Science and Technology Act
- Commenced on 14 November 2008
- [This is the version of this document at 31 December 2014.]
- [Note: This version of the Act was revised and consolidated in the Fifth Revised Edition of the Laws of Malawi (L.R.O. 1/2018), by the Solicitor General and Secretary for Justice under the authority of the Revision of the Laws Act.]
Part I – Preliminary provisions
1. Short titleThis Act may be cited as the Science and Technology Act.
2. InterpretationIn this Act, unless the context otherwise requires—“appeals committee” means an appeals committee appointed under section 44;“Awards Committee” means the Scientific Awards Committee established under section 34;“Chairman” means Chairman of the Commission;“Commission” means the National Commission for Science and Technology established under section 5;“committee” means a committee of the Commission established under section 11 and includes the Scientific Awards Committee;“Fund” means the Science and Technology Fund established under section 24;“member” means a member of the Commission;“organism” means any biological entity, whether microscopic or not, capable of replication;“Vice-Chairman” means the person elected as the Vice-Chairman of the Commission under section 6 (3).
Part II – Advancement of science and technology in Malawi
3. Policy and Statement to rank paramountEvery public officer and any authority in Malawi exercising or performing powers, duties or functions in connexion with or concerning the commitment of the Government in advancing science and technology in Malawi as declared in the National Science and Technology Policy (in this Act otherwise referred to as the “Policy”) and in the Statement of National Priorities in Science and Technology (in this Act otherwise referred to as the “Statement”) shall, in the exercise of his powers or the performance of his duties or functions, consider and treat the Policy and the Statement as ranking paramount in the business of the Government and shall further consider it to be his paramount duty to act with all due diligence and dispatch in taking such action as is required or necessary to give effect to the Policy and Statement.
4. Publication and revision of the Policy and the Statement
Part III – Establishment of the National Commission for Science and Technology
5. Establishment of the National Commission for Science and TechnologyThere is hereby established a commission to be known as the National Commission for Science and Technology (in this Act otherwise referred to as the “Commission”).
6. Composition of the Commission
7. Tenure of office and vacancies
8. Allowances and expenses of members
9. Policy directionsThe Commission may, where necessary, seek the general directions of the Minister on the manner in which it is to carry out its duties under this Act.
10. Proceedings of the Commission
11. Committees of the Commission
12. Minutes of meetingsThe Commission shall cause minutes to be kept of the proceedings of every meeting of the Commission and of every meeting of a committee of the Commission.
13. Disclosure of interest by members
14. Protection of membersNo action, suit or other proceedings shall be brought or instituted personally against any member or a member of a committee in respect of any act done in good faith in the course of carrying out the provisions of this Act.
15. Invited persons
16. Oath of secrecyEvery—
17. Prohibition of disclosure of information by unauthorized persons
Part IV – Functions and powers of the Commission
18. Functions of the Commission
19. Powers of the CommissionSubject to the directions of the Minister, whether general or special, the Commission shall have the power to do all such things as are incidental or conducive to the carrying out of its functions under this Act.
Part V – The Secretariat of the Commission
20. Secretariat of the CommissionThe Secretariat of the Commission shall consist of the Director General and such other suitably qualified officers as may be required for the proper administration of this Act.
21. Director General of the Commission
22. Disclosure of interest by employees, etc.
23. Functions of the Secretariat of the Commission
Part VI – Science and Technology Fund
24. Establishment of the Fund
25. The fund to vest in the MinisterThe Fund shall be vested in the Minister and, subject to this Act, and the Finance and Audit Act, shall be administered in accordance with his directions.[Cap. 37:01]
26. Advances to the FundIf in any financial year the income of the Fund together with any surplus income brought forward from a previous year is insufficient to meet the actual or estimated liabilities of the Fund, the Minister responsible for finance may make advances to the Fund in order to meet the deficiency or any part thereof and such advances shall be made on such terms and conditions, whether as to repayment or otherwise, as the Minister responsible for finance may determine.
27. Objects of the FundThe objects of which the Fund is established shall be the advancement of science and technology in Malawi.
28. Application of the FundWithout derogation from the generality of section 27, the Fund may be applied for the purposes of—
29. Books and other records of accounts, audit and reports of the Fund
30. Holdings of the Fund
31. Financial yearThe financial year of the Fund shall be the period of twelve months ending on 30th June in each year or on such other date as the Minister may specify by order published in the Gazette:Provided that the financial year of the Fund may be a period shorter or longer than twelve months as the Minister shall determine, but in any case not longer than eighteen months.
32. LevyThe Commission may, from time to time, by order published in the Gazette, impose a levy.
Part VII – Granting of awards
33. Institutions of awardsThe Commission shall, from time to time, institute awards for the purpose of promoting innovations in science and technology.
34. Awards Committee
35. Malawi Award for Science and Technological Achievement
Part VIII – Licences and permits
36. Licensing authorityThe Commission shall be the licensing authority responsible for the granting, renewal, variation, suspension and revocation of licences under this Act.
37. Biotechnology consentSubject to the provisions of this Act, no person shall engage in any matter related to biotechnology without prior consent of the Commission.
38. Classes of licencesThe Commission may by order published in the Gazette prescribe activities, relating to science and technology, which shall not be carried out except under the authority of a licence issued by the Commission.
39. ExemptionsThe provisions of section 38 shall not apply in such circumstances as may be specified by the Minister in a notice published in the Gazette.
40. Application for a licence
41. Issues of licences
42. Suspension and revocation of a licence
43. Variation of a licenceSubject to section 40 the Commission may, on the application of the holder of a licence under this Act, vary the provisions of the licence, in accordance with any proposal contained in the application, if the Commission is satisfied that the variation will not adversely affect the safety, quality or efficacy of activities in respect of which the licence was granted.
Part IX – Appeals
45. Appeals committee
46. Powers of appeals committee
Part X – Miscellaneous provisions
47. Secrecy to be observed
48. OffencesAny person who—
49. Penalty for offencesA person guilty of an offence under this Act for which no specific penalty is provided shall be liable to a fine of K100,000 or to an amount equivalent to the financial gain generated by the offence, if such amount be greater, and to imprisonment for three years.
History of this document
14 November 2008