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


Regulations relating to the Promotion of Access to Information, 2021

Chapter 4 : Complaints to Information Regulator

13. Conciliation of matter


(1) If—
(a) on receipt of a complaint;
(b) during its investigation; or
(c) on receipt of any written response from the information officer of a public body or the head of a private body, in terms section 77E(b)(ii) of the Act,

it becomes clear to the Information Regulator  that the complaint, or certain aspects of the complaint, could successfully be settled, the Information Regulator, may conduct conciliation proceedings and act as conciliator in the matter.


(2) The Information Regulator must convene a conciliation meeting as soon as it is practically possible and inform the complainant, the information officer concerned or any other party to the matter, on a form that corresponds substantially with Form 11 of Annexure A to the Regulations—
(a) of the Information Regulator's decision to act as a conciliator in the matter;
(b) of the name of the conciliator;
(c) of the date, which must be at least 10 working days after this notification, of the time and place of the conciliation meeting;and
(d) that in the event of non-attendance by either party or both, the Information Regulator may summon the appearance of persons before the Information Regulator.


(3) The Information Regulator—
(a) may consolidate separate complaints, which are alleged to relate to the same matter by the same information officer, in order to deal with the complaints in the same conciliation proceedings;
(b) must ensure that all persons entitled to attend the conciliation meeting are notified within a reasonable time, of the date, time and place of the meeting;
(c) may request all the relevant documentation relating to the complaint from the complainant, information officer or other party to the matter;
(d) may confer with the parties in person, by means of electronic communication, or by any other means as is deemed appropriate;and
(e) may—
(i) encourage parties to communicate with each other with a view to settle the matter;
(ii) assist the parties to narrow down the issues in dispute;
(iii) take an active role in the proceedings, including summarising the various options available to the parties and the strengths and weaknesses of the matter;
(iv) offer an opinion as to the issues of factual or legal disputes between the parties;
(v) give advice about cost implications and other legal consequences; and
(vi) make any proposal to the parties with a view to settle the matter.


(4) Where a conciliation meeting fails to take place, the Information Regulator must arrange for an alternative date and notify the persons entitled to attend the conciliation meeting accordingly.


(5) The Information Regulator must issue a conciliation certificate which corresponds substantially with Form 12 of Annexure A to the Regulations within a reasonable time after the date of the conclusion of the conciliation meeting.


(6) If the complaint is not resolved, or either or both of the parties did not attend a conciliation meeting, the Information Regulator must proceed with the complaint as provided for in terms of section 77C(1) of the Act.