As a registered South African credit bureau in terms of the National Credit Act, Act 34 of 2005 (“NCA”), access to consumer credit information is very important to Compuscan and we are entrusted to facilitate this access in a manner that is compliant with the NCA.
We would like to use this opportunity to inform our subscribers of their rights and obligations relating to the access of consumer credit information, and specifically access for the purpose of ‘Employment’.
Consumer credit information may be accessed by a person for a prescribed purpose in terms of the NCA and its regulations. One of these prescribed purposes is considering a candidate for employment in a position that requires honesty in dealing with cash or finances (Regulation 18(4)(c)), generally known as the purpose of ‘Employment’.
The following regulations are also applicable to this prescribed purpose:
- Regulation 18(5) – Should a report be required for a purpose set out in, amongst others, Regulation 18(4)(c), the consumer’s consent must be obtained prior to the report being requested; and
- Regulation 19 (12) – a consumer credit record may not be accessed by an employment agency, recruitment consultant, staffing company or employer unless they certify that any and all requests for consumer credit records relate to positions requiring honesty in dealing with cash or finances and the job descriptions of such positions are clearly outlined.
Therefore, should a subscriber perform a credit enquiry for the purpose of ‘Employment’, the NCA requires:
- The consumer’s specific and informed consent to have been obtained by the person requesting access to the consumer’s credit information, prior to the report being requested. This consent can be obtained in many forms amongst others, written consent, verbal consent (voice recording) or electronic consent (system logs, etc.);
- The subscriber should certify that any and all requests for a credit record relates to positions that require honesty in dealing with cash or finances. We confirm that our standard subscriber agreements contain such a certificate;
- The job descriptions of such positions should be clearly outlined. In this regard, we require the subscriber to retain a job description applicable to the consumer to stipulate that the position requires honesty in dealing with cash or finances.