In terms of PAIA, it is an offence to destroy, damage or conceal a record in order to deny a requester access to it.
I you do not comply with the Promotion of Access to Information Act, you may very well end up:
- Giving information to someone that you should not be giving information to and facing damages claims as a result
- Opposing applications for access in court.
The penalties for non-compliance which are outlined by section 90 of PAIA. A head of a private body who wilfully or in a grossly negligent manner fails to comply with the provisions of section 51, commits an offence and is liable on conviction to a fine, or to imprisonment for a period not exceeding two years.