28 September is the day when the Freedom of Information Advocates Network was established in 2002 at a litigation conference held in Sofia, Bulgaria. The AIP is one of the founders and active member of the FOIAnet.
To celebrate the International Right to Know Day, Access to Information Programme (AIP) organizes and holds the annual Right to Know Day Awards Ceremony on September 28 since 2003. AIP presents awards in six categories – four Golden Key Awards and two anti-awards.
The RKD Campaign in Bulgaria
The Right to Know Day Awards Ceremony is nationwide and is part of AIP overall advocacy campaign for enhanced exercise of the right to information and improved access to information provision practices in Bulgaria.
The celebration of the RKD has become public event attended by more and more people, who acquire interest and become active in freedom of information issues. On 28 September more than 100 attendees from all over the country gather to celebrate the Right to Know Day in Sofia. AIP coordinators in the regional cities of the country also organize and hold local events to promote the Right to Know Day.
The meaning and value of the awards which AIP presents at the Right to Know Day Ceremony on September 28 have been increasing during the years. The Golden Key award has become a symbol of freedom of information, transparency and accountability.
36 nominees competing for the 2015 awards
In 2015, 37 nominees are competing for the awards in the six categories. The nomination process is open and a FOI campaign is run to encourage public officials, citizens, journalists, civil society groups to send nominations in different categories via the Right to Know Day web site: http://www.righttoknowday.net/nominations/.
Winners are selected by a 9-member jury.
The RKD Awards Ceremony
At the ceremony, Golden Key awards are given to a citizen, an NGO, and a journalist who have most actively exercised their right to information. Among the criteria are persistency, consistency and the public impact in the information seeking. AIP also recognizes an institution which has most efficiently organized the provision of public information and has developed positive practices. The criteria are available at the special web site: http://www.righttoknowday.net/en/.
To dishonor bad practices of not respecting the right of access to information, AIP gives an anti-award for the most non-transparent institution (“Padlock”) and an anti-award for a most absurd/funny administrative decision on an access to information request (“Tied Key”).
The 2015 RKD Awards Ceremony will be held on 28 September 2015 (Monday) at 3:00 pm (EET) at the EU House in Bulgaria (124 G.S. Rakovski Str., Sofia).
AIP has been maintaining the special web site http://www.righttoknowday.net/en/. It contains
detailed information on the previous twelve RKD Awards Ceremonies held in Bulgaria – a lot of pictures, videos, leaflets and the poster.
Pictures from the ceremonies are available on the web site and shared via Facebook: http://www.righttoknowday.net/en/galleries/.
The thirty-minute Right to Know Day documentary shows the history of the Right to Know Day ceremonies in Bulgaria and the positive effects from access to information advocacy: http://www.righttoknowday.net/en/video/play.php?id=107878.
The song Breathe was composed in dedication to the Right to Know Day.
In 2012, AIP made the Right to Know Day Magnet as a symbol of the ever-attracting power of the freedom of information.
The event has been receiving great media interest as well. AIP coordinators in the country, who are all journalists, assist the media campaign preceding and accompanying the Right to Know Day by publishing and broadcasting in local media. In 2015, 70 publications in local and national media covered the event.
The 2015 Right to Know Day Awards ceremony is supported by a grant from the America for Bulgaria Foundation.
For a sixth successive year, we also have the support of the business – Damianitza JSC.