Bulgaria is right to take pride in what it has achieved in the access to public information field and the legislation adopted in this direction, said Tsetska Tsacheva at the forum dedicated to the 10th anniversary since the promulgation of the Access to Public Information Act
July 26, 2010
Bulgaria has grounds to be proud of its accomplishments in providing access to public information and the legislation adopted in this area, said the National Assembly’s Chair Tsetska Tsacheva at the opening of the conference titled: "Ten years Access to Public Information Act. New standards in Access to Information”. The forum, was carried under her auspices on July 26, 2010 and was organized by the Access to Information Programme Foundation.
The President of the National Assembly recalled that the country was the first among the new democracies to adopt legislation regulating the provision of public information. „It has not happened as a duty related to the accession of Bulgaria to the European Union but as a result of an internal necessity and the civil society’s degree of maturity”, stressed Tsetska Tsacheva. In her words, the legislation facilitating the access to information enables citizens to make their own opinion on the state of public institutions, provides them with reliable information, and last but not least, supports fairness, efficiency and accountability of public institutions, thereby strengthening their legitimacy.
„In the course of ten years, Bulgaria has gone through a difficult, but definitely a successful time in the field of access to public information”, said the President of the National Assembly. Мs Tsetska Tsacheva said that Bulgaria is second in the world, after the U.S., by the number of applications supplied to the executive authorities for access to public information. According to her, this is due to both the strong legal basis and the extensive work of the non government organization Access to Information Programme Foundation, which is assisting a lot of citizens in exercising their rights.
At the conference the Speaker of the National Assembly confirmed the will of the 41st National Assembly of Bulgaria to join and ratify the Council of Europe Convention on Access to Official Documents. “Thus, although the amendments introduced in the Access to Public Information Act in December 2008, correspond to the standards of the convention, in joining it officially Bulgaria will show it agrees unconditionaly with the countries united around the principle of transparency of public institutions”, Tsetska Tsacheva added.
The chairperson of the Bulgarian Supreme Administrative Court, Konstantin Penchev, the chairperson of the Committee for Disclosing the Documents and Announcing Affiliation of Bulgarian citizens to the State Security and the Intelligence Services of the Bulgarian National Army, Evtim Kostadinov and the executive director of the Access to Information Programme Foundation Gergana Jouleva took turn in making short exposes.