a check to the above-mentioned address.



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English Version • Last Update: 18.02.2002 • © 1999 Copyright by Interia & AIP