22 June 2012

Using PAIA to monitor government spending

The Freedom of Information Programme at SAHA has embarked on a project to determine how government departments spend their budget allocations.

The project seeks to find out where government departments are spending tax payer’s money. Using the Promotion of Access to Information Act (PAIA), SAHA has sought information on government spending on particular items in the 2010/2011 and 2011/2012 financial years.

The items on which spending has been sought include catering; air travel; accommodation; meeting venues; security; purchasing, maintaining and leasing vehicles; leasing and maintaining office space; drivers for departmental staff; and team building exercises.

Identical requests for the information under PAIA have been sent to 24 key public bodies to allow SAHA to compare spending between government departments, as well as assess government spending on such matters more generally.

To date SAHA has received acknowledgements from 6 of those public bodies and two bodies, the Department of Public Service and Administration and the Department of Trade and Industry, have released the requested information.

Released information can be accessed from SAHA’s Freedom of Information Programme collection: