The Promotion of Access to Information Amendment Bill seems to be dead in the water. The Department of Justice and Constitutional Development invited interested parties to submit written comments on the Draft Promotion of Access to Information Amendment Bill, back in 2011. The deadline for the submission of comments was 28 February 2011.

Promotion of Access to Information Amendment Bill

The deadline has come and gone and we have yet to see the Promotion of Access to Information Amendment Bill tabled in Parliament. The changes suggested by this Draft Bill were largely of an administrative nature and are not substantive. The Amendment Bill would have amended the Promotion of Access to Information Act (PAIA).

The Steps to Amend an Act

In order to amend an Act the Legislature must:

  1. Publish a draft Bill
  2. Table the Bill in Parliament for debate and amendment
  3. Pass the Bill and it then becomes an Act.

At this stage, we do not know whether the draft Amendment Bill (step 1) will progress to be an Amendment Bill (steps 2). The process seems to have stalled. This is an example of the negatives of complex law. It becomes harder and harder to amend laws when the picture is too complex.