Promotion of Access to Information Act, 2000 (Act No. 2 of 2000)
Promotion of Access to Information Manual in terms of Section 14 of the Promotion of Access to Information Act, 2 of 2000
9. Access to records and procedure for requesting access to information
If you wish to request access to any of the above categories of information, you are required to complete a request from as set out in Annexure A hereto. These forms are available from:
|(a)||The SAPC Deputy Information Officer;|
|(b)||The SAPC website (www.sapc.za.org); or|
Records held by the public body may be accessed on request only once the requirements for request for access have been met.
A requester in terms of the Act means:
|(a)||any person making a request for access to a record of that public body; or|
|(b)||a person acting on behalf of the person referred to in subparagraph (a).|
The Act distinguishes between two types of requesters:
|(a)||Personal Requester: a requester who is seeking access to a record containing personal information about the requester themselves. Subject to the provisions of the Act and applicable law, SAPC will provide the requested information, or give access to any record regarding the requester's personal information;|
|(b)||Other Requester: a requester (other than a personal requester) is entitled to request access to information pertaining to third parties. However, the SAPC is not obliged to grant access prior to the requester fulfilling the requirements for access in terms of the Act and any other applicable law.|
There is a prescribed fee (payable in advance) for requesting and accessing information in terms of the Act. Details of these fees are contained herein. You may be required to pay the additional fees prescribed by regulation for searching for and compiling the information, which you have requested, including copying charges.
|9.2||Form of Request|
The request must be in writing on the prescribed form, attached as Annexure A, and be forwarded to the Information Officer.
The prescribed form must be filled in with enough particularity to at least enable the Information Officer to identify:
|(a)||The record or records requested;|
|(b)||The identity of the requester;|
|(c)||What form of access is required; and|
|(d)||The postal, electronic mail address or fax number of the requester.|
A requester must state that he or she requires the information in order to exercise or protect a right, and clearly state what the nature of the right to be exercised or protected is. The requester must also provide an explanation as to why the requested record is required to exercise or protect that right.
The application form must be accompanied by the prescribed request fees.
If a person asks for access in a particular form, the requester would be given access in the manner that has been asked for, unless doing so would interfere unreasonably with the running of the offices, would damage the record, or infringe on copyright not owned by the SAPC.
If the requester wishes to be informed of the decision regarding the request in any other manner, e.g. by telephone/fax/email, in addition to a written reply, it must be indicated as such. In cases where the requester is asking for information on behalf of somebody else, the capacity in which the request is being made should be indicated.
When a requester is unable to read or write, or has a disability, the request can be made orally. In such a case, the Information Officer must complete the form on behalf of the requester.
A requester, who seeks access to a record containing personal information about that requester, is not required to pay the request fee. Every other requester must pay the relevant request fee.
The Information Officer will notify the requester to pay the prescribed fee before further processing the request.
The request fee payable by every requester, other than a personal requester, referred to in Regulation 7(2) of the Act is R35,006.
The reproduction/ access fees are as follows:
|(a)||The manual: For every photocopy of an A4-size page or part thereof. Also, any other A4-size photocopy R0,60;|
|(b)||Every printed copy of an A4-size page or part thereof held on a computer or in electronic or machine-readable form R0,40;|
|(c)||For a copy in a computer-readable form on compact disc R40,00;|
|(d)||For a copy of visual images R60,00;|
|(e)||For a transcription of visual images, for an A4-size page or part thereof R22,00;|
|(f)||For a transcription of an audio record for an A4-size page or part thereof R12,00;|
|(g)||For a copy of an audio record R17,00.|
To search for and prepare the record for disclosure, R15,00 for each hour or part of an hour, excluding the first hour, reasonably required for search and preparation.
For any request that would require more than six hours to access or to prepare for disclosure, one-third of the access fee is payable as a deposit by the requester.
The actual postage is payable by the requester when a copy of a record must be posted.
|9.4||Decision and Time Frames|
The SAPC will process a request within the required time as prescribed in the Act, unless the requestor has stated special reasons which would satisfy the Information Officer that circumstances dictate that this time period not be complied with.
The requester shall be informed in writing whether access has been granted or denied. If the requester requires the reasons for the decision in any other manner, he or she must state in writing the manner and the particulars required.
If a request is made on behalf of another person, the requester must then submit proof of the capacity in which the requester is making the request to the satisfaction of the Information Officer.
Upon receipt of the request, where applicable, the Information Officer will inform any third party affected by the request, within 21 days of receipt of the request. The third-party must inform the Information Officer why such information should not be made available to the requester within a specified period.
The SAPC shall, within 30 days of receipt of a request, decide whether to grant or decline a request and give notice with reasons (if required) to that effect. The 30-day period within which SAPC has to decide whether to grant or refuse a request may be extended for a further period of not more than 30 days if the request is for a large quantity of information, or the request requires a search for information held at another place other than the office of the SAPC and the information cannot reasonably be obtained within the original 30-day period. The Information Officer shall notify the requester in writing should an extension be necessary.
|9.5||Records not found / Does not exist|
In cases where records cannot be found or do not exist and all reasonable steps have been taken to find the requested record, the Information Officer will by means of an affidavit inform the requester, giving full reasons.
|9.6||Deferral of Access|
Requests may be deferred until information becomes available. The requester will be notified accordingly and requested to make representations within thirty (30) days as to why the information is required prior to it becoming public.
|9.7||Refusal of Access to Records|
Information Officer may refuse access to records under the circumstances provided for in Part 2, Chapter 4 of PAIA:
|(a)||Where the disclosure would amount to an unreasonable disclosure of personal information;|
|(b)||Where the disclosure would amount to disclosure of the trade secrets of a third party;|
|(c)||Where the disclosure would lead to a revelation of financial, commercial, scientific or technical information of a third party;|
|(d)||Where such information was supplied in confidence by a third party;|
|(e)||Where the disclosure would breach the duty of confidence owed to a third party;|
|(f)||Where the disclosure would endanger the life or physical safety of an individual;|
|(g)||If the disclosure is prohibited under the Criminal Procedure Act;|
|(h)||If the disclosure is privileged under legal proceedings or research conducted by or on behalf of a third party; and|
|(i)||Where the disclosure would compromise the investigation where proceedings are pending.|
The following grounds of discretionary refusal shall apply:
|(a)||Where the disclosure of such information relating to a third party would prejudice the supply of similar information in the future;|
|(b)||Where the record contains information around crime prevention, detection and prosecution of the alleged offender;|
|(c)||Where the disclosure would unreasonably reveal consultative material obtained on account of deliberations over the formulation of policy, exercise of power or performance of a duty; and|
|(d)||Where the request is frivolous or vexatious.|
6 Persons who earn less than R14 712 per annum or R27 192 (when such person is married or in a life partnership) are exempt from paying fees in terms of PAIA.