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

Notice 2555 of 2000 - Proposed Commencement of the Promotion of Access to Information Act

 

 

Department of Justice

 

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

 

Invitation to make Submissions regarding Proposed Commencement of the Promotion of Access to Information Act, 2000 (Act No. 2 of 2000) and Promulgation of Regulations

 

 

1) The Promotion of Access to Information Act, 2000 (Act No. 2 of 2000)(the Act), gives effect to the constitutional right of access to any information held by the State and any information that is held by another person and that is required for the exercise or protection of any rights. In General Notice 1813 published in Gazette No. 21146 of 12 May 2000 interested parties were invited to submit requests or suggestions regarding the implementation of certain provisions of the Act.

 

2) It is now intended to put the Act, with the exception of sections 10, 14, 15, 16, 19, 51 and 52, into operation as soon as possible. At this stage the intended date for commencement is 15 September 2000. The outstanding sections will be put into operation as soon as possible thereafter and after certain outstanding issues, for instance the formulation of regulations in terms of those sections, have been addressed.

 

3)
3.1 In order to ensure effective implementation of the Act, as proposed in paragraph 2 above, regulations must be promulgated for purposes of sections 18 and 53 which provide for the form of request for access to records, sections 22 and 54 which provide for the request and access fees and section 75 which provides for notice of appeal and appeal fees.

 

3.2 Draft regulations to give effect to the aforementioned sections are as set out in the Schedule hereto for comment. At this stage the amounts of the fees are not reflected in the draft regulations and motivated suggestions in this respect will be appreciated. The draft regulations will be finalised after the evaluation of comment received and will be promulgated simultaneously with the commencement of the Act. Due to the short period allowed to submit comment on the draft regulations, the regulations to be published will be regarded as interim regulations. Proper consultation will take place after the remaining regulations (in terms of those sections which will not commence on 15 September 2000) have been drafted.

 

4) Public and private bodies are also reminded that the following actions should be attended to:
a) The appointment of deputy information officers to alleviate the burden of information officers and to ensure that access is rendered within the prescribed periods.
b) The possible training of information officers and deputy information officers.
c) Depending on the number of internal appeals it may be necessary for the relevant authority (for instance a Minister) to delegate his or her powers.

 

5) Comment on—
a) the draft regulations;
b) the viability of the incremental approach envisaged to put the Act into operation; and
c) the proposed date of commencement,

will be appreciated. If no response is received by the closing date it will be deemed that you agree with our proposals.

 

 

Please submit your comment on or before 31 July 2000 to:

 

The Director: Secondary Legislation

Department of Justice

Private Bag X 81

Pretoria

0001

 

or

 

Room 403

Saambou Building

Church Square

Pretoria

 

or

 

Fax to (012) 328 5567