In terms of the provisions of PAIA, it is mandatory for every business, whether big or small to submit a revised PAIA manual through its information officer to the offices of the South African Human Rights Commission before 31 December every year.
According to Kirkman Lanfear Chartered Accountants, the following are the guidelines to assist with the development of such a manual in terms of Section 51 of the Act.
In terms of this section, the head of a private body must:
• Compile a Section 51 manual which is a roadmap of the company;
• Submit the manual to the South African Human Rights Commission on an annual basis;
• Update any material changes on the manual on a regular basis;
• Make the manual available as prescribed by the Act at the company’s offices and on their website;
• Annex a request form to the manual and also make the request form available on its website and at the company premises and access points.
The manual must among other things contain the following information:
• Details of the company’s postal, email and street address, fax and phone number;
• The description of available records generated by the company stating those which are automatically available and those that are available upon request;
• Outline the request procedure in terms of PAIA;
• State the head of the company (Information Officer in terms of PAIA);
• Stipulate the fees applicable as legislated by the Act which are chargeable to requestors;
• Remedies available to requestors if their request for the information has been refused;
• Details facilitating a request for access to a record etc.
Keep updated and be informed on how to steer clear of the red-tape and comply with the Act’s requirements. Visit http://www.kirkmanlanfear.co.za for more information.