Key points of updated PAIA Guide
An updated PAIA Guide has been published which provides easy-to-understand direction on how to obtain various items of information from an organisation.
The Promotion of Access to Information Act, 2000 (PAIA) requires the Information Regulator to publish a guide (PAIA Guide) to assist a person who wishes to exercise a right contemplated in PAIA or the Protection of Personal Information Act, 2013.
The recently published PAIA Guide is an updated version of the existing guide published by the South African Human Rights Commission (the institution mandated to oversee compliance with PAIA prior to July 2021). The PAIA Guide contains guidance, in an easy-to-understand format, on how to obtain various items of information from an organisation.
It is important for an organisation to understand when it must or may refuse a request, to prevent falling foul of PAIA. If a record falls within one of the mandatory grounds of refusal, an organisation must refuse access to it. Examples include where the record requested is legally privileged or if access to it would result in the unreasonable disclosure of an individual’s personal information. In some circumstances, certain organisations (eg. state departments) have the discretion to grant or refuse a request, for instance, if access to the record will hamper the operations of the organisation.
Some of the key elements contained in the PAIA Guide are:
About the author
Peter Grealy and Karl Blom from Webber Wentzel