29 September 2010

Right to Know Day 2010

On 28 September 2010, the world celebrated international Right to Know Day. In recognition of this, the National Information Officers' Forum was held at the Sunnyside Park Hotel, Parktown, with the assistance of the South African Human Rights Commission and the Open Democracy Advice Centre.

Poster issued by Anti-Censorship Action Group, SAHA Poster Collection, AL2446_02134

The National Information Officers' Forum is one of the few opportunities for information and deputy information officers from around the country to meet together, share information and also develop strategies around best practice. This is vital as one of the fundamental problems with the Promotion of Access to Information Act 2 of 2000 (PAIA) is the implementation of the Act by public bodies.

The event was run by the Coordinating Committee elected at the previous Forum, consisting of Ernest Chipu (Chair), Jabu Nkatingi (Deputy Chair), Gabriella Razzano, Andiswa Ncedani and Eddie Laubscher. The Committee has been active on behalf of the National Forum, launching provincial forums this year in both KwaZulu-Natal and the North West Province. This is just one of the many ways that the Forum is assisting in the development of an effective and open implementation of PAIA. It also served as an opportunity to discuss recent legislative and case law developments around access to information, as well as feedback on what the civil society sector has been contributing as well.

Golden Key Awards

The Forum was followed by the celebration of the Golden Key Awards that serve to acknowledge best practices by public institutions which promote openness, responsiveness and information sharing in the country through their implementation of PAIA.

The Award recipients for 2010 were as follows:

Best Overall Institution:                 Limpopo Department of Education
Best National Institution:               Department of Social Development
Best Provincial Department:           Limpopo Department of Education
Best Municipality:                          The City of Cape Town
Best Deputy Information Officer:    Limpopo Department of Agriculture, Mr Netshifhire
                                                 The City of Cape Town, Advocate Jill Fabing
Best Media Engagement:               The Daily Dispatch
Best User of PAIA:                        The Legal Resources Centre