Your Right to Information
On 1 July 2010, new right to information legislation came into effect, replacing the former Freedom of Information Act and provisions of the Local Government Act.
The new Government Information (Public Access) Act 2009 or GIPA Act:
- creates new rights to information that are designed to meet community expectations of more open and transparent government
- encourages government agencies (including local councils) to proactively release government information.
There are four ways in which Council information is made available to the public under the GIPA Act:
1. Mandatory Proactive Release (Open Access Information)
Open Access Information is made available on Council's website and is available to view free of charge. Processing fees in accordance with Council’s adopted fees and charges (pdf - 13.3 MB) will still be imposed upon requests to produce hard copies of the information.
2. Proactive Release
Council is encouraged to make as much information of public interest as possible publicly available free of charge or at minimal cost, such as frequently requested information or information of special public interest.
Council’s Information Guide (pdf - 1.9MB) provides further information regarding which information is available as proactively released information.
3. Informal Release
Council is authorised to release information in response to an informal request, unless there is an overriding public interest against disclosure of the information.
You are able to request access to Council information not available as open access information on Council’s website by completing and submitting an informal access to information request (pdf - 45.0 KB), or informal GIPA request.
Copies of information provided in response to an informal access request will incur processing fees in accordance with Council's adopted fees and charges (pdf - 13.3 MB).
As outlined in Council’s Informal Access Request fact sheet (pdf - 177.3 KB), some information (such as personal information about other people) is not available through an informal request.
4. Formal Release
You are also able to request access to Council information, including information not available as open access, proactive release or informal release, by lodging a formal access to information request (pdf - 51.7 KB).
A formal access request requires a $30 application fee, which covers one hour of processing time, and will be charged at $30 per hour for every subsequent hour of processing time. Formal access requests should be processed within 20 working days, however in some circumstances extensions to processing time may be required.
Council’s Formal Access Request fact sheet (pdf - 179.7 KB) provides further information regarding formal access requests.
You can find out more about your right to information and new ways to access NSW government information on the NSW Information and Privacy Commission (IPC) website.
Enquiries relating to access to Council information may be directed to Council's Governance Officer on (02) 4560 4660.
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