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Promotion of Access to Information Act, 2000 (Act No. 2 of 2000)

Part 2 : Access to Records of Public Bodies

Chapter 3 : Manner of Access

19. Duty to assist requesters

 

 

1) If a requester informs the information officer of—
a) a public body that he or she wishes to make a request for access to a record of that public body; or
b) a public body (other than a public body referred to in paragraph (a) or (b)(i) of the definition of "public body" in section 1) that he or she wishes to make a request for access to a record of another public body,

the information officer must render such reasonable assistance, free of charge, as is necessary to enable that requester to comply with section 18(1).

 

2) If a requester has made a request for access that does not comply with section 18(1), the information officer concerned may not refuse the request because of that non-compliance unless the information officer has—
a) notified that requester of an intention to refuse the request and stated in the notice
i) the reasons for the contemplated refusal; and
ii) that the information officer or another official identified by the information officer would assist that requester in order to make the request in a form that would remove the grounds for refusal;
b) given the requester a reasonable opportunity to seek such assistance;
c) as far as reasonably possible, furnished the requester with any information (including information about the records, other than information on the basis of which a request for access may or must be refused in terms of any provision of Chapter 4 of this Part, held by the body which are relevant to the request) that would assist the making of the request in that form; and
d) given the requester a reasonable opportunity to confirm the request or alter it to comply with section 18(1).

 

3) When computing any period referred to in section 25(1), the period commencing on the date on which notice is given in terms of subsection (2) and ending on the date on which the person confirms or alters the request for access concerned must be disregarded.

 

4) If it is apparent on receipt of a request for access that it should have been made to another public body, the information officer of the public body concerned must—
a) render such assistance as is necessary to enable the person to make the request, to the information officer of the appropriate public body; or
b) transfer the request in accordance with section 20 to the last-mentioned information officer,

whichever will result in the request being dealt with earlier.