GOVERNMENT PRINTING WORKS ROLE OF GOVERNMENT PRINTING WORKS IN LEGAL DEPOSIT BY: MONTJANE MZ DATE: 27/05/2008 1. INTRODUCCTION • 1.1. Developmental stages of Government Printing Works ever since the 18th centuary: i. Before the Union of South Africa; ii. During the Union of South Africa; and iii. The Republic of South Africa; iv. The tri-cameral Government; and v. The current democratic South Africa. 2. HISTORICAL BACKGROUND 2.1. Government Gazette in 1910 i. The Government Gazette has appeared since 1910 when the Union of South Africa was established. ii. It was published weekly by the Government Printer as the ordinary Government Gazette and regulations gazette. iii. They had the same basic numbering system (i.e. each issue being identified by volume number, an issue number, and a date (e.g. Vol. 250, No. 10967, 09 October 1987). iv. Regulations Gazette contained regulations which were subsidiary legislations relating to existing Statutes. v. Regulations were made by Ministers, whereas Statutes were made by Parliament. vi. The Government Gazette contained a wide variety of Government announcements concerning the activities of the Government and the departments, as well as legal notices from non-governmental sources. 2.2. Impact of new Democracy, 1994 i. Emergence of Government of National Unity emphasized the transformation of publishing in the Republic, particularly on factors such as: – The majority of the population especially rural and illiterate community being inaccessible to the most indispensable official information which affects their lives; – Abolishment of the former Independent States and Self- Governing Territories prompted the creation of the present 9 provinces. This led to the need for reconsidering the then Official Publication Depositories created in the previous dispensation. – Emphasis on the intersectoral collaraboration in the adoption of the Reconstruction and development Programme. This included all sectors like Department of Arts and Culture for making the information available to the public, Department of Home Affairs (through Government Printing Works) for printing information that should be made available to the public, Department of Education for implementation of adult basic calculation programme to improve the literacy level. ii. Dissemination of information to the grassroot communities in a form of broachers, booklets, etc. iii. Web to facilitate the dissemination of information such as through the electronic media that can be fed into the internet system. 3. THE ROLE PLAYED BY THE GOVERNMENT PRINTING WORKS 3.1.The discussion will be restricted to the following roles: – How official publishing persisted in accessing official information to the public at large. – Co-ordination of official publishing amongst the official publishers; – The procedure in official depositing. 3.2. Just before 1994 Government Printing Works (GPW) was established as a central National Printing Works responsible for publishing of official publications and supplying of printing matter and stationery requirements to Central Government and four provincial Administrations in terms of Treasury Instruction IT.14.5. 3.3. Former Independent States and Self- Governing Territories had their own Tender Boards which formulated their own policies pertaining to printing and publishing. 3.4. Official Publications Depositories (OPD’s): We had the following five OPD’s: – The Bloemfontein Public Library; – The Natal Society Library; – The South African Library; – The State Library; and – The Library of Parliament. NB. OPD’s were established as an integral part of the existing legal Deposit Libraries. 4. CURRENT STATE OF AFFAIRS 4.1. GPW is still playing the same role such as the responsibility of printing and publishing of official publications on behalf of the central Government Departments and Provincial Administrations subject to the Treasury Instruction IT14.5.of the same 4.2. In view of the repercussions identified from the previous dispensation progress was made in rationalisation process to eradicate the uneconomic set-up which had some duplicated services. 4.3. On the strength of the Cabinet and Inter-Governmental forum decisions, follow-up discussions were held with most Provincial authorities and resolved by the charging the GPW with the main role of high volume printing. 4.4. Private printers were to supply the departments with urgent and low volume printing. 4.5. How publications are deposited by the Government Printing Works i. One week of each publication is submitted to each of the current five OPD’s including the Constitutional Court ii. Additional one copy of the publication is being sent to the Library of Congress in Washington D.C. and Dag Hammershold Library at the United Nations in New York subject to the Treaty signed in 1949. iii. Information provided: all publications published by the GPW. 4.6. The cost of the deposit: – Packaging and postage costs are born by the GPW. – Government Gazette printing costs is carried the GPW. – Other publications’ printing costs are carried by the relevant departments. 5. Allocation of identification numbers • 5.1. GPW also plays a role of allocating the following identification numbers on the published official publications: – ISBN (International Standard Book Number); – RP (National/Central Departments Annual Reports Number); – PR (Provincial Departments Annual Reports Number). 5.2. GPW obtain a group of International Standard Book Numbers from the National Library of South Africa for allocation to the newly published publications during the year. 5.3. RP and PR numbers are demanded by the Auditor-General’s office for reference purposes and they are controlled allocated on the national and provincial Departments annual reports by the GPW. 5.4. Challenges on the allocation of identification reference numbers. – Some of the publications are published by various Government organs without these identification reference numbers. – This is caused by, amongst others, the emphasis of the utilisation of the limited resources cost- effectively in the Public Finance Management Act, Act No.1 of 1999 and Supply Chain Management Policy Framework of 2003. 6. SUMMARY 6.1. In the light of current initiatives of making official information more readily available to the general public it is proposed that at least one OPD be established even in each local government. 6.2. This will ensure that OPD concept supports grassroots democracy by making available documents emanating from national, provincial and local governments and improves popular access to the publications of government funded institutions such as Research Councils and Universities. 6.3. All Government institutions should be urged to: – Comply with the requirements of the Official Publications Deposit; and – Ensure that the appropriate identification numbers such as ISBN, RP or PR are allocated to all official publications THANK YOU!! QUESTIONS?
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