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Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Bill
November 30, 2001




1. Short title.
2. Interpretation.
3. Application of Act in relation to other laws.
4. General application of Act.


1   Short title   TOP

This Act may be cited as the Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act, 2001.

2   Interpretation   TOP

In this Act—

"applicant" means a person requesting access to a record or information held by a public body;

"Commission" means the Media and Information Commission established by section 39;

"educational body" means a body defined in the Education Act [Chapter 25:04];

"exempted information" means records exempt from application of this Act and as prescribed under the First Schedule to this Act.

"employee", in relation to a public body, includes a person retained under a contract to perform services for the public body;

"head", in relation to a public body, means—

(a) the person designated as the head of a public body in the second column of the Second Schedule; or

(b) any other person whom the Minister may, from time to time designate as the head of a public body for the purposes of this Act;

"health care body" means a hospital, clinic or a mental health facility as defined in the Mental Health Act [Chapter 15:06];

"judicial administration record" means a record containing information relating to a presiding officer or a justice of the peace, including—

(a) scheduling of presiding officers and trials:

(b) content of judicial training programmes;

(c) statistics of judicial activity prepared by or for a judge;

"law enforcement" includes—

(a) policing, including criminal intelligence operations; or

(b) investigations that lead to a penalty or sanction being imposed; or

(c) proceedings that result in a penalty or sanction being imposed; or

(d) control of immigration; or

(e) national defence and security; or

(f) maintenance of public order;

"local government body" means—

(a) a municipality as defined in the Urban Councils Act [Chapter 29:15];

(b) a council as defined in the Rural District Councils Act [Chapter 29:19];

(c) a catchment council or sub-catchment council established in terms of the Water Act [Chapter 20:22];

(d) a board of cemetery trustees established under the Cemeteries Act [Chapter 5:04]:

(e) any board, committee, commission, panel, agency or corporation that is created or owned by a body referred to in paragraphs(a) to(e) and all the members or officers of which are appointed or chosen by or under the authority of that body;

"mass media owner" means an advertiser, publisher or broadcasting licensee as defined in the Broadcasting Services Act [Chapter 12:06] or any other licensee specified by the Minister by Statutory Instrument;

"Minister" means the Minister responsible for Information and Publicity or any other Minister to whom the President may, from time to time, assign the administration of this Act;

"personal information" means recorded information about an identifiable person, and includes—

(a) the name, address or telephone number;

(b) the race, national or ethnic origin, colour, religious or political beliefs or associations;

(c) the age, sex, sexual orientation, marital status or family status;

(d) an identifying number, symbol or other particulars assigned to that person;

(e) fingerprints, blood type or inheritable characteristics;

(f) information about a person’s health care history, including a physical or mental disability;

(g) information about educational, financial, criminal or employment history;

(h) anyone else’s opinions about the individual; and

(i) the individual’s personal views or opinions, except if they are about someone else;

(j) personal correspondence, home and family;

"personal information bank" means a collection of personal information that is organised or retrievable by the name of an individual or by an identifying number, symbol or other particular assigned to that individual and includes personal images;

"public body" means any body prescribed as a public body in terms of the first column to the Second Schedule of this Act.

"record" includes books, documents, maps, drawings, photographs, letters, vouchers, papers and any other thing on which information is recorded or stored by graphic, electronic, mechanical or other means, but does not include a computer programme or any other mechanism that produces records;

"third party", in relation to a request for access to a record or for correction of personal information, means any person, group of persons or organisation other than the person who made the request;

"trade secret" means information, including a formula, pattern, compilation, programme, device, product, method, technique or process, that is used, or may be used, in business or for any commercial advantage and—

(a) derives independent economic value, actual or potential, from not being generally known to the public or to other persons who can obtain economic value from its disclosure or use;

(b) is the subject of reasonable efforts to prevent it from becoming generally known; and

(c) the disclosure of which would result in harm or improper benefit.

3   Application of Act in relation to other laws  TOP

(1) This Act shall apply to matters relating to access to information, protection of privacy and the media and shall be construed as being in addition to and not in substitution for any other law which is not in conflict or inconsistent with this Act.

(2) If any other law relating to access to information, protection of privacy and the media is in conflict or inconsistent with this Act, this Act shall prevail.

4   General application of Act  TOP

(1) This Act shall apply to all records in the custody or under the control of a public body, including court administration records but shall not include the records listed in the First Schedule.

(2) This Act shall not limit the information available by law to a party to a legal proceeding.

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