BOLIVIA Responding to complaints by independent newspapers of discrimination in the placement of official advertisements, the Information Ministry said it planned to have a more rational system, but this turned out to be publication from December 2 of official announcements such as public sector tenders and auctions in the Official Gazette of Notifications of Bolivia. This move upset the dailies since it was to their detriment. The Information Ministry justified its policy on grounds of past irregularities in placing government advertising and said the move would reduce government costs. However, the resignation of the minister on March 10 raised doubts about whether the project would proceed. On the press freedom front, the most significant development concerned the Communications El País Group, owner of the daily El Nuevo Día of the city of Santa Cruz. It reported that its executives were sued by the local telephone company. The legal action was a veiled attempt to silence the papers reporting of the phone companys irregularities and squandering of money. The National Press Association mobilized and got the court handling the case to transfer it to the Press Jury, the entity in charge of such matters in accordance with a 1925 law. To date, the case appears to have been watered down. Under debate is the scope of an article of the Public Officials Statute, which under the government version could undermine the right of the press to have unrestricted access to sources of information.