Access to Information

The Access to Information Act is to foster good governance through enhancing transparency, accountability, integrity in public service and administration, participation of persons in public affairs including exposing corruption, to recognise the right of access to information envisaged in Article 28 of the Constitution and for matters connected therewith and incidental thereto.

Personal Information

If you are an individual, you can obtain most personal information we hold about you without following a formal process under the FOI Act. Sometimes that will not be possible, but if that is the case we will tell you why. See our Privacy page for details of how you can ask to see or be given a copy of personal information we hold about you. If you are a current or former employee you should seek access under the Privacy Act 1988 before making a request under the FOI Act.

Request Information

General (Information or Document)

Section 9(1) of the ATI Act provides that a person who desires to obtain any information shall make a request to the Information Officer of the public body. If an application is made to a public body requesting information which is held by another public body or the subject matter of which is more closely connected with the functions of another public body, the public body to which the application is made shall transfer the application to that other public body known to hold such information.

The 4 Steps For Access To Information

1) Write to the Information Officer
Write to the Information Officer directly. Expect a reply in writing within 21 days unless it relates to information, which reasonably appears to be necessary to safeguard the life or liberty of a person, then the Information Officer shall reply within 48 hours.
2) Apply for review to the Head of the Information Holder
Not satisfied? Apply to The Head of the Information Holder for review of a decision of the Information Officer under. Expect a reply within 15 days.
3) Appeal to the Information Commission
Still not satisfied? Appeal to the Information Commission.
4) Seek redress through the courts
If you are not satisfied with the outcome of your appeal with the Commission, make an appeal to the Supreme Court.

Personal or Third Party (information or documents)

“Personal Information” is information or opinion (including information forming part of a database), whether true or not, about an individual whose identity is apparent or can reasonably be ascertained from the information or opinion.

“Third Party Information” means personal information or commercial and confidential information of a third party.

Time Period for Supply of Information

In the normal course, the Information Officer of the public body shall supply information to an applicant within 21 days from the receipt of the application. If the information sought concerns the life or liberty of a person, it shall be supplied within 48 hours.

Review applications must be submitted to the Head of the information holder. Decision from Head of the Information Holder shall be given within 15 days.

Sr. No Situation Time limit for disposing of applications
1 Supply of information in normal course 21 Days
2 Supply of information if it concerns the life or liberty of a person 48 Hours
3 Review of decision of the Head Of Information holder 15 Days

Exemptions

An Information Officer may refuse to grant access to information if the information requested for falls within an exemption stated in Part III of the ATI Act 2018.

Personal Information of a Third Party [Section 21]

An Information Officer may refuse a request for information if its release would involve the unreasonable disclosure of personal information about a natural third party, including a deceased individual. However, a request shall not be refused where—

  1. the third party does not make a representation under section 33(3) stating why access to the information should not be granted;
  2. the third party consents to the disclosure;
  3. the third party has been deceased for more than 10 years;
  4. the information is in the public domain;
  5. the information relates to the physical or mental wellbeing of an individual who is under the care of the requestor and who is —
    1. under the age of 18 years; or
    2. incapable of understanding the nature of the request, and giving access would be in the individual’s interests;
  6. the information is about a deceased individual and the requestor is— the individual’s next of kin or legal representative;
    1. making the request with the written consent of the individual’s next of kin or legal representative;
    2. the executor of the deceased’s estate; or
    3. the trustee of a trust which can benefit from the deceased individual’s estate;
  7. the information relates to the position or functions of an individual who is or was an official of the information holder or any other public body;
  8. the information was given to the information holder by the individual to whom it relates and the individual was informed by or on behalf of the information holder, before it was given, that the information belongs to a class of information that would or might be made available to the public.

Commercial and Confidential Information of an Information Holder or a Third Party [Section 22]

An Information Officer may refuse a request for information if it contains —

  1. trade secrets of the information holder or a third party; or
  2. Information about the information holder or a third party that would substantially prejudice a legitimate commercial or financial interest of the information holder or third party.

 

A request may not be refused where —

  1. the disclosure of the information would facilitate accountability and transparency of decisions taken by the information holder;
  2. the information relates to the expenditure of public funds;
  3. the disclosure of the information would reveal misconduct or deception;
  4. the third party consents to the disclosure; or
  5. the information is in the public domain.

Protection of Life, Health and Safety of an Individual [Section 23]

An Information Officer may refuse a request for information where the release of the information is likely to endanger the life, health or safety of an individual.

National Security and Defence [Section 24]

An Information Officer may refuse to grant access to information if such access would cause substantial prejudice to the security or defence of the state, where “security or defence of the state” means—

  1. military tactics or strategy or military exercises or operations undertaken in preparation for hostilities or in connection with the detection, prevention, suppression, or curtailment of subversive or hostile activities;
  2. intelligence relating to —
    1. the defence of the state; or
    2. the detection, prevention, suppression or curtailment of subversive or hostile activities;
  3. methods of, and scientific or technical equipment for, collecting, assessing or handling information referred to in paragraph (b);
  4. the identity of a confidential source; or
  5. the quantity, characteristics, capabilities, vulnerabilities or deployment of anything being designed, developed, produced or considered for use as weapons or such other equipment, excluding nuclear weapons.

 

“Subversive or hostile activities here means”:

  1. an attack against the state by a foreign element;
  2. acts of sabotage or terrorism aimed at the people of the state or a strategic asset of the state, whether inside or outside the state; or
  3. a foreign or hostile intelligence operation.

International Relations [Section 25]

An Information Officer may refuse to grant access to information:

  1. supplied by or on behalf of the state to another state or an international organisation in terms of an international agreement with that state or organisation which requires the information to be held in confidence;
  2. required to be held in confidence by international law;
  3. on the positions adopted or to be adopted by the state, another state or an international organisation for the purpose of present or future international negotiations; or
  4. that constitutes diplomatic correspondence exchanges with another state or with an international organisation or official correspondence exchanges with diplomatic missions or consular posts of the country,

If the release of the information would cause substantial prejudice to the international relations of the state.

Economic Interests of the State [Section 26]

An Information Officer may refuse to grant access to information if the disclosure of such information would cause serious prejudice to the economy of the state by disclosing prematurely decisions to change or continue economic or financial policy relating to:

  1. exchange rates;
  2. the regulation of banking or credit;
  3. taxation;
  4. the stability, control and adjustment of prices of goods and services, rents and other costs and rates of wages, salaries and other income; or
  5. the entering into of overseas trade agreements.

Law Enforcement [Section 27]

An Information Officer may refuse to grant access to information, if such access would cause prejudice to:

  1. the prevention or detection of crime;
  2. the apprehension or prosecution of offenders;
  3. the administration of justice;
  4. the assessment or collection of any tax or duty; or
  5. endanger the security and life of an informant relating to a crime or investigation.

Privileged Documents [Section 28]

An Information Officer may refuse to grant access to information if it:

  1. (a) consists of confidential communication between a medical practitioner and his or her patient;
  2. (b) consists of confidential communication between a lawyer and his or her client;
  3. (c) consists of confidential communication between a journalist and his or her source; or
  4. (d) would otherwise be privileged from production in legal proceedings,
  5. (e) Unless the patient, client, source or person, as the case may be, entitled to the privilege consents to the release or has waived the privilege.

Academic or Professional Examination and Recruitment Processes [Section 29]

An Information Officer may refuse a request for information relating to an academic or professional examination or recruitment or selection process prior to the completion of that examination or recruitment or selection process if the release of the information is likely to jeopardise the integrity of that examination or recruitment or selection process.

Section 29 subsection (2) provides that Information referred to under subsection (1) shall be released on request after the academic or professional examination or recruitment or selection process has been completed.

Proposal Submitted to Cabinet [Section 30]

An Information Officer may refuse a request for information relating to a proposal submitted to the Cabinet for consideration and minutes and decisions of the Cabinet unless authorised by the Cabinet Secretary for such release.

Vexatious Requests Or Provision In Other Law For Information

Section 32 (1) state that An Information Officer may refuse a request if the request is manifestly vexatious. Subsection (2) state that an information Officer may refuse a request in cases where any written law other than this Act provides for giving the information requested.

Severance [Section 31]

Where a portion of a record or document containing requested information is exempt from release under this Part, the exempt portion of the information shall be severed or redacted from the record or document and access to the remainder of the information shall be granted to the requestor. Therefore, if the requested information falls within an exception under the ATI Act, where possible, Information Officers may release that portion of a record that or body of records or information that falls outside of the exemption by redacting. (i.e., obscuring the non-releasable part of the text/information) or severing that portion of the record or body of records or information that may be released from that which cannot be released

Disclosure Statement

The disclosure log lists information that has been released in response to an Access to Information access request. The disclosure log requirement does not apply to:

  • Any information falls under the exemption or require consent of the third Party Information

 

The information listed in our disclosure log has been released by the {Name of the public body} under the Access to Information Act 2018 and is available for public access.

A link is provided if the information can be downloaded from this website or another website.

Information that has been released to an applicant in response to an FOI access request but is not available on our website may be obtained on request.

Disclosure Logs

The ATI disclosure log is updated every quarterly. The log covers requests where access has been granted. Our list is not inclusive of the Exemption of the ATI, Act 2018; for example, it does not include the following:

  • documents of a personal or commercially valuable nature released under ATI
  • documents to which access has been refused or which are exempt from release under ATI
  • documents which have been released to the media or members of the public outside the ATI framework.

 

The information listed in our disclosure log has been released by the {Name of the public body} under the Access to Information Act 2018 and is available for public access.

A link is provided if the information can be downloaded from this website or another website.

Information that has been released to an applicant in response to an FOI access request but is not available on our website may be obtained on request.

Proactive Disclosure List

Manuals, policies, procedures or rules or similar instruments – which have been prepared for, or are used by, officers of the body in discharging that body’s functions, exercising powers and handling complaints, making decisions or recommendations or providing advice to persons outside the body with respect to rights, privileges or benefits, or to obligations, penalties or other consequences, to or for which persons may be entitled or liable;

Any prescribed forms  for engagement by members of the public with the public body;

The particulars of any arrangement, statutory or otherwise – that exists for consultation with, or representation by, members of the public in relation to the formulation or implementation of its policies, or similar documents;

Minutes meeting  where meetings of the public body, including its boards, councils, committees or similar other bodies are open to members of the public, the process for direct or indirect engagement and where a meeting is not open to the public, the contents of submissions received, the process for decision making and decisions reached;

Detailed information on the design and execution  of any subsidy programmes implemented with public funds, including the amounts allocated and expended, the criteria for accessing the subsidy, and the beneficiaries;

Contracts, licences, permits, authorisations and public-private partnerships – of which is granted by the public body;

Reports – containing the results of surveys, studies or tests, including scientific or technical reports and environmental impact assessment reports, prepared by the public body;

The particulars of an organisations – include their functions and duties

Information containing – interpretations or particulars of Acts or policies administered by the body;

Details of its processes and procedures – for creating, keeping, organising and maintaining information;

List of all the categories – of information held by the organisation or under its control;

Contact Person

Name: Mrs. Dina Antoine

Post title: Information Officer

Telephone No: 4303188

Email address: dantoine@infocom.sc

Postal address: P.O. Box 1342, KLA Residence, 3rd Floor, Room 9, Mont Fleuri

Opening Hours: 8am to 4pm