Insightful BlogsSeptember 7, 2022

POPIA and PAIA online portals go live

Public and private bodies can now register their information officers (IOs), as required by the Protection of Personal Information Act (POPIA), and submit their Promotion of Access to Information Act (PAIA) section 32 reports via the Information Regulator’s new online portals.

While manual applications will continue to be administered to accommodate special circumstances, the Information Regulator strongly encourages all public and private bodies to use the portals as they are user-friendly, cost-effective and save time.

Non-compliance with these statutory requirements is a contravention of the law.

Registration of information officers
POPIA was enacted to promote the protection of personal information processed by public and private bodies. It introduces minimum conditions for the lawful processing of personal information, and places an obligation on information officers of public and private bodies to designate and delegate any power or duty to deputy information officers. IOs are responsible for ensuring that the body complies with the eight conditions for lawful processing of personal information.

Public and private bodies can register their IOs on the online portal before the officers assume their duties. The portal also allows for the amendment and updating of details of the respective bodies.

Public and private bodies who previously registered using the manual registration process and received their certificates do not have to re-register.

PAIA section 32 report
PAIA gives effect to section 32 of the Constitution which states that everyone has the right of access to any information that is held by the state, as well as any information that is held by another person that is required for the protection of any rights.

Section 32 of PAIA applies to public bodies which are any departments of state or administration in the national, provincial and local municipalities, or any other public institution exercising power in terms of the Constitution. Public bodies also include any other institution that exercises public power or performs a public function in terms of any legislation.

IOs are obligated to submit a section 32 report to the Information Regulator annually. The purpose of the report is to give an account of:
• The number of requests for access received;
• Access granted in full;
• Access granted in terms of section 46 (mandatory disclosure in the public interest);
• Access refused fully or partially;
• Cases extended;
• Internal appeals to relevant authority;
• The number of internal appeals that were refused on the grounds that an internal appeal was regarded as having been dismissed.

IOs are by default the heads of departments, administrations and municipalities, such as directors-general, head of departments, municipal managers or heads of any public bodies.

The annual reports currently due for submission are for the financial period 2021/2022. The public bodies must submit their annual reports by 9 September 2022.
For any further enquiries on the section 32 reports, email PAIAComplaince@inforegulator.org.za. For queries on IO registration email Registration.IO@inforegulator.org.za.
The Information Regulator may also be contacted during office hours (8:00-16:00) on 010 023 5200.

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