Country

Zimbabwe

Zimbabwe

Name of law : Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act
First adopted : 2002

Section Max ScoreScore
Right of Access 6 2
Scope 30 16
Requesting procedures 30 10
Exceptions 30 14
Appeals 30 22
Sanctions 8 1
Promotional measures 16 5
TOTAL 150 70

Introduction:
This law is problematic in several respects, most notably through its exceptions, many of which are overly broad and not harm tested. The law also does not apply to the legislative branch, and is extremely vague with regards to requesting procedures.
Right of Access

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1 The legal framework (including jurisprudence) recognises a fundamental right of access to information.Score 0 for no constitutional right to information, 1 point for a limited constitutional right, 2 points for full constitutional recognition of a public right of access to information.2 YES Article 20 of the Constitutional Right: "Protection of freedom of expression (1) Except with his own consent or by way of parental discipline, no person shall be hindered in the enjoyment of his freedom of expression, that is to say, freedom to hold opinions and to receive and impart ideas and information without interference, and freedom from interference with his correspondence. (2) Nothing contained in or done under the authority of any law shall be held to be in contravention of subsection (1) to the extent that the law in question makes provision— (a) in the interests of defence, public safety, public order, the economic interests of the State, public morality or public health; (b) for the purpose of— (i) protecting the reputations, rights and freedoms of other persons or the private lives of persons concerned in legal proceedings; (ii) preventing the disclosure of information received in confidence; (iii) maintaining the authority and independence of the courts or tribunals or the Senate or the House of Assembly; (iv) regulating the technical administration, technical operation or general efficiency of telephony, telegraphy, posts, wireless broadcasting or television or creating or regulating any monopoly in these fields; (v) in the case of correspondence, preventing the unlawful dispatch therewith of other matter; or (c) that imposes restrictions upon public officers; except so far as that provision or, as the case may be, the thing done under the authority thereof is shown not to be reasonably justifiable in a democratic society. (3) No religious denomination and no person or group of persons shall be prevented from establishing and maintaining schools, whether or not that denomination, person or group is in receipt of any subsidy, grant or other form of financial assistance from the State. (4) Nothing contained in or done under the authority of any law shall be held to be in contravention of subsection (3) to the extent that the law in question makes provision— (a) in the interests of defence, public safety, public order, public morality, public health or town and country planning; or (b) for regulating such schools in the interests of persons receiving instruction therein; except so far as that provision or, as the case may be, the thing done under the authority thereof is shown not to be reasonably justifiable in a democratic society. (5) No person shall be prevented from sending to any school a child of whom that person is parent or guardian by reason only that the school is not a school established or maintained by the State. (6) The provisions of subsection (1) shall not be held to confer on any person a right to exercise his freedom of expression in or on any road, street, lane, path, pavement, side-walk, thoroughfare or similar place which exists for the free passage of persons or vehicles." Constitutional Right - s. 20
2 The legal framework creates a specific presumption in favour of access to all information held by public authorities, subject only to limited exceptions.No=0, Partially=1, Yes=22 NO Not mentioned.
3 3.1 The legal framework contains a specific statement of principles calling for a broad interpretation of the RTI law
3.2 The legal framework emphasises the benefits of the right to information?
3.1(Y/N - max 1 point)
3.2 (Y/N - max 1 point)
2 NO Not mentioned.




Scope

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4 Everyone (including non-citizens and legal entities) has the right to file requests for information.Score 0 point if only residents/citizens; 1 point for all natural persons; 1 point for legal persons. 2 NO 5(3)(a): < Nothing contained in this Act shall confer any rights to information or to a record to—> "a person who is not a citizen of Zimbabwe, or is not regarded as permanently resident in Zimbabwe by virtue of the Immigration Act [Chapter 4:02], or is not the holder of a temporary employment or residence permit or student’s permit issued in terms of that Act;"
5 The right of access applies to all material held by or on behalf of public authorities which is recorded in any format, regardless of who produced it.Score 1-3 points if limited definition of information information such as not "internal documents" or databases excluded, 4 points for all information with no exceptions.4 Partially 2(1): <...> "“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;" <...> Definition of "record" under part 1 excludes computerized programs or other things that produce records.
6 Requesters have a right to access both information and records/documents (i.e. a right both to ask for information and to apply for specific documents).Score 1 point for only documents, 1 point for information2 Partially 8(2): "Where necessary, the head of a public body shall create a record for an applicant if— (a) the record can be created from a machine readable record in the custody or under the control of public body using its normal computer hardware and software and technical expertise; and (b) creating the record will not unreasonably interfere with the operations of the public body." Art 8(2) allows for some new records to be created at the behest of applicants, so long as this doesn't require unreasonable effort.
7 The right of access applies to the executive branch with no bodies or classes of information excluded.This includes executive (cabinet) and adminsitration including all ministries, departments, local government, public schools, public health care bodies, the police, the armed forces, security services, and bodies owned or controlled by the above.Score 4 points for central government agencies covered: 1 for the head of state, 1 for ministries, 1 for other non-statutory agencies created by the ministries, 1 for state and local government if the government is unitary. If it´s a federalist system, 2 points for the non-statutory agencies. This can be determined by examining the length and thoroughness of the list, if such a schedule exists. Score 1 point for the archives. Add three points and deduct 1 for each exempted central agency (such as the armed forces, police, etc).8 Partially Schedule 1(f): "material placed in the National Archives or the archives of a national body by or for a person or agency other than a public body;" Schedule 1(g): " any record or information relating to any matter or issue referred to in section 31K of the Constitution, and any matter or issue relating to the exercise of the functions and powers of the President." Schedule 2: "PUBLIC BODIES AND HEADS OF PUBLIC BODIES PART I Public Body - Head Any government department - The Permanent Secretary Any statutory corporation, authority, board, committee, commission or council, or other statutory body - The chairperson, chief executive officer, director- general, general manager Any government agency or office of which the Permanent Secretary is not the head - The person in charge of such agency or office Office of the Registrar-General - The Registrar-General Office of the Registrar of the High Court/Supreme Court/Administrative Court/Office of the Labour Relations Tribunal - The registrar of that court Office of the Clerk of the Magistrates’ Court/Community Court - The clerk of court of that court Local authority - Executive Mayor, Town Clerk, Chief Executive Officer A body referred to in Part II - The chairperson, chief executive officer, director-general, general manager, registrar or other person by whatever title called having responsibilities similar to those attaching to the foregoing offices PART II Estate Agents Council of Zimbabwe Medical Council of Zimbabwe Medicines Control Council of Zimbabwe Bankers Association of Zimbabwe Institute of Bankers in Zimbabwe Institute of Chartered Secretaries and Administrators in Zimbabwe Institute of Chartered Accountants of Zimbabwe Zimbabwe Institution of Engineers Chartered Institute of Management Accountants Law Society of Zimbabwe Institute of Architects of Zimbabwe and Architects Council Institute of Directors Institute of Environmental Studies Institute of Mining Research Institute of Personnel Management (Zimbabwe) Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions Zimbabwe Federation of Trade Unions Medical aid societies Zimbabwe Stock Exchange Zimbabwe National Traditional Healers Association Commercial Farmers Union Zimbabwe Farmers Union Indigenous Commercial Farmers Union Public companies" Schedule 1(f) - applies to archives but with an exception (which they get docked for under that section). Schedule 1(g) basically exempts the president. Schedule 2 includes all gov't departments (should mean ministries). Schedule 2 applies it to local authorities and to a list of some additional agencies, but not enough to warrant a point.
8 The right of access applies to the legislature, including both administrative and other information, with no bodies excluded. Score 1 point if the law only applies to administrative documents, 2-3 points if some bodies excluded, 4 points if all legislative branch at all levels of government4 NO Schedule 1(b): "any record that is protected in terms of the Privileges, Immunities and Powers of Parliament Act [Chapter 2:08];" 1st schedule (b) exempts application of the act to information pertaining to the legislature, which is governed by the privileges, immunities and powers of parliament act
9 The right of access applies to the judicial branch, including both administrative and other information, with no bodies excluded. Score 1 point if the law only applies to administrative documents, 2-3 points if some bodies excluded, 4 points if all judicial branch at all levels of government4 Partially Schedule 2: "PUBLIC BODIES AND HEADS OF PUBLIC BODIES PART I Public Body - Head Any government department - The Permanent Secretary Any statutory corporation, authority, board, committee, commission or council, or other statutory body - The chairperson, chief executive officer, director- general, general manager Any government agency or office of which the Permanent Secretary is not the head - The person in charge of such agency or office Office of the Registrar-General - The Registrar-General Office of the Registrar of the High Court/Supreme Court/Administrative Court/Office of the Labour Relations Tribunal - The registrar of that court Office of the Clerk of the Magistrates’ Court/Community Court - The clerk of court of that court Local authority - Executive Mayor, Town Clerk, Chief Executive Officer A body referred to in Part II - The chairperson, chief executive officer, director-general, general manager, registrar or other person by whatever title called having responsibilities similar to those attaching to the foregoing offices PART II Estate Agents Council of Zimbabwe Medical Council of Zimbabwe Medicines Control Council of Zimbabwe Bankers Association of Zimbabwe Institute of Bankers in Zimbabwe Institute of Chartered Secretaries and Administrators in Zimbabwe Institute of Chartered Accountants of Zimbabwe Zimbabwe Institution of Engineers Chartered Institute of Management Accountants Law Society of Zimbabwe Institute of Architects of Zimbabwe and Architects Council Institute of Directors Institute of Environmental Studies Institute of Mining Research Institute of Personnel Management (Zimbabwe) Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions Zimbabwe Federation of Trade Unions Medical aid societies Zimbabwe Stock Exchange Zimbabwe National Traditional Healers Association Commercial Farmers Union Zimbabwe Farmers Union Indigenous Commercial Farmers Union Public companies" Schedule 1(a): "A personal note, communication or draft decision of a person who is acting in a judicial or quasi-judicial capacity;" Schedule 2 applies it to the judiciary, but schedule 1 excludes personal notes, communications or draft decisions
10 The right of access applies to State-owned enterprises (commercial entities that are owned or controlled by the State). Score 1 point if some, 2 points if all2 YES Schedule 2 Part II: "Estate Agents Council of Zimbabwe Medical Council of Zimbabwe Medicines Control Council of Zimbabwe Bankers Association of Zimbabwe Institute of Bankers in Zimbabwe Institute of Chartered Secretaries and Administrators in Zimbabwe Institute of Chartered Accountants of Zimbabwe Zimbabwe Institution of Engineers Chartered Institute of Management Accountants Law Society of Zimbabwe Institute of Architects of Zimbabwe and Architects Council Institute of Directors Institute of Environmental Studies Institute of Mining Research Institute of Personnel Management (Zimbabwe) Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions Zimbabwe Federation of Trade Unions Medical aid societies Zimbabwe Stock Exchange Zimbabwe National Traditional Healers Association Commercial Farmers Union Zimbabwe Farmers Union Indigenous Commercial Farmers Union Public companies" 19: "(1) The head of a public body may refuse to disclose to an applicant information which may result in harm to the planning, financial or economic interests of the public body or the State. (2) The information referred to in subsection (1) shall include— (a) trade secrets of a public body or the State; or (b) financial, commercial scientific or technical information that belongs to a public body or to the State and has monetary value; or (c) plans that relate to the management of personnel of or the administration of a public body or the State and that have not yet been implemented or made public; or (d) information whose disclosure may result in the premature disclosure of a proposal or project or in undue financial loss or gain to a third party; (e) information relating to negotiations made by or for a public body or the State. (3) Subsection (1) shall not apply to the results of product or environment testing carried out by or for a public body, unless the testing was done— (a) as a service to a person, group of persons or organisation who paid a fee for such service; or (b) for the purpose of developing methods of testing." Schedule 2 Part II includes public companies, though s 19 limits access where the information required relates to financial or economic interests.
11 The right of access applies to other public authorities, including constitutional, statutory and oversight bodies (such as an election commission or information commission/er). Score 1 point if some bodies, 2 points if all2 YES Schedule 2: "PUBLIC BODIES AND HEADS OF PUBLIC BODIES PART I Public Body - Head Any government department - The Permanent Secretary Any statutory corporation, authority, board, committee, commission or council, or other statutory body - The chairperson, chief executive officer, director- general, general manager Any government agency or office of which the Permanent Secretary is not the head - The person in charge of such agency or office Office of the Registrar-General - The Registrar-General Office of the Registrar of the High Court/Supreme Court/Administrative Court/Office of the Labour Relations Tribunal - The registrar of that court Office of the Clerk of the Magistrates’ Court/Community Court - The clerk of court of that court Local authority - Executive Mayor, Town Clerk, Chief Executive Officer A body referred to in Part II - The chairperson, chief executive officer, director-general, general manager, registrar or other person by whatever title called having responsibilities similar to those attaching to the foregoing offices PART II Estate Agents Council of Zimbabwe Medical Council of Zimbabwe Medicines Control Council of Zimbabwe Bankers Association of Zimbabwe Institute of Bankers in Zimbabwe Institute of Chartered Secretaries and Administrators in Zimbabwe Institute of Chartered Accountants of Zimbabwe Zimbabwe Institution of Engineers Chartered Institute of Management Accountants Law Society of Zimbabwe Institute of Architects of Zimbabwe and Architects Council Institute of Directors Institute of Environmental Studies Institute of Mining Research Institute of Personnel Management (Zimbabwe) Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions Zimbabwe Federation of Trade Unions Medical aid societies Zimbabwe Stock Exchange Zimbabwe National Traditional Healers Association Commercial Farmers Union Zimbabwe Farmers Union Indigenous Commercial Farmers Union Public companies" Statutory corporations are listed in schedule 2.
12 The right of access applies to a) private bodies that perform a public function and b) private bodies that receive significant public funding. 1 point for public functions, 1 point for public funding 2 NO Not mentioned.

Requesting Procedures

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Comments
13 Requesters are not required to provide reasons for their requests.Y/N answer 0 or 2 points2 NO Procedure is vague.
14 Requesters are only required to provide the details necessary for identifying and delivering the information (i.e. some form of address for delivery).Score Max 2 points and deduct if requesters are required to give any of the following: ID number, telephone number, residential address, etc.2 NO Procedure is vague.
15 There are clear and relatively simple procedures for making requests. Requests may be submitted by any means of communication, with no requirement to use official forms or to state that the information is being requested under the access to information law.Max 2 points. Considerations include that there is no requirement to state that the request is under the RTI law, nor to use an official form, nor to identify the document being sought. 2 NO 6: "An applicant who requires access to a record that is in the custody or control of a public body shall make a request, in writing, to the public body, giving adequate and precise details to enable the public body to locate the information so requested." Art 6: Procedures are vague, and requests must be done in writing.
16 Public officials are required provide assistance to help requesters formulate their requests, or to contact and assist requesters where requests that have been made are vague, unduly broad or otherwise need clarification. Score 1 point for help in formulation and 1 point for clarification procedures2 YES 8: "(1) The head of a public body shall take every reasonable step to assist an applicant and shall, subject to section 11 or 12, respond as soon as is reasonably possible in the circumstances, but not later than 30 days, to each request for access to a record. (2) Where necessary, the head of a public body shall create a record for an applicant if— (a) the record can be created from a machine readable record in the custody or under the control of public body using its normal computer hardware and software and technical expertise; and (b) creating the record will not unreasonably interfere with the operations of the public body." Art 8 duty to take "every reasonable step" to help requestors.
17     Public officials are required to provide assistance to requesters who require it because of special needs, for example because they are illiterate or disabled.Score Yes=2 point, No=02 YES 8: "(1) The head of a public body shall take every reasonable step to assist an applicant and shall, subject to section 11 or 12, respond as soon as is reasonably possible in the circumstances, but not later than 30 days, to each request for access to a record. (2) Where necessary, the head of a public body shall create a record for an applicant if— (a) the record can be created from a machine readable record in the custody or under the control of public body using its normal computer hardware and software and technical expertise; and (b) creating the record will not unreasonably interfere with the operations of the public body." Art 8 duty to take "every reasonable step" to help requestors.
18 Requesters are provided with a receipt or acknowledgement upon lodging a request within a reasonable timeframe, which should not exceed 5 working daysScore 1 point for receipt, 1 point for max 5 working days2 NO Not mentioned.
19 Clear and appropriate procedures are in place for situations where the authority to which a request is directed does not have the requested information. This includes an obligation to inform the requester that the information is not held and to refer the requester to another institution or to transfer the request where the public authority knows where the information is held.Score: 1 point for information not held, 1 for referrals or 2 for transfers2 Partially 12: "(1) The head of a public body may, within 10 days after a request for access to a record is received, transfer the request to another public body if it appears to him that the record is in the custody or under the control of that other public body or affects that other body. (2) Where a request is transferred in terms of subsection (1), the head of the transferring public body shall notify the applicant of such transfer. (3) The head of the public body to whom the transfer was made shall respond to the applicant’s request not later than 30 days after receiving the request, unless the time for responding has been extended in terms of section 11." Art 12 allows for transfers, but these are allowed whenever the information relates to another body and the transfer of the request resets the 30 day clock.
20 Public authorities are required to comply with requesters’ preferences regarding how they access information, subject only to clear and limited overrides (e.g. to protect a record).Score: 2 points for Yes, only 1 point if some limitations2 NO Act has no such provision
21 Public authorities are required to respond to requests as soon as possible.Score: No=0, Yes=2 points 2 YES 8(1): "The head of a public body shall take every reasonable step to assist an applicant and shall, subject to section 11 or 12, respond as soon as is reasonably possible in the circumstances, but not later than 30 days, to each request for access to a record."
22 There are clear and reasonable maximum timelines (20 working days or less) for responding to requests, regardless of the manner of satisfying the request (including through publication).Score: 1 point for timeframes of 20 working days (or 1 month, 30 days or 4 weeks). Score 2 points for 10 working days (or 15 days, or two weeks) or less.2 Partially 8(1): "The head of a public body shall take every reasonable step to assist an applicant and shall, subject to section 11 or 12, respond as soon as is reasonably possible in the circumstances, but not later than 30 days, to each request for access to a record." 30 days
23 There are clear limits on timeline extensions (20 working days or less), including a requirement that requesters be notified and provided with the reasons for the extension.---2 Partially 11: "(1) The head of a public body may extend the time for responding to a request by a further period not exceeding 30 days or, with the Commission’s permission, for a longer period if— (a) the applicant does not give sufficient detail to enable the public body to identify the requested record; or (b) a large number of records is requested or is required to be searched, and meeting the time limit will unreasonably interfere with the operations of the public body; or (c) more time is needed to consult with a third party affected by the request or another public body before the head of the public body can decide whether or not to give the applicant access to the requested record. (2) Where the time is extended in terms of subsection (1), the head of the public body shall inform the applicant— (a) of the reason for such extension; and (b) when he should expect a response." Art 11 requires that the applicant be notified, but allows some extensions beyond 30 days.
24 It is free to file requests.Score: No=0, Yes=2 points2 NO 7(b): "any service rendered in connection with the provision of access to any record by the public body concerned." 7(b) allows fees for any service related to access. This could include requests.
25 There are clear rules relating to access fees, which are set centrally, rather than being determined by individual public authorities. These include a requirement that fees be limited to the cost of reproducing and sending the information (so that inspection of documents and electronic copies are free) and a certain initial number of pages (at least 20) are provided for free. Score 1 point for fees being limited to reproduction and delivery costs and set centrally, 1 point for at least 20 pages free of charge or for fees being optional2 Partially 7: "Subject to any exemption prescribed under this Act or any other enactment, an applicant shall be required to pay such fee as may be so prescribed for— (a) obtaining access to any record; and (b) any service rendered in connection with the provision of access to any record by the public body concerned." 91(2)(k): "the fee to be paid to a public body to access information or a record;" Art 7 rules contain no such limits, but 91(2)(k) says the fees should be centrally set by the minister… but no guidance on their amount. Plus the minister is political - no point.
26   There are fee waivers for impecunious requesters ---2 NO Not mentioned.
27 There are no limitations on or charges for reuse of information received from public bodies, except where a third party (which is not a public authority) holds a legally-protected copyright over the information. Score: No=0, Yes=2 points2 NO Not mentioned.


Exceptions

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28 The standards in the RTI Law trump restrictions on information disclosure (secrecy provisions) in other legislation to the extent of any conflict.Score 4 points for a resounding "yes" and 1/2/3 points if only for some classes of information or for some exceptions. If the state secrets law is not trumped by the RTI law max score is 2 points. 4 Partially 3: "(1) This Act shall apply to matters relating to access to information, protection of privacy and the mass 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 mass media is in conflict or inconsistent with this Act, this Act shall prevail." S 3 recognizes limits on information in other laws, but to the extent of any conflict the RTI act prevails (expert).
29 The exceptions to the right of access are consistent with international standards. Permissible exceptions are: national security; international relations; public health and safety; the prevention, investigation and prosecution of legal wrongs; privacy; legitimate commercial and other economic interests; management of the economy; fair administration of justice and legal advice privilege; conservation of the environment; and legitimate policy making and other operations of public authorities. It is also permissible to refer requesters to information which is already publicly available, for example online or in published form.Score 10 points and then deduct 1 point for each exception which either (a) falls outside of this list and/or (b) is more broadly framed10 Partially 9(4)(c) : "is not in the public interest." 17(1)(j) : "result in exposing a person to civil liability for disclosing personal information contained in a law enforcement record;" 20: "The head of a public body shall not disclose research information to the applicant if such disclosure will result in the loss by the researcher of the right of first publication of the results of such research or any intellectual property rights." 22: "(1) The head of a public body may refuse to disclose to an applicant information, including personal information about the applicant, if the disclosure will result in a threat to another person’s safety, mental or physical health or interfere with public safety. (2) The head of a public body may refuse to disclose to an applicant personal information concerning the applicant if such disclosure will result in a threat to the applicant’s safety or mental or physical health." Schedule 1: "RECORDS EXCLUDED FROM APPLICATION OF ACT (a) A personal note, communication or draft decision of a person who is acting in a judicial or quasi-judicial capacity; (b) any record that is protected in terms of the Privileges, Immunities and Powers of Parliament Act [Chapter 2:08]; (c) a record that is created by or for, or is in the custody or control of a person in terms of the Children’s Act [Chapter 5:06] and relates to the exercise of that person’s functions under that Act; (d) a record of a question that is to be used in an examination or test; (e) a record containing teaching materials or research information of employees of a post-secondary educational body; (f) material placed in the National Archives or the archives of a national body by or for a person or agency other than a public body; (g) any record or information relating to any matter or issue referred to in section 31K of the Constitution, and any matter or issue relating to the exercise of the functions and powers of the President." 9(4)(c) - refusal is disclosure is not in the public interest. 17(1)(j) - information that would result in exposing a person to civil liability for disclosing personal information contained in a law enforcement record. 20 - intellectual property rights of government researchers. 22 - information that would threaten the applicant's safety or health. Schedule 1: A personal note, communication or draft decision of a person who is acting in a judicial or quasi-judicial capacity. Schedule 1(f) - archival information provided by non-state actors.
30 A harm test applies to all exceptions, so that it is only where disclosure poses a risk of actual harm to a protected interest that it may be refused. Score 4 points and then deduct 1 point for each exception which is not subject to the harm test 4 Partially 17(1)(e) : "reveal any information relating to or used in the exercise of prosecutorial discretion;" 18(1): "The head of a public body may, on the advice of the Minister responsible for local government or the Minister responsible for foreign affairs, as the case may be, refuse to disclose information to an applicant if such disclosure may— (a) affect the relations between the government and — (i) a municipal or rural district council; or (ii) the government of a foreign state; or (iii) an international organisation of states; (b) divulge information received in confidence from a government, council or organisation referred to in paragraph (a)." 14: "(1) No information relating to the deliberations of Cabinet or any of its committees shall he revealed or disclosed to any person who is not authorised to have access to such information. (2) The information referred to in subsection (1) shall include— (a) any advice, policy considerations and recommendations made to Cabinet; and (b) any draft legislation or regulations prepared for submission or submitted to Cabinet. (3) Subsection (1) shall not apply to information contained in a record that has been in existence for 25 or more years. (4) No information relating to the deliberations of a local government body which were held in camera shall be revealed or disclosed to any person who is not authorised to have access to such information. (5) Subsection (4) shall not apply to circumstances where the deliberations, resolution or draft resolution was made or considered in the presence of members of the public." 17(1)(e) any information relating to or used in the exercise of prosecutorial discretion. 18(1) - affect intergovernmental or intragovernmental relations. 14 - cabinet disclosures are not harm tested.
31 There is a mandatory public interest override so that information must be disclosed where this is in the overall public interest, even if this may harm a protected interest. There are ‘hard’ overrides (which apply absolutely), for example for information about human rights, corruption or crimes against humanity.Consider whether the override is subject to overarching limitations, whether it applies to only some exceptions, and whether it is mandatory.4 Partially 28: "(1) The head of a public body shall have a duty to disclose to— (a) an applicant; or (b) members of the public or interested or affected persons, whether or not a request has been made; information concerning— (i) the risk of significant harm to the health or safety of members of the public; or (ii) the risk of significant harm to the environment; or (iii) any matter that threatens national security; or (iv) any matter that is in the interest of public order; or (v) any matter that assists in the prevention, detection or suppression of crime; or (vi) any threat to public security or public order: Provided that information concerning any threat to public security or public order shall only be disclosed to the relevant law enforcement authorities. (2) Before disclosing any information in terms of subsection (1), the head of a public body shall, if possible, notify any third party to whom the information relates or directly affects and the Commission. (3) If it is not reasonably possible to comply with subsection (2), the head of the public body shall mail a notice of disclosure in the prescribed form to the last known address of the third party and to the Commission." 9: "(1) A response by the head of a public body to a request made in terms of section 6 shall inform the applicant— (a) whether or not he is entitled to access to the record or a part of the record; and (b) the place where, time when and manner in which such access will he given. (2) Where the head of a public body refuses access to a record or part of a record, he shall inform the applicant of the reasons therefor. (3) An applicant whose request for a record or part of a record has been refused by the head of a public body may request the Commission to review the public body’s decision. (4) The head of a public body may refuse a request for a record or part of a record if granting access to such a record— (a) will contravene this Act; or (b) will result in the disclosure of personal information pertaining to a third party that is protected from disclosure in terms of Part III; or (c) is not in the public interest." Article 28 contains a requirement for disclosure if it is in the public interest, but this only applies to some issues and it contains a caveat that law info concerning threats to public safety or order are only to be disclosed to law enforcement authorities. Art 9 allows for valid information not to be disclosed if it is not in the public interest to do so.
32 Information must be released as soon as an exception ceases to apply (for example, for after a contract tender process decision has been taken). The law contains a clause stating that exceptions to protect public interests do not apply to information which is over 20 years old.Score 1 point for each2 Partially Some of the exceptions contain sunset clauses, but these vary in length and are not universal.
33 Clear and appropriate procedures are in place for consulting with third parties who provided information which is the subject of a request on a confidential basis. Public authorities shall take into account any objections by third parties when considering requests for information, but third parties do not have veto power over the release of information.Score: 1 point for consultation, 1 further point if original time frames must be respected and the law allows for expedited appeals.2 YES 26: "(1) The head of a public body shall, if he intends to give an applicant access to a record that he has reason to believe contains information pertaining to a third party that may be protected from disclosure in terms of Part III, notify the third party, in writing, of his intention to give such access and afford him an opportunity within 20 days after the notice is given to make written representations to the public body explaining why the information should not be disclosed, (2) Where the head of a public body has been approached by an applicant with a request to give information pertaining to a third party and he does not intend to give the applicant access to such in formation, he shall notify the third party, in writing, of his intention not to give such access to a record. (3) The head of a public body shall, when giving notice in terms of subsection (1), also give the applicant a notice stating that— (a) the record he has requested contains information whose disclosure may affect the interests or invade the personal privacy of a third party; and (b) the third party is being given an opportunity to make representations concerning disclosure; and (e) a decision will be made within 30 days on whether or not to give the applicant access to the record. (4) The notice referred to in subsection (2) shall— (a) advise the third party that a request has been made by an applicant for access to a record containing information whose disclosure may affect his interests or invade his personal privacy; and (b) describe the contents of the record; and (c) state that, within 20 days after the notice is given, the third party may, in writing, consent to the disclosure thereof." 27: "(1) Within 30 days after notice is given in terms of subsection (1) or (2) of section 26, the head of the public body shall decide whether or not to give access to the record or to part of the record, but no decision may be made before— (a) the lapse of 21 days after the day notice is given; or (b) the day a response is received from the third party; whichever occurs first. (2) After reaching a decision in terms of subsection (1), the head of the public body shall give notice, in writing, of his decision to both the applicant and the third party. (3) If the head of the public body decides to give access to the record or to part of the record, the notice shall state that the applicant will be given access to the record within 20 days after the date the notice is given, unless the third party requests a review in terms of Part X." 28: "(1) The head of a public body shall have a duty to disclose to— (a) an applicant; or (b) members of the public or interested or affected persons, whether or not a request has been made; information concerning— (i) the risk of significant harm to the health or safety of members of the public; or (ii) the risk of significant harm to the environment; or (iii) any matter that threatens national security; or (iv) any matter that is in the interest of public order; or (v) any matter that assists in the prevention, detection or suppression of crime; or (vi) any threat to public security or public order: Provided that information concerning any threat to public security or public order shall only be disclosed to the relevant law enforcement authorities. (2) Before disclosing any information in terms of subsection (1), the head of a public body shall, if possible, notify any third party to whom the information relates or directly affects and the Commission. (3) If it is not reasonably possible to comply with subsection (2), the head of the public body shall mail a notice of disclosure in the prescribed form to the last known address of the third party and to the Commission." Art 26 - 28 - Good procedure. Timelines, while falling outside the original 30 days, nonetheless come within the extension period.
34 There is a severability clause so that where only part of a record is covered by an exception the remainder must be disclosed. Score 1 point if yes but sometimes can be refused (eg: if deletions render meaningless the document) and 2 points if partial access must always be granted2 YES 5(2): "Where information can be extracted from a record that contains excluded information, an applicant may have access to the part of the record that is not excluded information."
35 When refusing to provide access to information, public authorities must a) state the exact legal grounds and reason(s) for the refusal and b) inform the applicant of the relevant appeals procedures.Score Y/N: 1 point for a and 1 point for b2 Partially 9: "(1) A response by the head of a public body to a request made in terms of section 6 shall inform the applicant— (a) whether or not he is entitled to access to the record or a part of the record; and (b) the place where, time when and manner in which such access will be given. (2) Where the head of a public body refuses access to a record or part of a record, he shall inform the applicant of the reasons therefor. (3) An applicant whose request for a record or part of a record has been refused by the head of a public body may request the Commission to review the public body’s decision. (4) The head of a public body may refuse a request for a record or part of a record if granting access to such a record— (a) will contravene this Act; or (b) will result in the disclosure of personal information pertaining to a third party that is protected from disclosure in terms of Part III; or (c) is not in the public interest." Art 9 - requirement to provide a reason, but not notice of appeal procedures.


Appeals

Indicator

Description

Scoring instructions
MAX score
Findings

Points

Article

Comments
36 The law offers an internal appeal which is simple, free of charge and completed within clear timelines (20 working days or less).Score 2 points if the internal appeal fulfills these criteria, 1 point if an appeal is offered that does not fulfill this criteria, 0 for no internal appeals.2 NO No internal appeals.
37 Requesters have the right to lodge an (external) appeal with an independent administrative oversight body (e.g. an information commission or ombudsman). 1 for partial, 2 for yes2 YES 53: "(1) A person who makes a request to a head of a public body, other than the Commission, for access to a record or for correction of personal information may request the Commission to review any decision or act of the head of that public body that relates to that request. (2) A third party notified of a decision to give access may request the Commission to review any decision made by the head of the public body."
38 The member(s) of the oversight body are appointed in a manner that is protected against political interference and have security of tenure so they are protected against arbitrary dismissal (procedurally/substantively) once appointed.Score: 1 point for appointment procedure, 1 point for security of tenure2 Partially Schedule 4(4)(4): " The Minister, shall require a member suspended in terms of subparagraph (a) of subparagraph (2) to vacate his office if— (a) no representations are made by the member in terms of subparagraph (3); or (b) the Minister finds that, notwithstanding representations made in terms of subparagraph (3), the member is guilty of the misconduct alleged." Appointed by the president, but at least 3 members of the 5-7 member board must be nominated by journalists associations. But schedule 4(4)(4) denies them any security of tenure.
39 The oversight body reports to and has its budget approved by the parliament, or other effective mechanisms are in place to protect its financial independence.Score 1 point for reports to parliament, 1 point for budget approved by parliament2 Partially Schedule 3(10): "To employ, upon such terms and conditions as the Commission may think fit, such persons as may be necessary for conducting its affairs, and suspend or discharge any such persons." Schedule 3(12): "To provide pecuniary benefits for its employees on their retirement, resignation, discharge or other termination of service or in the event of their sickness or injury and for their dependants, and for that purpose to effect policies of insurance, establish pension or provident funds or make such other provision as may be necessary to secure for its employees and their dependants any or all of the pecuniary benefits to which this paragraph relates." Schedule 5: "1. The funds of the Commission shall consist of— (a) fees, charges and other income accruing to the Commission from licences issued and other things done by it in terms of this Act; and (b) the proceeds of any monetary penalties imposed by the Commission; and (c) such moneys as may be payable to the Commission from moneys appropriated for the purpose by Act of Parliament; and (d) such other moneys as may vest in or accrue to the Commission, whether in the course of its operations or otherwise. 2. The financial year of the Commission shall be the period of 12 months ending on the 31st December in each year. 3. Any surplus of income over expenditure at the end of the Commission’s financial year shall be appropriated to the Fund. 4. (1) The Board shall ensure that proper accounts and other records relating to such accounts are kept in respect of all the Commission’s activities, funds and property, including such particular accounts and records as the Minister may direct. (2) Not later than three months after the end of each financial year of the Commission, the Commission shall prepare and submit to the Minister a statement of accounts in respect of that financial year or such other period as the Minister may direct. 5. (1) Subject to the Audit and Exchequer Act [Chapter 22:03], the Commission shall appoint as auditors one or more persons approved by the Minister who are registered as public auditors in terms of the Public Accountants and Auditors Act [Chapter 27:12]. (2) The accounts kept by the Commission in terms of subparagraph (1) of paragraph 4 shall be examined by the auditors appointed in terms of subparagraph (1). (3) The auditors appointed in terms of subparagraph (1) shall make a report to the Board and the Minister on the statement of accounts prepared in terms of subparagraph (2) of paragraph 4 and such report shall state whether or not in their opinion the statement of accounts gives a true and fair view of the Commission’s affairs. (4) In addition to the report referred to in subparagraph (3), the Minister may require the Board to obtain from its auditors appointed in terms of subparagraph (1) such other reports, statements or explanations in connection with the Commission’s operations, funds and property as the Minister may consider expedient, and the Board shall forthwith comply with any such requirement. 6. (1) An auditor referred to in paragraph 5 shall be entitled at all reasonable times to require to be produced to him all accounts and other records relating to such accounts which are kept by the Commission or its agents and to require from any member of the Board or employee or agent of the Commission such information and explanations as in the auditor’s opinion are necessary for the purposes of his audit. (2) Any member of the Board or employee or agent of the Commission who fails without just cause to comply with a requirement of an auditor in terms of subparagraph (1) shall be guilty of an offence and liable to a fine not exceeding $1,000 or to imprisonment for a period not exceeding three months or to both such fine and such imprisonment." Schedule 4(8): "Members of the Board shall be paid— (a) such remuneration, if any, as the Minister may, from time to time, fix for members generally; and (b) such allowances, if any, as the Minister may, from time to time, fix to meet any reasonable expenses incurred by members in connection with the business of the Board." Schedule 3 sub 10 and sub 12 seems to say that the institution manages its own budget, and Schedule 5 says their budget comes from parliament. But schedule 4(8) gives the minister power over their salaries. According to our expert, the institution lacks meaningful financial independence, and it reports to the minister.
40 There are prohibitions on individuals with strong political connections from being appointed to this body and requirements of professional expertise.Score 1 point for not politically connected, 1 point for professional expertise2 NO Schedule 4: "1. (1) Subject to this Schedule, a member shall hold office for such period, not exceeding three years, as the Minister may fix on his appointment. (2) A member shall continue in office after the expiry of his term until he has been re-appointed or his successor has been appointed: Provided that a member shall not hold office in terms of this subparagraph for longer than six months. (3) Subject to paragraph 9, a member shall hold office on such terms and conditions as the Minister may fix in relation to members generally. (4) A retiring member is eligible for re-appointment as a member. (5) The terms and conditions of office of a member shall not, without the member’s consent, be altered to his detriment during his tenure of office. 2. (1) The Minister shall not appoint a person as a member and no person shall be qualified to hold office as a member who— (a) is not a citizen of Zimbabwe; or (b) has a financial interest in any business connected with broadcasting services or systems, or is engaged in any activity connected with any such service or system, or is married or connected to or associated with a person who has such an interest or is engaged in such an activity, unless the Minister is satisfied that the interest or activity will not interfere with the person’s impartial discharge of his duties as a member; or (c) has, in terms of a law in force in any country— (i) been adjudged or otherwise declared insolvent or bankrupt and has not been rehabilitated or discharged; or (ii) made an assignment to, or arrangement or composition with, his creditors which has not been rescinded or set aside; or (d) has, within the period of five years immediately preceding the date of his proposed appointment, been convicted— (i) in Zimbabwe, of an offence; or (ii) outside Zimbabwe, in respect of conduct which, if committed in Zimbabwe, would constitute an offence; and sentenced to a term of imprisonment exceeding six months imposed without the option of a fine, whether or not any portion has been suspended, and has not received a free pardon. (2) A person who is— (a) a member of Parliament; or (b) a member of two or more other statutory bodies; shall not be appointed as a member of the Commission, nor shall he be qualified to hold office as a member. (3) For the purposes of subparagraph (b) of subparagraph (2) a person who is appointed to a council, board or other authority which is a statutory body or which is responsible for the administration of the affairs of a statutory body shall be regarded as a member of that statutory body. 3. A member shall vacate his office and his office shall become vacant— (a) three months after the date upon which he gives notice in writing to the Minister of his intention to resign, or on the expiry of such other period of notice as he and the Minister may agree; or (b) on the date he begins to serve a sentence of imprisonment imposed without the option of a fine— (i) in Zimbabwe, in respect of an offence; or (ii) outside Zimbabwe, in respect of conduct which, if committed in Zimbabwe, would constitute an - offence; or (c) if he becomes disqualified in terms of subparagraph (a), (b) or (c) of subparagraph (1) of paragraph 2, or in terms of subparagraph (2) of that paragraph, to hold office as a member; or (d) if he is required in terms of paragraph 4 to vacate his office. 4. (1) The Minister may require a member to vacate his office if the member— (a) has, subject to subparagraph (3), been found to have conducted himself in a manner that renders him unsuitable as a member, including a contravention of paragraph 9; or (b) has failed to comply with any term or condition of his office fixed by the Minister in terms of subparagraph (3) of paragraph 1; or (c) is mentally or physically incapable of efficiently carrying out his functions as a member; or (d) has been absent without the permission of the Board from two consecutive meetings of the Commission of which he was given at least seven days’ notice, and there was no just cause for the member’s absence. (2) The Minister may suspend a member— (a) whom he suspects on reasonable grounds of having been guilty of conduct referred to in subparagraph (a) of subparagraph (1); or (b) against whom criminal proceedings have been instituted for an offence in respect of which a sentence of imprisonment without the option of a fine may be imposed; and while that member is so suspended he shall not carry out any functions as a member. (3) A member suspended in terms of subparagraph (a) of subparagraph (2) shall be given notice in writing of the grounds for the suspension and may, within 14 days of being so notified, make written representations to the Minister showing cause why no finding of misconduct rendering him unsuitable to be member of the Board should be made. (4) The Minister, shall require a member suspended in terms of subparagraph (a) of subparagraph (2) to vacate his office if— (a) no representations are made by the member in terms of subparagraph (3); or (b) the Minister finds that, notwithstanding representations made in terms of subparagraph (3), the member is guilty of the misconduct alleged. 5. On the death of, or vacation of office by, a member, the Minister may appoint a qualified person to fill the vacancy: Provided that if as a result of the vacancy the number of members falls below the minimum number specified in paragraph 5, the Minister shall fill the vacancy within three weeks. Chairman and vice-chairman of Board 6. (1) The Minister shall designate one of the members as chairman of the Board and another member as vice-chairman of the Board. (2) The vice-chairman of the Board shall perform the chairman’s functions whenever the chairman is for any reason unable to perform them. (3) The chairman or vice-chairman of the Board may at any time resign his office as such by one month’s notice in writing to the Minister. (4) Whenever the office of chairman or vice-chairman of the Board falls vacant, the Minister shall fill the vacancy within three weeks. 7. (1) The Board shall hold its first meeting on such date and at such place as the Minister may fix, being not more than three months after the fixed date, and thereafter the Board shall meet for the dispatch of business as often as is necessary or expedient and, subject to this paragraph, may adjourn, close and otherwise regulate its meetings and procedure as it thinks fit: Provided that the Board shall meet not less than six times in each year. (2) The chairman of the Board— (a) may at any time convene a special meeting of the Board; and (b) shall convene a special meeting of the Board on the written request of— (i) the Minister, within such period as the Minister may specify; or (ii) not fewer than two members, not later than 14 days after his receipt of such request. (3) Written notice of any special meeting convened in terms of subparagraph (2) shall be sent to each member not later than seven days before the meeting and shall specify the business for which the meeting has been convened: Provided that if, in the opinion of the chairman or Minister, as the case may be, the urgency of the business for which the meeting is to be convened so requires, notice of not less than 48 hours may be given. (4) No business shall be discussed at a special meeting convened in terms of subparagraph (2) other than— (a) such business as may be determined by the chairman of the Board, where the chairman of the Board has convened the meeting in terms of subparagraph (a) of subparagraph 2; or (b) the business specified in the request for the meeting, where the chairman of the Board has convened the meeting in terms of subparagraph (b) of subparagraph 2. (5) The chairman or, in his absence, the vice-chairman shall preside at all meetings of the Board: Provided that, if the chairman and the vice-chairman are both absent from a meeting of the Board, the members present may elect one of their number to preside at that meeting as chairman. (6) Three members shall form a quorum at any meeting of the Board. (7) All acts, matters or things authorised or required to be done by the Board may be decided by a majority vote at a meeting of the Board at which a quorum is present. (8) Subject to paragraph 9, at all meetings of the Board each member present shall have one vote on each question before the Board and, in the event of an equality of votes, the chairman shall have a casting vote in addition to a deliberative vote. (9) Any proposal circulated among all members and a greed to in writing by a majority of all members shall have the same effect as a resolution passed at a duly constituted meeting of the Board and shall be incorporated in the minutes of the next succeeding meeting of the Board: Provided that, if a member requires that such proposal be placed before a meeting of the Board, this subparagraph shall not apply to such proposal. 8. Members of the Board shall be paid— (a) such remuneration, if any, as the Minister may, from time to time, fix for members generally; and (b) such allowances, if any, as the Minister may, from time to time, fix to meet any reasonable expenses incurred by members in connection with the business of the Board. 9. (1) In this paragraph— “relative”, in relation to a member, means the member’s spouse, child, parent, brother or sister. (2) Subject to subparagraph (4)— (a) if a member of the Board— (i) knowingly acquires or holds a direct or indirect pecuniary interest in any matter that is under consideration by the Board; or (ii) owns any property or has a right in property or a direct or indirect pecuniary interest in a company or association of persons which results in the member’s private interests coming or appearing to come into conflict with his functions as a member; or (iii) knows or has reason to believe that a relative of his— A. has acquired or holds a direct or indirect pecuniary interest in any matter that is under consideration by the Board; or B. owns any property or has a right in property or a direct or indirect pecuniary interest in a company or association of persons which results in the member’s private interests coming or appearing to come into conflict with his functions as a member; or (b) if for any reason the private interests of a member come into conflict with his functions as a member; the member shall forthwith disclose the fact to the Board. (3) A member referred to in subparagraph (2) shall take no part in the consideration or discussion of, or vote on, any question before the Board which relates to any contract, right, immovable property or interest referred to in that subparagraph. (4) Any person who contravenes subparagraph (2) or (3) shall be guilty of an offence and liable to a fine not exceeding $10,000 or to imprisonment for a period not exceeding three months or to both such fine and such imprisonment. 10. No decision or act of the Board or act done under the authority of the Board shall be invalid on the ground that— (a) the Board consisted of fewer than the minimum number of persons prescribed in subsection (1) of section 40; or (b) a disqualified person acted as a member of the Board at the time the decision was taken or act was done or authorised: Provided that the Board shall ratify any such decision or action as soon as possible after it becomes aware that the decision or action was taken in the circumstances described in subparagraph (a) or (b). Minutes of proceedings of Board 11. (1) The Board shall cause minutes of all proceedings of and decisions taken at every meeting of the Board to be entered in books kept for the purpose. (2) Any minutes referred to in subparagraph (1) which purport to be signed by the chairman of the meeting to which the minutes relate or by the chairman of the next following meeting of the Board or the committee concerned, as the case may be, shall be accepted for all purposes as prima facie evidence of the proceedings of and decisions taken at the meeting concerned. (3) The Board shall cause copies of all minutes that have been signed as provided in subparagraph (2) to be sent without delay to the Minister for his information." Schedule 4 prohibits MP's or members of statutory bodies… but this seems to weak for a point. Plus, the Minister is able to attach conditions to their appointment - seems to compromise objectivitity.
41 The independent oversight body has the necessary mandate and power to perform its functions, including to review classified documents and inspect the premises of public bodies.Score 1 point for reviewing classified documents, 1 point for inspection powers2 YES 50: "(1) For the purpose of conducting an investigation, inquiry or hearing in terms of this Act, the Commission shall have the same powers, rights, and privileges as are conferred upon a Commissioner by the Commissions of Inquiry Act [Chapter 10:07], other than the power to order a person to be detained in custody, and sections 9 to 13 and 15 to 18 of that Act shall apply, mutatis mutandis, in relation to any hearing and determination of any matter before the Commission under this Act and to any person summoned to give or giving evidence before the Commission. (2) The Commission may require any record, including a record containing personal information held by a public body, to be produced as evidence. (3) A public body requested by the Commission to produce a record in terms of subsection (2) shall do so within a period of 10 days from the day that such record was requested." Commissions of Inquiry Act Yes - according to Art 50 and the "Commissions of Inquiry Act"
42 The decisions of the independent oversight body are binding. Score N=0, Y=2 points2 YES 58: "(1) The Commission shall make an order as to its findings on completing an inquiry. (2) If the inquiry relates to a decision of the head of a public body to give or to refuse to give access to all or part of a record, the Commission shall, by order, do any of the following— (a) require the head to give the applicant access to all or part of the record; (b) either confirm the decision of the head or require the head to reconsider the decision; (c) require the head to refuse access to all or part of the record. (3) If the inquiry relates to any other matter, the Commission may, by order, do any of the following— (a) require that a duty imposed by this Act or regulations made under it be performed; (b) confirm or reduce the extension of a time limit; (c) confirm, exempt or reduce a fee, or order a refund, in the appropriate circumstances, including if a time limit is not met; (d) confirm a decision not to correct personal information or specify how personal information is to be corrected; (e) require a public body to stop collecting, using or disclosing personal information in contravention of this Act; (3) require the head of a public body to destroy personal information collected in contravention of this Act. (4) The Commission may specify any terms or conditions in an order made in terms of this section. (5) The Commission shall give a copy of an order made in terms of this section to the following persons— (a) the person who requested the review; (b) the head of the public body concerned; (c) the Minister; (d) any other interested party." 59: "Not later than seven days after being given a copy of an order of the Commission, the head of the public body concerned shall comply with the order unless an appeal is lodged before that period ends."
43 In deciding an appeal, the independent oversight body has the power to order appropriate remedies for the requester, including the declassification of information. 1 for partial, 2 for fully2 YES 58: "(1) The Commission shall make an order as to its findings on completing an inquiry. (2) If the inquiry relates to a decision of the head of a public body to give or to refuse to give access to all or part of a record, the Commission shall, by order, do any of the following— (a) require the head to give the applicant access to all or part of the record; (b) either confirm the decision of the head or require the head to reconsider the decision; (c) require the head to refuse access to all or part of the record. (3) If the inquiry relates to any other matter, the Commission may, by order, do any of the following— (a) require that a duty imposed by this Act or regulations made under it be performed; (b) confirm or reduce the extension of a time limit; (c) confirm, exempt or reduce a fee, or order a refund, in the appropriate circumstances, including if a time limit is not met; (d) confirm a decision not to correct personal information or specify how personal information is to be corrected; (e) require a public body to stop collecting, using or disclosing personal information in contravention of this Act; (3) require the head of a public body to destroy personal information collected in contravention of this Act. (4) The Commission may specify any terms or conditions in an order made in terms of this section. (5) The Commission shall give a copy of an order made in terms of this section to the following persons— (a) the person who requested the review; (b) the head of the public body concerned; (c) the Minister; (d) any other interested party."
44 Requesters have the right to lodge a judicial appeal.1 for partially, 2 for fully.2 YES 60: "(1) Subject to this section, any person aggrieved by any decision or action of the Commission may, within 28 days after being notified of that decision or action, appeal to the Administrative Court. (2) An appeal in terms of subsection (1) shall be made in the form and manner prescribed and within the period prescribed in rules of court. (3) For the purpose of determining an appeal in terms of subsection (1) the President of the Administrative Court shall be assisted by two assessors. (4) On an appeal in terms of subsection (1), the Administrative Court may, subject to subsection (5), confirm, vary or set aside the decision or action appealed against and may make such order, whether as to costs or otherwise, as the court thinks just. (5) Any person whose appeal on a ground specified in paragraph (a) or (c) of subsection (1) is upheld shall not be entitled to receive a licence but shall be entitled to have his matter remitted to the Commission for re-determination in terms of this Act."
45 Appeals to the oversight body (where applicable, or to the judiciary if no such body exists) are free of charge and do not require legal assistance.1 for free, 1 for no lawyer required. 2 YES 54: "(1) For the purposes of this section, the failure by a head of a public body to respond within the time limit to a request for access to a record shall be deemed to be a decision to refuse access to the record. (2) A person requesting a review in terms of this Part shall make such request, in writing, to the Commission. (3) A request for a review of a decision of the head of a public body in terms of subsection (1) shall be made within 30 days from the date of the decision: Provided that the Commission may allow a longer period upon a request made to the Commissioner for the extension of the period." 55: "The Commission shall, on receiving a request for a review, give a copy of the request to the head of the public body and any other person that the Commission considers appropriate. 56: "(1) The Commission shall conduct an inquiry and may decide all questions of fact and law arising in the course of the inquiry. (2) An inquiry in terms of subsection (1) may be conducted in camera. (3) The Commission shall give the person Who requested the review, the head of the public body concerned or any person given a copy of the request for a review or anyone who has an interest in the matter, an opportunity to make representations during the inquiry. (4) The Commission may decide— (a) whether representations are to be made orally or in writing; and (b) whether a person is entitled to be present during or to have access to or to comment on representations made to the Commission by another person. (5) The person who requested the review, the head o f the public body concerned or any person given a copy of the request for a review may be represented at the inquiry by a legal practitioner. (6) An inquiry into a matter under review shall be completed within 90 days from the date of receiving the request for the review." 57: "(1) At an inquiry into a decision to refuse an applicant access to all or part of a record, the head of the public body shall bear the onus of proving that the applicant has no right of access to the record or part thereof. (2) If the record or that part of it that the applicant is refused access to contains personal information about a third party, the applicant shall bear the onus of proving that disclosure of the information would not be an unreasonable invasion of the third party’s personal privacy. (3) At an inquiry into a decision to give an applicant access to all or part of a record containing information that relates to a third party, the third party shall bear the onus of proving that the applicant has no right of access to the record or part thereof." 58: "(1) The Commission shall make an order as to its findings on completing an inquiry. (2) If the inquiry relates to a decision of the head of a public body to give or to refuse to give access to all or part of a record, the Commission shall, by order, do any of the following— (a) require the head to give the applicant access to all or part of the record; (b) either confirm the decision of the head or require the head to reconsider the decision; (c) require the head to refuse access to all or part of the record. (3) If the inquiry relates to any other matter, the Commission may, by order, do any of the following— (a) require that a duty imposed by this Act or regulations made under it be performed; (b) confirm or reduce the extension of a time limit; (c) confirm, exempt or reduce a fee, or order a refund, in the appropriate circumstances, including if a time limit is not met; (d) confirm a decision not to correct personal information or specify how personal information is to be corrected; (e) require a public body to stop collecting, using or disclosing personal information in contravention of this Act; (3) require the head of a public body to destroy personal information collected in contravention of this Act. (4) The Commission may specify any terms or conditions in an order made in terms of this section. (5) The Commission shall give a copy of an order made in terms of this section to the following persons— (a) the person who requested the review; (b) the head of the public body concerned; (c) the Minister; (d) any other interested party." Art 54 - 58 - No mention of fees, and the individual's limited burden implies that it can be done without a lawyer.
46 The grounds for appeal to the oversight body (where applicable, or to the judiciary if no such body exists) are broad (including not only refusals to provide information but also refusals to provide information in the form requested, administrative silence and other breach of timelines, charging excessive fees, etc.).Score 1 point for appealing refusals, additional points for appealing other violations.4 YES 58: "(1) The Commission shall make an order as to its findings on completing an inquiry. (2) If the inquiry relates to a decision of the head of a public body to give or to refuse to give access to all or part of a record, the Commission shall, by order, do any of the following— (a) require the head to give the applicant access to all or part of the record; (b) either confirm the decision of the head or require the head to reconsider the decision; (c) require the head to refuse access to all or part of the record. (3) If the inquiry relates to any other matter, the Commission may, by order, do any of the following— (a) require that a duty imposed by this Act or regulations made under it be performed; (b) confirm or reduce the extension of a time limit; (c) confirm, exempt or reduce a fee, or order a refund, in the appropriate circumstances, including if a time limit is not met; (d) confirm a decision not to correct personal information or specify how personal information is to be corrected; (e) require a public body to stop collecting, using or disclosing personal information in contravention of this Act; (3) require the head of a public body to destroy personal information collected in contravention of this Act. (4) The Commission may specify any terms or conditions in an order made in terms of this section. (5) The Commission shall give a copy of an order made in terms of this section to the following persons— (a) the person who requested the review; (b) the head of the public body concerned; (c) the Minister; (d) any other interested party." Art 58 - broad scope of remedies includes discussion of broad grounds of appeal.
47 Clear procedures, including timelines, are in place for dealing with external appeals (oversight/judicial).Score 1 point for clear procedures, 1 point for timelines. 2 Partially 53: "(1) A person who makes a request to a head of a public body, other than the Commission, for access to a record or for correction of personal information may request the Commission to review any decision or act of the head of that public body that relates to that request. (2) A third party notified of a decision to give access may request the Commission to review any decision made by the head of the public body." 54: "(1) For the purposes of this section, the failure by a head of a public body to respond within the time limit to a request for access to a record shall be deemed to be a decision to refuse access to the record. (2) A person requesting a review in terms of this Part shall make such request, in writing, to the Commission. (3) A request for a review of a decision of the head of a public body in terms of subsection (1) shall be made within 30 days from the date of the decision: Provided that the Commission may allow a longer period upon a request made to the Commissioner for the extension of the period." 55: "The Commission shall, on receiving a request for a review, give a copy of the request to the head of the public body and any other person that the Commission considers appropriate. 56: "(1) The Commission shall conduct an inquiry and may decide all questions of fact and law arising in the course of the inquiry. (2) An inquiry in terms of subsection (1) may be conducted in camera. (3) The Commission shall give the person Who requested the review, the head of the public body concerned or any person given a copy of the request for a review or anyone who has an interest in the matter, an opportunity to make representations during the inquiry. (4) The Commission may decide— (a) whether representations are to be made orally or in writing; and (b) whether a person is entitled to be present during or to have access to or to comment on representations made to the Commission by another person. (5) The person who requested the review, the head o f the public body concerned or any person given a copy of the request for a review may be represented at the inquiry by a legal practitioner. (6) An inquiry into a matter under review shall be completed within 90 days from the date of receiving the request for the review." 57: "(1) At an inquiry into a decision to refuse an applicant access to all or part of a record, the head of the public body shall bear the onus of proving that the applicant has no right of access to the record or part thereof. (2) If the record or that part of it that the applicant is refused access to contains personal information about a third party, the applicant shall bear the onus of proving that disclosure of the information would not be an unreasonable invasion of the third party’s personal privacy. (3) At an inquiry into a decision to give an applicant access to all or part of a record containing information that relates to a third party, the third party shall bear the onus of proving that the applicant has no right of access to the record or part thereof." 53-57 - Procedure is clearly spelled out, but doesn't include timelines.
48 In the appeal process (oversight/judicial/) the government bears the burden of demonstrating that it did not operate in breach of the rules.Score Y/N and award 2 points for yes. 2 YES 57: "(1) At an inquiry into a decision to refuse an applicant access to all or part of a record, the head of the public body shall bear the onus of proving that the applicant has no right of access to the record or part thereof. (2) If the record or that part of it that the applicant is refused access to contains personal information about a third party, the applicant shall bear the onus of proving that disclosure of the information would not be an unreasonable invasion of the third party’s personal privacy. (3) At an inquiry into a decision to give an applicant access to all or part of a record containing information that relates to a third party, the third party shall bear the onus of proving that the applicant has no right of access to the record or part thereof."
49 The external appellate body has the power to impose appropriate structural measures on the public authority (e.g. to conduct more training or to engage in better record management)1 for partial, 2 for fully. 2 Partially 58(3)(a) : "require that a duty imposed by this Act or regulations made under it be performed;" 58(3)(a) seems to imply this, but it's not explicit.


Sanctions & Proteccions

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Comments
50 Sanctions may be imposed on those who wilfully act to undermine the right to information, including through the unauthorised destruction of information.Score 1 point for sanctions for underming right, 1 point for destruction of documents 2 Partially 61: "Any person who wilfully— (a) makes a false statement to, or misleads or attempts to mislead the Commission or any other person in the performance of their duties, powers or functions in terms of this Act; (b) obstructs the Commission or any other person in the performance of their duties, powers or functions in terms of this Act; (c) fails to comply with an order made by the Commission; shall be guilty of an offence and liable to a fine not exceeding $20,000 or to imprisonment for a period not exceeding two years or to both such fine and such imprisonment." Section 61 however provides for penalties and offences for wilfull obstructing the functions of the Info Commission in terms of the act and for making false statements is liable to 2 years imprisonment.
51 There is a system for redressing the problem of public authorities which systematically fail to disclose information or underperform (either through imposing sanctions on them or requiring remedial actions of them).Score 1 point for either remedial action or sanctions, 2 points for both 2 NO Not mentioned.
52 The independent oversight body and its staff are granted legal immunity for acts undertaken in good faith in the exercise or performance of any power, duty or function under the RTI Law. Others are granted similar immunity for the good faith release of information pursuant to the RTI Law.Score 1 for oversight body, 1 for immunity for others2 NO Not mentioned.
53 There are legal protections against imposing sanctions on those who, in good faith, release information which discloses wrongdoing (i.e. whistleblowers).Score 2 for strong protections, 1 for moderate protections2 NO Not mentioned.


Promotional measures

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MAX score
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Article

Comments
54 Public authorities are required to appoint dedicated officials (information officers) or units with a responsibility for ensuring that they comply with their information disclosure obligations.Score Y/N, Y=2 points2 NO Not mentioned.
55 A central body, such as an information commission(er) or government department, is given overall responsibility for promoting the right to information. Score Y/N, Y=2 points2 YES 39(1)(a) < Subject to this Act, the powers and functions of the Commission shall be—>: "to ensure that Zimbabweans have access to information and effective control of mass media services;"
56 Public awareness-raising efforts (e.g. producing a guide for the public or introducing RTI awareness into schools) are required to be undertaken by law. Score Y/N, Y=2 points2 YES 44(d) : "to promote public awareness on the right of access to information and protection of privacy; in accordance with an annual implementation plan prepared by the Commission in consultation with mass media editors’ offices." 39(1)(g) : "to conduct investigations in terms of Part IX to ensure compliance with the provisions of this Act;" Section 44 (d) stipulates that one of the objects of the media and information fund administered by the Zimbabwe Media Commission is to promote public awareness of the right of ATI. Section 39(1) (g) - one of the Zimbabwe media commission's functions is to "inform the public about this act".
57 A system is in place whereby minimum standards regarding the management of records are set and applied. Score Y/N, Y=2 points2 NO Not mentioned.
58 Public authorities are required to create and update lists or registers of the documents in their possession, and to make these public. Score Y/N, Y=2 points2 NO Not mentioned.
59 Training programs for officials are required Score Y/N, Y=2 points2 NO Not mentioned.
60 Public authorities are required to report annually on the actions they have taken to implement their disclosure obligations. This includes statistics on requests received and how they were dealt with. Score Y/N, Y=2 points2 NO Not mentioned.
61 A central body, such as an information commission(er) or government department, has an obligation to present a consolidated report to the legislature on implementation of the law. Score Y/N, Y=2 points2 Partially 41: "The Fifth Schedule shall govern the financial and certain other aspects of the operation of the Commission." Article 41 - The Board presents a general annual report to the minister.