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Bulgaria

Enhancing the Scope of Available Public Information and Extensive Electronization of the Information Provision Processes (BG0051)

Overview

At-a-Glance

Action Plan: Bulgaria National Action Plan 2016-2018

Action Plan Cycle: 2016

Status: Inactive

Institutions

Lead Institution: Administration of the Council of Ministers

Support Institution(s): All public institutions

Policy Areas

Access to Information, E-Government, Fiscal Openness, Public Participation, Right to Information, Tax

IRM Review

IRM Report: Bulgaria End-of-Term Report 2016-2018, Bulgaria Mid-Term Report 2016-2018

Starred: No

Early Results: Did Not Change

Design i

Verifiable: Yes

Relevant to OGP Values: Access to Information , Civic Participation

Potential Impact:

Implementation i

Completion:

Description

The Bulgarian government will continue to improve access to information through further enhancing the scope of available public information and extensive electronization of the information provision processes. MILESTONES GENERAL TRANSPARENCY MILESTONES; Coordination and support in the process of revising the internal procedures for providing access to public information in accordance with the Freedom of Information Act and establishing clear mechanisms and responsibilities for pro-active provision of information and internal control. Status quo/Problem addressed: The public institutions have had an obligation to draft and publish online internal information provision rules since 2008. Data from the Council of Ministers Report on the Status of Administration for 2015 shows that 482 of 576 administrations have such rules in place. The amendments to the Freedom of Information Act adopted in December 2015 laid down a number of new obligations related to the access to public information, active publication, provision of information in response to access to information requests, provision of information for re-use, etc. which made it necessary to revise the internal rules and clearly allocation responsibilities within the administration as regards the the active publication online and the internal control. Main objective: To introduce standards and improve the processes of information provision and control. Ambition: Transparent information provision process and facilitated search and re-ues of information by the citizens. Relevance and OGP challenge addressed: The measure is designed to establish a common framework for improving the public information provision processes and increase the transparency of public institutions. It contributes to improving the integrity of public institutions, provising better public services in the area of providing information. Lead implementing agency: Administration of the Council of Ministers Other governmental actors involved: All public institutions Other non-governmental actors involved: Access to Information Program Deliverables and impact: Accelerated alignment of the internal information provision rules with the new requirements of the law. Completion date: June 2017; Conducting trainings for the administrative officials and the units responsible for information provision concerning the amendments to the Freedom of Information Act Status quo/Problem addressed: In 2016 amendments were passed to the Freedom of Information Act which introduced new provisions relating to the active publishing of public information by the institutions, increased the number of entities that are obliged to actively publish information on their web sites and the categories of information to be published. The changes in the law make it mandatory for the heads of the administrative units to draft and update lists of the information subject to publication. An obligation was adopted for information to be published online in a central, public, webbased Public Information Platform when three requests for the information have been submitted. Main objective: To improve the capacity of the administration to implement FOIA and ensure timely and accurate provision of information. Ambition: Introduce a new approach of pro-active publication. Relevance and OGP challenge addressed: The measure relates to improving access to information through building the capacity of the public officials to implement the Freedom of Information Act. It is aimed at improving public integrity. Lead implementing agency: Administration of the Council of Ministers Other governmental actors involved: Institute for Public Administration Other non-governmental actors involved: Access to Information Program Deliverables and impact: Improved skills and motivation of the public officials to provide public information and work with the Access to Information Platform. Completion date: December 2017 SECTORAL TRANSPARENCY; Maintaining public electronic registers of: online gambling sites by persons not issued a license to organize online gambling; gambling operators; manufacturers, distributors, importers and technicians of gambling equipment; suspended, revoked and denied gambling licenses; approved gambling equipment Status quo/Problem addressed: The gambling business in Bulgaria is very dynamic and is one of the most rapidly developing businesses regulated by the respective competent bodies. The State Commission on Gambling (SCG) provides accessible free-of-charge e-services while at the same time making information available to the licensed and regulated gambling operators in the country. Gambling regulation is well-balanced based on legislative measures aimed at promoting investment in the sector. The registers maintained by SCG ensure publicity and transparency of the processes in the regulated gambling market. Thus all participants in the gambling sector receive up-to-date information and are protected from taking part in illegal gambling. In order to prevent tax revenue losses from unlicensed online betting the SCG maintains and updates a public list of gambling web sites which have not been issued licenses with a view of protecting the legitimate businesses and the citizens. Main objective: To ensure publicity and transparency of the gambling licensing processes, protection against and prevention of illegal gambling and improvement of the business environment for the legitimate betting companies while increasing tax revenues. Ambition: Full protection of the legitimate gambling business and the citizens. Relevance and OGP challenge addressed: The measure contributes to providing better public service and effective management of the public resources. It is aimed at granting better access to information about the State Commission on Gambling. Lead implementing agency: State Commission on Gambling Other governmental actors involved: Ministry of Finance Other non-governmental actors involved: No Deliverables and impact: Support for the legitimate gambling operators; publicity and transparency for the operation of the State Commission on Gambling; improved control on gambling and improved tax collection. Completion date: ongoing; Publishing the annual priorities of the National Revenue Agency (NRA), results and outcomes of the NRA operation and results from opinion polls commissioned by NRA on customer satisfaction Status quo/Problem addressed: The National Revenue Agency is the government unit that businesses and citizens communicate with on a daily basis which makes it necessary that they receive the full information regarding its operation - requirements to taxpayers, planned activities and results thereof. The administration provides comprehensive information about services, forms, processes, guidelines, rights and obligations of the customers as well as many e-services. All state-of-the-art technological service provision channels are employed to offer customized service to the taxpayers. As an institution which is in constant contact with the citizens and businesses NRA pays close attention to their opinion and level of satisfaction with the services provided in order to further reduce red tape. Main objective: To increase the transparency in the operation of the National Revenue Agency and reduce administrative burden for taxpayers. Ambition: Apply customer-oriented approaches to service provision. Relevance and OGP challenge addressed: The measure sets out to improve public service and achieve more effective management of public resources. Its implementation will ensure increased transparency of the National Revenue Agency. Lead implementing agency: National Revenue Agency Other governmental actors involved: Ministry of Finance Other non-governmental actors involved: No Deliverables and impact: Increased predictability of the business environment in Bulgaria; services corresponding to the expectations and needs of the users; improved citizen control over the work of NRA. Completion date: June 2018; Publication of analyses/research financed by the EU Funds as a resource for information exchange and thematic mapping of the information resources aimed at improving access to information Status quo/Problem addressed: The EU Funds Management System includes the basic common rules, principles and key elements of all operational programs. Often the irregularities and challenges in the management of one program/type of projects may serve as a foundation for the formulation of solutions that can be applied to the management of other programs/projects. Similarly, the “good practices” in one program/project area may be transferred to others. The publication of relevant information will contribute to the development of better quality projects and improving their implementation/management. Main objective: To support the beneficiaries in developing better quality projects and improve the implementation/management of projects. Ambition: Better coordination between the administrative units and beneficiaries, increased information exchange and improved access to information. Establishing a unified approach to EU funds management and increased transparency. Relevance and OGP challenge addressed: The measure will result in improving the work of public institutions in providing guidelines and support to the beneficiaries regarding the planning, organization, control and implementation of EU funded projects. Based on the “lessons learned” and good practices more effective management of the EU funds will be achieved. Lead implementing agency: Administration of the Council of Ministers, Central Coordination Unit Other governmental actors involved: No Other non-governmental actors involved: No Deliverables and impact: Uniform practice of publication of information; enhanced access to analytical expertise accumulated in EU program and project implementation. Completion date: ongoing; Creating a register of all regulatory, supervisory and control agencies appointed by Parliament (in conjunction or not with the Council of Minister and/or the President) containing information about their web sites, powers, mandate, members, decisions, etc. Status quo/Problem addressed: There are a number of regulatory, supervisory and control bodies in Bulgaria operating in key areas such as financial supervision, protection of competition, protection of consumers, etc. Currently there is no consolidated information online regarding their functions, powers, decisions, etc. Main objective: To improve access to information about the work of the regulatory bodies and increase the transparency of their operation. Ambition: More active citizen control over the regulatory, supervisory and control bodies. Relevance and OGP challenge addressed: The measure is aimed at facilitating the access to information about the operation of the regulators and increasing the transparency of their activities. It contributes to increasing public integrity and more effective management of public funds. Lead implementing agency: Administration of the Council of Ministers Other governmental actors involved: Parliament Other non-governmental actors involved: Center for Liberal Strategies, Bulgarian Institute for Legal Initiatives Deliverables and impact: Structured and consolidated information about the regulators and filled information gaps; more effective citizen control over the work of the regulators. Completion date: June 2018; Establishment of an information system for collection, digitalization and storage of the central archive of the National Institute for Immovable Cultural Heritage (NIICH) and provision of e-services to citizens, central and local administrations by creating a digital public archive and e-register of archaeological sites. Status quo/Problem addressed: At present the document archive of the National Institute for Immovable Cultural Heritage is not digitalized. The archiving system and its search functionalities make it difficult to process documents which in turn caused delays in the issuance of decisions and certificates. NIICH collects digital information - photographs, texts, layouts - which is often not archived due to the lack of full digitalization. Main objective: To enhance the scope and accessibility of the public information provided and increase the engagement of the citizens in conserving and protecting the immovable cultural heritage. Ambition: Full update and digitalization of the information about the immovable cultural heritage. Relevance and OGP challenge addressed: The measure is aimed at enhancing the access to information while at the same time increasing the opportunities for citizen control over the management and protection of immovable cultural heritage. It contributes to improving public services and increasing public integrity. Lead implementing agency: Ministry of Culture Other governmental actors involved: National Institute for Immovable Cultural Heritage Other non-governmental actors involved: No Deliverables and impact: Updated, full and electronically accessible archive of the immovable cultural heritage; improved exchange of information enabling fast inspections; e-services for citizens, local governments and central administrative units facilitating the restoration, conservation and management of immovable cultural heritage. Completion date: December 2017

IRM End of Term Status Summary

2.1.1 Enhancing the scope of available public information and extensive electronization of the information provision processes
For specifics on this commitment, please see the full report in Bulgarian or English.

Commitments

Open Government Partnership