Access to Information Program (AIP) organized the celebration of the International Right to Know Day on 28 September. Awards for contribution in the field of freedom of information were given at the ceremony in “MATI” Hall of the National Palace of Culture. AIP awards citizens, NGOs, and journalists, who have actively executed their right to seek information; institutions, which discharge successfully their duties under the Access to Public Information Act (APIA), as well as institutions, which have not officiated APIA and have violated citizens’ rights under the Act. AIP also awarded the most ridiculous administrative decision related to an access to information request.
This year nominations in the six categories were:
1. Category: Citizen, who has most actively used the APIA
The Award ”Golden Key” is given to Mr. Milen Chavrov.
Honorary Diplomas are given to:
2. Category: Non-governmental organization, which has most actively executed its access to information right
The Award ”Golden Key” is given to the “Regional Fund - IGA”, Pazardzhik
3. Category: Best journalist story related to the access to information right
The Award ”Golden Key” goes to Hristo Hristov and Pavlina Zheleva, “Dnevnik” newspaper, for the article “The Council of Ministers discloses information, the SCIS does not” (State Commission for Information Security)
4. Category: Institution, which does not observe its duties under the APIA and violates citizens’ rights under the APIA
The Anti-award ”Golden Padlock” is given to National Health Insurance Fund
5. Category: Most absurd and funniest administrative decision related to an access to information request
The Anti-award “Tied Key”:National Service “Police” of the Ministry of the Interior for the answer to the request filed by Eng. Julian Cholakov under the APIA. He asked for information about the technical characteristics of the radars TR-4. The reply insisted that such kind of information is classified as state secret, in accordance with chapter II, paragraph 7 of the appendix to article 25 of the Protection of Classified Information Act. At the same time similar information was available on the web site of the company, which offered the product.
6. Category: Institution, which has most efficiently organized the public information release
The Award ”Golden Key” goes to the Regional governor - Gabrovo
28 September was inaugurated as the International Right to Know Day in 2002 in Sofia, Bulgaria, by the members of the Freedom of Information Advocates Network (FOIA Net), which was established on that date as well http://www.foiadvocates.net /. The main objective of FOIA is to promote and extend the standards in the area of access to information. At the moment, 90 organizations and individuals all over the world belong to FOIA Net.