Parliamentary Question: DSD: Budgetary transfers

2020

QUESTION 143/2011

Mr A M Figlan (DA) to ask the Minister of Social Development:

What (a) statutory provisions, (b) regulations, (c) policy instruments and (d) practices govern the (i) classification, (ii) protection against the release or access, (iii) protection for other purposes such as preservation and (iv) release upon request for access of (aa) documented information and (bb) undocumented information held by (aaa) his department or (bbb) any other entities who receive budgetary transfers from his department?

REPLY:

Department of Social Development
(aaa)(a)

The Department of Social Development is guided by the following statutory regulations in terms of classification, protection and access of departmental information:

Constitution of the Republic of South African (No. 108 of 1996), section 32 of Constitution entrenches the right to access information. The section provides that everyone has the right of access to any information held by the state.

Promotion of Access to Information Act (Act No. 2 of 2000) – the Act gives effect to section 32 of the Constitution and it provides a statutory right of access to information held by the state as well as private bodies.

National Archives and Records Services of South Africa Act (Act No. 43 of 1996) regulates the classification, protection, preservation, and disposal of information held by the department.

Protection of Information Act (Act No. 84 of 1982) – the Act regulates the manner in which government protects its information.

(aaa) (b)

The regulations to the Promotion of Access to Information Act, 2000 regulate the procedure that must be adopted to enable the citizens to access records of the Department.

The regulation of the National Archives and Records Services of South Africa Act regulate access, use and transfer of public records.
(aaa) (c)

The Department has the following policy instruments that guide the classification, protection, preservation, use, ownership, access and disposal of records. These policies adhere to the requirements of the Minimum Information Security Standards (MISS) document.

Records Management Policy

Policy on Information Ownership and Custodianship

Policy on the Use of Information
(aaa) (d)

The Department has developed and is implementing the following practices to govern the classification, protection, and access of information:

Promotion of Access to Information Act Manual – the manual gives details on how to request access to information and a description of the categories of information.

Registry Procedure Manual – the manual gives guidelines on the classification, filing, preservation and disposal of records held by the department.
(aaa) (i), (ii), (iii), (iv), (aa), (bb)

The above mentioned legislations, regulations and policies are all geared towards governing the classification, protection against release or access, protection for other purposes such as preservation and release upon request for access of documented and undocumented information held by the Department of Social Development.

South African Social Security Agency (SASSA)
(bbb) (a) (i)

Section 13(2)(b)(i) of the National Archives and Records and Service of South Africa Act, 1996, empowers the National Archivist to determine the records classification systems to be applied by the governmental bodies.
(bbb) (a)(ii)

The SASSA is guided by the South African Social Security Agency Act, 2004 (Act No. 9 of 2004) and the Promotion of Access to Information Act, 2000 (Act No. 2 of 2000) when handling matters related to the protection of the information that it manages. Section 16 of the SASSA Act specifically deals with the security of confidential information held by the Agency.

Section 16 of the SASSA Act states that no person may disclose any information submitted in connection with any application or instruction for or in respect of a grant, payment, benefit or assistance made available by the Agency, unless he or she is ordered to do so by a court of law or unless the applicant or social grant beneficiary gives written consent.

Heads of Section of governmental bodies are required in terms of section 13(1) of the National Archives and Records Service of South Africa Act, 1996) to comply with the conditions suitable for the effective storage of all types of records. One of the requirements stipulated in the National Archives and Records Service of South Africa’s Records Management Policy Manual (October 2007) is the establishment of secure Registries.
(bbb) (a) (iii)

The National Archives and Records Service of South Africa’s Records Management Policy Manual (October 2007) emphasizes the importance of storing records in areas where they are effectively protected against fire, flooding and any other condition that can compromise their preservation for as long as they are needed.
(bbb) (a) (iv)

Section 16 of the SASSA Act prohibits SASSA officials from disclosing any information submitted in connection with any application or instruction for or in respect of a grant, payment, benefit or assistance made available by the Agency, unless they are ordered to do so by a court of law or unless the applicant or social grant beneficiary gives written consent.
(bbb) (b) (i)

Section 1 of the Minimum Information Security Standards (MISS) document prescribes the process to be followed with regards to the classification and reclassification of documents.
(bbb) (b) (ii)

Section 2 of the MISS document also provides for general rules and prescriptions as to who may have access to or inspect classified documents. For example, sub-section 2.2 requires that a suitable clearance be issued first for any person who has to access classified document in the execution of their duties.
(bbb) (b) (iii)

The MISS document in section 10 provides for proper controls over access to and effective control over movement within any building or part of a building in which classified information is handled. It further requires that classified documents that are not in immediate use must be locked away in a safe storage.
(bbb) (b) (iv)

Chapter 2 of the Regulations to the Promotion of Access to Information Act, 2000 regulates the procedure that must be adopted to enable a person to access records from a public and/ or private body, which includes SASSA.
(bbb) (c) (i)

The SASSA has the Records Management Policy, and the Security Policy that guide the classification, filing, management, use and disposal of records. These policies adhere to the requirements of the Minimum Information Security Standards and the National Archives and Record Service of South Africa Act, 1996 (Act 43 of 1996).
(bbb) (c) (ii)

Section 6 of SASSA’s Security Policy prescribes strict access control to registries where classified documents are kept and does not under circumstances allow for classified documents to be left unattended in offices, homes and vehicles of SASSA officials.
(bbb) (c) (iii)

Section 6 of SASSA’s Security Policy also prescribes that all classified documents not in immediate use must be locked away in the approariate cabinet, safe or strong room as prescribed in the MISS document.

SASSA’s Risk Management Tool for Records obliges SASSA to document all records related risks and proactively develop measures to minimize the risks and reactive measures for the affected records.

Section 8 of the SASSA Records Management Policy also makes provision for the establishment of Central Registries and Sub-registries in Head Office and regions in order to ensure central control of records and that only authorised officials manage the filing process.
(bbb) (c) (iv)

Section 6 of SASSA’s Security Policy provides for the application of ‘need to know” principle in respect of all classified information within SASSA to ensure that only authorized persons gain access to such information.
(bbb) (d) (i)

SASSA’s file plan in line with section 13(1) of the National Archives and Records Service of South Africa Act, 1996 and section 1 of the MISS document provide a guide on how, in general, to facilitate the classification of information.
(bbb) (d) (ii)

SASSA Registry Procedure Manual governs effective control of the movement of files by managing access to the records within SASSA.
(bbb) (d) (iii)

The National Archivist has issued SASSA with a General Disposal Authority no. AC1 of 2009 which specifies the conditions under which SASSA’s records can be disposed. SASSA has developed retention periods for different types of records to ensure that relevant records are preserved accordingly.
(bbb) (d) (iv)

SASSA has developed a PAIA manual, in terms of section 14 of the Promotion of Access to Information Act, 2000 (Act No. 2 of 2000), that contains details on how to facilitate a request for access to records that are held by SASSA. In line with chapter 2 of the PAIA regulations, SASSA’s PAIA manual contains detailed information about the types of records that SASSA keeps, records that are automatically available to the public and the procedure to obtain access to records that are not automatically available. All requests for access to protected information are done through the Chief Information Officer to ensure one central point for request and provision of information.

National Development Agency (NDA)
(bbb) (a)

The provision of the Promotion of Access to Information Act, 2000 (Act No. 2 of 2000) governs the classification, protection against the release or access, protection for other purpose such as preservation, release upon request for access of documented information and undocumented information held by the NDA.
(bbb) (b)

The regulations on the Promotions of Access to Information Act, 2000 (Act No. 2 of 2000) govern the classification, protection against the release or access, protection for other purpose such as preservation, release upon request for access of documented information and undocumented information held by the NDA.
(bbb) (c)

The following policy instruments govern the classification, protection against the release or access, protection for other purpose such as preservation, release upon request for access of documented information and undocumented information held by the NDA:
(iii)NDA Confidentiality Policy
(iv)NDA Access to Information Manual issued in terms of section 14 of the Promotions of Access to Information Act.
(v)The NDA Records Management Policy
(bbb) (d)

The directives and resolutions by the NDA Board and the Executive Committee govern the classification, protection against the release or access, protection for other purposes such as preservation, release upon request for access of documented information and undocumented information held by the NDA.
(bbb) (aa)

The Act and the regulations on the Promotions of Access to Information Act, the Confidentiality Policy, the Access to Information Manual, the Records Management Policy govern the release upon request for access to documented information.
(bbb) (bb)



The directive of the NDA Board and the Chief Executive Officer governs the release upon request of undocumented information.