WHAT IS PAIA ANYWAY?
The Promotion of Access to Information Act (PAIA) states that public and private bodies are now required by law to create a ‘manual’ that contains, various information relating to that body. The manual should contain amongst other things:
- A detailed description of how to obtain access to certain information, a guide on how to use the Act to get the said information from body.
- What records are available to an interested party without having to request access in terms of PAIA.
- A description of the records of the body, which are available in accordance with any other legislation.
In South Africa the POPI Act requires a party to maintain records of all information processed under its responsibility in a PAIA manual. This means that POPIA requires you to provide additional information in your PAIA manual.
The deadline for bodies to submit their PAIA manuals expired on 31 December 2020. This means that the exemption granted by the government expired and a PAIA manual is now a legal requirement.
If the warning bells are now going off for you, don’t panic, Ariston Global is able to assist and will ensure you are compliant now and in the future.
ACTIONS YOU CAN TAKE
- If you already have access to Information manual, make sure it is up to date by requesting that our experienced team at Ariston Global reviews the said manual to check that it complies with the latest law.
- Update your Access to Information manual to comply with POPIA by asking us to make the necessary changes.
- Comply with your legal obligation to have an Access to Information manual by asking Ariston to draft a PAIA manual for you.
WHAT MUST YOU DO WITH YOUR ACCESS TO INFORMATION MANUAL?
Ariston Global can advise on where and how to make you manual available to ensure that you are compliant
WHY YOU SHOULD COMPLY
It is a criminal offence not to submit an Access to Information manual if you are required to do so, and you could face some hefty fines and even jail time if you do not comply.