OUTA goes to court to demand information on Services SETA contract
On 8 June, OUTA’s legal challenge to the Services Sector Education and Training Authority (Services SETA) refusal to release information on a dubious contract was heard in the Johannesburg High Court.
Judgment was reserved.
The case arises from OUTA’s request for information to the Services SETA in terms of the Promotion of Access to Information Act (PAIA), which was made in January 2019. OUTA asked for specific information on the SETA’s 2017 contract with a company called Grayson Reed, which as hired to manage stipend payments to learners and interns on work experience postings. However, the Services SETA provided only some of the information requested but refused to provide the rest so, in October 2019, OUTA filed a court application challenging this refusal. The SETA opposed the application and delayed the matter by failing to file court documents on time.
OUTA believes the Services Sector Education and Training Authority (Services SETA) is hiding a corrupt contract behind claims of confidential commercial information.
The Services SETA’s refusal for more than two years to provide the information is yet another example of a government entity ducking a legitimate PAIA request.
OUTA’s court application to obtain the documents is opposed by the Services SETA (the first respondent) but not by Grayson Reed (the second respondent).
The SETA refused access to most of the records requested, due to objections by Grayson Reed, which claimed that these documents contained Grayson Reed trade secrets or confidential financial, commercial and technical information.
OUTA argued that the documents can’t be regarded as confidential or commercially sensitive because they relate to a public tender. OUTA also argued that PAIA provides that access to information must be granted if disclosing the record would reveal evidence of a substantial contravention of, or a failure to comply with the law.
Court case documents
More information on this case, including court documents, is here.
The list of documents sought is here.