Parliamentary Question: Conviction information intergration system

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Official reply: 19 May 2010

NATIONAL ASSEMBLY

QUESTION 1249

FOR WRITTEN REPLY

Date of publication on internal question paper: 26 April 2010

Internal question paper no 11

Mrs S P Kopane (DA) to ask the Minister of Social Development:
(1) Whether the electronic integration system that is used to share conviction information among the Departments of Justice and Constitutional Development, Police and Social Development is fully operational; if not, (a) why not and (b) when will it be fully operational; if so, what are the relevant details;
(2) whether she has put any mechanisms in place to fast-track the system; if not, why not; if so, what mechanisms;
(3) whether her department informed the NGOs working with children of the Child Protection Register and the National Register for Sex Offenders; if not, why not; if so, what are the relevant details? NW1408E

REPLY:
(1) No,
(a) The Department of Social Development has developed an electronic system for the capturing of information on convictions as part of the Child Protection Register Part A and B. This is consistent in terms of sections 111 and 112 of the Children’s Act (No. 38 of 2005). Sections 113 and 114 of the Act provides for the sharing of information amongst the departments. The Departments of Justice and Constitutional Development, South African Police Services, as well as Department of Social Development, have developed individual systems in respect of their legislative requirements. Despite the ongoing consultations, the final integration of the electronic system will be completed within eighteen (18) months as per the Children’s Act, as pointed out recently to the Honourable Member’s response to the same question during debates in the National Assembly.
(b) Integration of systems can only be operational on the finalisation of the Integrated Justice System (IJS). This system is managed by the Department of Justice and Constitutional Development. Until this system is operational the information will be shared through a manual system.
(2) Yes, the Department of Social Development as part of the mechanisms to fast track the system, has already submitted the system requirements to the Departments of Justice and Constitutional Development and South African Police Services, for the purpose of integration. The department has also submitted a Memorandum of Understanding which is currently receiving attention by the Department of Justice and Constitutional Development for approval by the State Law Advisors. The Memorandum of Understanding focuses on both the manual and electronic integration systems for the sharing of information on convictions and court outcomes among the departments. Additionally regular bi-lateral meetings are held with the Department of Justice and Constitutional Development on the implementation of both the above mentioned registers.
(3) Yes, the non-governmental organisations working with the children have been informed about the Child Protection Register. The non–governmental organisations (NGOs) participate in the National Child Protection Committee meetings and Child Protection forums, to ensure that the legislation on children and the Child Protection Register in particular, is properly implemented. The Department of Justice and Constitutional Development is also part of the above committees, where they get an opportunity to discuss the implementation of the National Register for Sex Offenders with the non-governmental organisations dealing with child protection issues.

Regulation 33 of the Children’s Act (No. 38 of 2005), as Amended, obligates the department and the designated child protection organisations to report cases of abuse to the Child Protection Register. These reports are completed in prescribed Forms 22 and 23. The designated child protection organisations have been reporting on Part A of the Child Protection Register since 2004.

Source: DSD Welfare Services