Strengthening NGOs in Their Search for Public Information
financed by PHARE Programme – 2004 Civil Society Development
December 2006 May 2008
Description: The purpose of the project is
to improve the transparency of Bulgarian public institutions by strengthening
the capacity of NGOs to use Access to Public Information Act and advocating
for freedom of information legislation that meets community needs, European
standards and e-foia principles.
The purpose will be achieved through the following activities:
1.Providing legal assistance to local/regional non-governmental organizations
when they exercise their access to information rights.
2.Organizing six regional round tables with the participation of local
and regional authorities and non-governmental organizations to discuss
problems of transparency and access to information held by Bulgarian public
3.Organizing a national round table for Bulgarian NGOs, Members of Parliament
and public administrators to present the result of the regional discussions
and further explore the EU situation of access to information.
4.Preparing and submitting a memorandum to the National Assembly with
the goal of amending the Access to Public Information Act to bring it
win compliance with European standards and e-foia principles.
5.Creating a model of a web site for active information provision by public
1.To build capacity of NGOs as information seekers and further the development
of the court's interpretation of APIA.
2.To support public participation in improving FOI legislation and raise
awareness amongst NGO and active citizens on their rights under access
to information legislation and EU regulations in that matter.
3.To bring APIA in compliance with EU regulations and e-foia principles.
4.To increase active provision of information by public institutions over
the Internet, through creating a model for an institutional FOI web-site.
National Round Table:
Access to Information Programme held a National Round Table (NRT) on March 14, 2008, Sofia.
Problems faced by nongovernmental organizations when they exercise their right of access to information were discussed and strategies for advocacy work in the area were be outlined at the forum. The event is a part of the project Strengthening NGOs in their Search for Public Information, financed by PHARE programme.
Participants at the National Round Table discussed and adopted a Memorandum with specific recommendations for the improvement of the access to information situation in Bulgaria.
Until now, six regional round tables (RRT) were organized for discussion of the problems in the implementation of access to public information legislation with representatives of NGOs working in different areas. The participants shared their experience in searching public information at the local level.
AIP has also invited Mr. Tony Bunyan, Director of the European network Statewatch and one of the 50 most influential Europeans, and Ms. Helen Darbishire - Executive Director of Access Info Europe and a chairperson of the Steering Committee of the International Freedom of Information Advocates Network (FOIAnet). They will share their experience from the advocacy for better access to information in the institutions of the EU and the Council of Europe.
On 13 and 15 November 2007, AIP held two Regional Round tables in the towns of Plovdiv and Burgas. The Advocacy for Free Access to Information round tables were the last two, fifth and sixth, within the project Strengthening NGOs in Their Search for Public Information.
• Fourth Regional Round Table: On 06 June 2007 Access to Information Program held in Varna the fourth round table Advocacy for Free Access to Information.
• Third Regional Round Table: On 31 May in Razgrad, Access to Information Program held the third round table Advocacy for Free Access to Information.
• Second Regional Round Table: On 26nd March 2007 in Veliko Turnovo, Access to Information Program organized a second round table Advocacy for Free Access to Information. Read the round table agenda.
• First Regional Round Table: On 22nd March 2007 in Vidin Access to Information Program held a round table Advocacy for Free Access to Information with representatives of NGOs and media.