Kiril Karaivanov vs. Ministry of Finance
On 21 May 2001, Mr. Karaivanov served an application in writing to obtain
access to a copy of an audit statement of a single-member limited liability
company to the Minister of Finance. After he received notice in writing
(19 December 2000) with a refusal to grant him access to the requested
copy of the audit statement, Mr. Karaivanov appealed. The application
was served to the Minister of Finance, while the refusal was signed by
the Director of the State Internal Financial Control Agency.
The appeal was served to SAC. The case was heard at 2 p.m. on 13 November
The 5th Division of SAC issued a Ruling to repeal the ruling on the case
to proceed with hearings on merit, dismissed the appeal, dropped the case
and referred the case to the Sofia City Court as the competent jurisdiction.
A private appeal was served with the statutory time limits (19 June 2001)
and a five-member panel of SAC is expected to rule.
Arguments of the Parties:
The arguments of the applicant come first. The refusal to grant access
to information was based on misinterpretation of the provisions of Art.
13, para 2, subpara 1 of APIA because the meaning of the word "may"
is to enable the person responsible for ensuring access to act under the
conditions of operational independence, while taking into consideration
the specific legal and factual situation, i.e. to carefully strike a proper
balance between the right of every citizens of access to information on
the one hand and the existence of another protected right or interest
on the other hand.
The legal grounds for the refusal were specified as ensuing from Art.
3, para 4 of the State Internal Financial Control Act and Art. 13, para
2, subpara 1 of APIA.
Interpretation of Art. 13, para 2, subpara 1 of APIA
The misinterpretation of the statutory provisions lead to non-performance
on part of the person responsible for ensuring access to information.
This is indicative of the need for more serious training of the public
administration with regard to its powers.