Youth agency keeps its festival spending secret

2011-08-13 00:00

THE National Youth Development Agency has revealed that it entered into a “secrecy” agreement with contractors hired for the controversial R100 million International Youth Festival last December.

The revelation emerged in correspondence between the NYDA and the Media24 Investigations team that has filed a Promotion of Access to Information application to get all records relating to the contractors who were hired.

The request has been denied by the agency and Media24 is in the process of going to court to fight for access to the records after an internal appeal was declined.

In papers replying to Media24’s court papers requesting the identities of service providers and details of payments and of the actual contracts awarded, NYDA revealed its secrecy agreements.

The NYDA said that wide-ranging “letters of engagement” had been addressed to suppliers for the festival that contained a “standard” confidentiality clause not to disclose “any confidential information” to a third party, on any aspect of their business — from trade secrets, to fees, contract terms, and even to individual names, addresses and telephone numbers, without prior written consent of the supplier.

The agency had added a clause that says these secrecy provisions would “survive termination of this letter of engagement, for whatever reason”.

The NYDA did say that they had started asking third parties if they would consent to their information being given released but that none had agreed so far.

Media24’s litigation continues.

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