Access to information about the projects for regional
development (so-called demonstration projects)
Krasimir Krumov (Monitor Newspaper) vs. The Regional Governor
of the Town of Shoumen
First Instance– administrative court case No. 2113/2005,
SAC. Fifth Division
In January 2005, the journalist from Monitor Newspaper, Krasimir Krumov,
sumbitted a written request under the procedure stipulated by the APIA,
to the Regional Governor of the town of Shoumen. The journalist demanded
access to the information about the projects for regional development
(the so-called demonstration projects). More precisely, the journalist
requested a list of the projects that had been approved, as well as, information
about the executors and partner executors, and the amount of money allocated
for the implementation of the projects.
A written response was sent to the requestor, informing him that an Internet
site that would contain information about all regional development projects
for the region of Shoumen was under construction. Furthermore, the letter
signified that after the online publication of the information, the journalist
would be informed in person.
The refusal has been challenged with the argument that the publication
of the requested information in Internet does not relieve the regional
governor of his obligation to provide the information when requested.
Furthermore, the information has not been published, which turns the statement
made by the governor into a mere promise.
Developments at the First Instance Court:
After a single hearing the court adjourned.
An October 2005 Decision of the Supreme Administrative Court reverses
the refusal and returns the request back to the regional governor for
reconsideration in compliance with the instructions given by the court.
In their judgment, the justices emphasize that the requested information
is undoubtedly public under the stipulations of the APIA and that no grounds
for the refusal were given in the letter sent by the administrative body.
Furthermore, the justices point out that the response received by the
requestor constitutes a will for refusal, which, however, has not been
expressed in the way prescribed by the law, i.e. the refusal has been
announced in the form of a recommendation with the intention of better
service provision in the future.
The court decision has not been appealed and has come into effect.
Subsequently, the regional governor provided access to all of the
requested information to the journalist.