AIP celebrates its 24th anniversary! 23.10.2020 г.

This year on the 23rd of October, the Access to information Programme celebrates 24 years since its foundation  ➨

12 citizens, journalists, NGOs and institutions received AIP's annual Right to Know Day awards 29.09.2020 г.

The Access to Information Programme presented its annual awards for contributions to the field of freedom of information on the occasion of the International Right to Know Day. The ceremony was held for the 18th consecutive year, but for the first time online. It happened with the participation of 60 citizens, journalists, representatives of civil society organizations and government institutions and with the support of Active Citizens Fund Bulgaria under the EEA Financial Mechanism. ➨

40+ nominations for the 2020 Right to Know Day Awards 18.09.2020 г.

For the 18th year in a row the Access to Information Programme (AIP) will hand out the annual access to information awards in a special ceremony as a tradition in marking September 28th – the International Right to Know Day (RKD).

Igor Rozkladai: It was a really good combination of proper people, proper timing and support 07.07.2020 г.

Igor Rozkladai, expert of Kiev-based Centre for Democracy (CEDEM) tells about Ukraine’s ratification of the first binding international treaty on access to information – the Council of Europe Convention on Access to Official Documents. ➨

State Enterprise refuses to disclose information under contract with a Russian company regarding constructions in the Port of Varna 22.06.2020 г.

Is it justified for the State Enterprise "Port Infrastructure" to refuse the disclosure of data under a contract with a Russian company for constructions in Canals 1 and 2 of the Port of Varna?

This issue will be raised in the court case of Spas Spasov ("Capital" newspaper) against the refusal of the Director General of the State Enterprise "Port Infrastructure". The information was requested on May 7, 2020 regarding the agreement concluded between the State Enterprise "Port Infrastructure" and "Transport Construction and Reconstruction" JSC (TCR JSC) for the deepening of Canal 1 and Canal 2 of the Port of Varna. The requestor also sought information on the companies with which TCR JSC has concluded a contract for the implementation of the project, as well as the price at which, according to the concluded contracts, the deepening will be carried out. ➨

Active Transparency Rating 2020 11.05.2020 г.

On May 7, 2020 during an online press conference, the Access to Information Programme (AIP) presented the Results from the 2020 AIP audit on institutional web sites. 

The aim of the audit is to evaluate if the executive bodies fulfill their obligations for proactive disclosure of information online under the Access to Public Information Act (APIA) and other legal regulations and to assess how they respond to electronic requests.

In the lack of a public body to coordinate and control the implementation of the APIA, including the obligations for proactive publication of information, the AIP Audit serves as a model publication scheme for public bodies to increase their active transparency.

AIP congratulates judge Grozev for his new position as president of one of ECtHR's five Sections 27.04.2020 г.

Yonko Grozev is one of the founders of the Access to Information Programme. He is a proven professional in the judicial community in Europe and is among the people with most significant contribution to the development of the civil sector in Bulgaria - as evident in his biography, cited in the press release on the ECtHR website. 

186 NGOs and citizens support AIP's statement against proposed amendments in the Access to Public Information Act (APIA) 23.04.2020 г.

April 22, 2020 - the Access to Information Programme submitted a statement regarding the Draft Bill of Amendments to the Bulgarian Excise Duties and Tax Warehouses Act through which the Access to Public Information Act (APIA) is also being amended.

According to AIP's assessement, the proposed amendments are to the detriment of citizens' right to information and jeopardize the transparency of institutions. ➨

National Health Insurance Fund repealed its order establishing longer deadlines for ATI responses 20.03.2020 г.

Thanks to the active stance taken by the AIP and some media, the order by National Healthcare Insurance Fund (NHIF) director, which was repealed. ➨

National Health Insurance Fund prolongs without a legal ground the response deadline for ATI requests from 14 to 30 days 19.03.2020 г.

By his March 18 order, the National Health Insurance Fund (NHIF) director Dr. Salchev has temporarily extended the deadline for replying to access to information requests to 30 days.

The NHIF, as a public entity obliged under the Access to Public Information Act (APIA), should provide with an answer those who seek information within the statutory time limit of 14 days. 

Bulgarian Parliament threatening the free of charge access to public information through a backdoor proposal  18.03.2020 г.

On March 5, 2020, a group of 6 members of parliament from the ruling party, headed by the Chairman of the parliamentary Committee on Budgets and Finance Ms. Menda Stoyanova, submitted a legislative proposal for amendments to the Bulgarian Excise Duties and Tax Warehouses Act. At first glance, the bill only refers to changes in the transitional and final provisions of this act. Paragraph 5, however, amends two provisions of the Access to Public Information Act (APIA). The Committee on Budgets and Finance is the leading - and sole - parliamentary committee in charge of the legislative proposal. 

Read here the thorough opinion by Alexander Kashumov, Head of AIP legal team ➨

Ministry of Justice obliged to publish memos from CVM meetings between Bulgarian and European officials, says court decision 05.02.2020 г.

An access to public information case against the Ministry of Justice (MoJ), led by investigative journalist Dorothea Dachkova from "Sega" newspaper, was won with the legal representation of AIP's attorneys-at-law Alexander Kashumov and Kiril Terziyski. The legal procedure followed after the Justice Minister refused to disclose the memos from the meetings held between representatives of Bulgarian judiciary and executive with European Commission (EC) officials. The meetings were related to the CVM - EC's Cooperation and Verification Mechanism introduced after Bulgaria and Romania's adhesion to the EU. Under the scope of CVM, both countries were monitored due their difficulties in combating corruption and organized crime.

Attorney-at-law Kashumov shares his opinion on this important court victory ➨