PROMOTION OF ACCESS TO INFORMATION ACT (The PAIA)

AND

NON-PROFIT ORGANISATIONS

 

Section 51 of the PAIA which came into operation in 2005, provides that all public and private bodies (including non-profit organisations) compile a Manual of their records and information to lodge with the South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC).Exemption for private bodies from compiling the Manual was given till 31 December 2011. Although various professional bodies requested a further extension, this has not been granted and NPOs are obliged tosubmit their Manual to the SAHRC.

 

Object of PAIA

 

The main objectives of PAIA are to give South Africans a legal right to access information held by South African public and private bodies and to foster a culture of openness, transparency and accountability in South Africa.

 

What can be achieved through using PAIA?

 

Every individual can use PAIA to ask questions:

• to hold public and private bodies accountable for the decisions they make

• to know how public bodies are spending our money

• to push for better governance and reduce corruption and to improve service delivery

 

How does PAIA work?

 

PAIA applies to recordsand information and anyone can request a record or information held by anon-profit organisation.The requester must fill in a form and most requesters are required to pay a request fee. The body that receives the PAIA Request must give access to the record(s) unless there is a reason (grounds) for refusing the request. The PAIA lists a number of reasons (grounds) for refusing access to a record

 

The head of the NPO must:

 

1.         Compile a Manual which is a list of the records & information of the NPO;

2.         Submit the Manual to the SAHRC once per annum;

3.         Update any material changes on the Manual on a regular basis;

4.         Annex a request form to the Manual and make this and the Manual available on the NPO’s website and at its premises

 

The Manual must be submitted to the PAIA Unit at SAHRC in electronic form and hard copy.

 

For a minimal fee of R 750.00, TPC can assist your organisation with the compilation of the PAIA manual.

 

Please contact us telephonically to discuss.