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Working meeting regarding adopted amendments and supplements to the Classified Information Protection Act

On 18th and 19th October 2016 the State Commission on Information Security hosted working meeting with Information Security Officers of the Administration of the President of the Republic of Bulgaria, the National Assembly, the Council of Ministers, the ministries and judicial power authorities, security and public order services.

The meeting was dedicated to the last amendments and supplements in the Classified Information Protection Act with which the legislator introduced several new moments in the field of personnel security including the possibility for judicial control  on the denials, withdrawals and revocations of security clearances.

The practical implementation of the legal rules was discussed and the aim is this implementation to be the same by all organizational entities in a way that does not interfere with established good practices and procedures which will guarantee the correct conduct of vetting procedures and enactment of lawful and motivated acts.

In the meeting the Chair of the Committee for disclosing the documents and announcing affiliation of Bulgarian citizens to the State Security and intelligence services of the Bulgarian National Army Mr. Evtim Kostadinov also participated. The Committee that he represents is by virtue of law one of the authorities which have the respective powers in the vetting procedures and the establishment of working procedures are of crucial importance for the successful implementation of the new rules so that there would be no delays, mistakes and omissions which would have an effect on the whole process.

Discussions were held on the possibility of court appeal of acts in the field of personnel security. Previously, individuals had only the possibility to appeal those acts before SCIS but with the new amendments the decisions of SCIS with regard to appeals can be appealed before court and special procedure is set before the Supreme Court of Administration. This is a change in the principle of main standing in the Law which reflects not only on SCIS but on all the vetting authorities including Information Security Officers. The possibility or the individuals to use their right of protection before court requires seeking balance in order this right to be exercised to a full extent on one hand, and on the other hand, not allowing interests to be harmed with regard to national security which the legislator then considered of higher importance and restricted the right of court appeal.

All participants in the meeting agreed on the position that the amendments and supplements require change in the working manner of the vetting authorities and of the State Commission on Information Security. However, this will not harm the stability and efficiency of the system for protection of the classified information. On the contrary, this will result in deepening of the cooperation between the competent authorities and even greater exactness in the work.