Silvermoon Software Solutions Promotion to Access of Information Policy – PAIA
(in line with Act no. 2 of 2000)
- This policy has been developed in line with the Promotion of Access to Information Act no. 2 of 2000 and Protection of Personal Information Act of 2013.
- Silvermoon is committed to transparency and accountability and thus supports giving access to information only to the principal holder of that information but does this on the grounds that the staff and Silvermoon have rights to protection and privacy. Thus, the decisions about giving access to any information will always consider the rights of those affected by this access.
Silvermoon has specific procedures for giving access to information about the policy holder and these are included in Silvermoon’s POPIA policy as well. Requests for access to information about clients, employees, contractors or suppliers should be referred to our Information Officer. This document does not supersede other policies within Silvermoon with regards to the processing of information.
As this is a complex piece of legislation and the decisions made in terms of the legislation have potentially far reaching and serious implications, Silvermoon’s policy is outlined below to assist those who receive requests for information. In terms of this legislation, Silvermoon is considered a Private Body and for that reason, this policy will focus on this section of the act. Thus, where access to records of Silvermoon is requested, the request must show that the information is required for the exercise or protection of a right in terms of Section 50(1).
The Promotion of Access to Information Act no 2 of 2000 (hereafter referred to as the Act) was published in the Gazette (No 20852) on 3 February 2000. The whole Act has been in effect since February 2002 and it gives effect to the Constitutional right of access to information envisaged in section 32 of the Constitution of South Africa.
If you as a Silvermoon employee are requested to provide access to information, in order to ensure that Silvermoon protects the interests of its clients, suppliers, staff & contractors (hereafter referred to as stakeholders), you should refer the request to the Information Officer who will consider the request and the motivation for the request and will then either be able to advise you to release or deny the request. It will be helpful if the requester makes their recommendation or comment on the request form (form J752 Annexure A in this document available here) in order for the Information Officer to assist in making a considered decision. The decision whether or not to grant a request must be taken within 30 days – clearly it is more service oriented to make a decision as quickly as possible which will be our aim.
There are, however conditions under which Silvermoon is enabled by the Act not to give access to information and these are listed beneath a briefly outline what the Act is trying to achieve.
- The Act aims to promote disclosure and not secrecy while protecting people’s privacy, confidential commercial information, and ensuring effective, efficient and good governance (Section 9).
- Silvermoon intends to comply with section 5 of the Promotion of Administrative Justice Act (2000) that stipulates reasons should be given for decisions not to grant access to information. Section 25(3) of the Access to Information Act also makes it mandatory to give reasons for decisions not to grant access to information. Some general exclusions (as catered for in the Act) will be applied except if the information is in the public domain already or if consent has been gained from the person about whom the information is being held (Section 36.2 of Access to Information Act). Access to information requests may be refused if the request is “manifestly frivolous or vexatious or the work involved in processing the request would substantially and unreasonably divert our resources” (Section 45).
Applicants for information have the right to appeal against a decision to not give them access (Section 39.3b (IV)).
- Situations under which Silvermoon DOES NOT have to give access and examples of how this applies at Silvermoon.
- Protection of privacy (Section 34.1) – It is not necessary to give access to personal information (such as other clients or suppliers records or names, contact details or addresses) if this constitutes a violation of privacy (unreasonable disclosure of personal information).
- Protection of commercial or research information (Section 36.1, 42.1, 43.1) – Silvermoon will not disclose information that will undermine scientific or commercial research activities that are carried out in the ordinary day to day business activities of Silvermoon as a private body.
- Protection of confidential information covered by an agreement (Section 37.1) – Silvermoon will not disclose information if there is an agreement with the person or juristic person about whom the information is held that it will not do so.
- Protection of safety of individuals and property (Section 38) – Silvermoon will not disclose information if the disclosure of the information could in any way constitute a risk to the safety of an individual or property.
- Protection of existing processes and proceedings (Section 39.1 and 40) – Silvermoon will not disclose information if any other process or proceedings or application has already started in terms of any other act – in other words, this act cannot be used to undermine any already initiated legal or administrative process.
- Defence, security and international relations (Section 41.1) – Access to information that could influence any of the above will be refused unless it is already more than 5 years old.
- Proceedings of committees (Section 44.1) – Silvermoon is not obliged to give access to the proceedings of committees that make decisions or express opinions.
Note: Silvermoon is not obliged to give access to information in the form requested if doing so would interfere unreasonably with effective administration; be detrimental to the preservation of the record or if it would amount to an infringement of copyright not owned by the State or Silvermoon.
- The CEO is the company’s Information Officer who has delegated responsibility to the Financial Manager as the company’s Deputy Information Officer (Section 1 and 17) and the responsibility for making decisions about requests for access will rest with them. They may from time to time constitute a committee of experts to consider requests.
The role of the Information Officer and Deputy is spelled out in the Act. In addition, Silvermoon will annually publish a manual as required in terms of the Act (Section 14). The responsibility for updating the manual rests with Silvermoon’s Deputy Information Officer.
Silvermoon, through the Deputy Information Officer, will submit an annual report to the Human Rights Commission (Section 32) listing:
- Requests for access received.
- Requests for access granted in full.
- Requests for access refused in full or partially.
- Times each provision of this Act was relied on to refuse access.
- Internal appeals.
- Applications to court.
- Any other matter prescribed in the regulations.
All Administrative, and Support Services and who have access to general and personal information are also responsible for ensuring the implementation of this policy and for protecting the rights of those about whom they hold information.
- The Act (and thus Silvermoon’s policy on access to information) applies to all records that are being held by Silvermoon. Record means any recorded information regardless of form or medium in the possession or under the control of Silvermoon whether or not it was created by Silvermoon (Section 1). This applies to all Silvermoon records whether they came into existence before or after the Act (Section 3).
- All requests for information officer should be addressed to Silvermoon’s Deputy Information Officer at firstname.lastname@example.org using the form attached as Annexure A. This form must be filled out by the requester in full and submitted to Silvermoon’s Deputy Information Officer by email or ordinary post (PO Box 22455, Fish Hoek, Cape Town, 7974) (Section 18 of the Act). It is not intended that every person who wants access to information should have to complete the form, however, if the request is by the owner of the information, then the form should not be necessary.
- Silvermoon creates, collects and maintains information for the purpose of administering HR records, customer records, supplier records and potential customer business in order to conduct its day-to-day activities. Such information is recorded in Quickbooks, documents, e-mails, on-line forms via our website, and any other medium by which information can be stored such as graphic, electronic and mechanical means.
Silvermoon records are the property of Silvermoon and as such may not be destroyed (including records stored electronically) without the permission of the Information Officer or Deputy Information Officer who will establish retention rules in consultation with the CEO.
Section 90 (Offences) of the Promotion of Access to Information Act stipulates that damaging, destroying, concealing or falsifying a record is an offence with penalties of up to two years imprisonment.
- Click Here to get access to the form