The attempt of the members of the parliament to adopt unacceptable amendments to the Public Disclosure of Senior Public Officials’ Financial Interests Act in absolute lack of transparency

Fany Davidova, AIP

In March 2013, AIP has been involved in a blitz 3-days public campaign against proposed amendments to the Public Disclosure of Senior Public Officials’ Financial Interests Act under the disguise of introducing more transparency.


The draft amendments, however, passed first reading without public debate, without being discussed in the leading parliamentary committee, in a rush before the dissolving of the National Assembly in March 2013.


The proposed amendments aimed to extend the scope of the law to members of boards of NGOs registered in public benefit. If adopted, the amendments would have had negative effect on the work of NGOs in Bulgaria (having sometimes elder people from rural areas on their boards receiving no money for that activity), and would have probably blocked the work of the National Audit Office which is responsible for verifying the data in the asset declarations of senior public officials, especially of election candidates which is the case in Bulgaria.


The first AIP reaction was a March 8, 2013 post on AIP blog, which was sent out to 152 journalists, NGOs, and other interested groups, shared on AIP Facebook with 1,450 people reaching the post. AIP position was reprinted and reiterated in national media. Along with representatives of several other NGOs, AIP experts took part in a press conference and radio and TV debates.


The extensive campaign resulted in dropping off the proposed inclusion of NGOs board members under the scope of the law. However, the adoption of such amendments claiming more transparency in contradiction to Bulgarian legislation and all principles of transparency is disturbing. Haven’t organizations like AIP been alert for such actions, active in reacting against attempts for worsening the situation, a lot more problems would have existed.

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