Right to Information
Government Information (Public Access) Act 2009
The Government Information (Public Access) Act 2009 (GIPA Act) provides a proactive, open approach to gaining access to government information in New South Wales (NSW). The objects of the GIPA Act are to maintain and advance a system of responsible and representative democratic Government that is open, accountable, fair and effective.
The GIPA Act:
- authorises and encourages the proactive release of information by NSW public sector agencies;
- gives members of the public a legally enforceable right to access government information; and
- ensures that access to government information is restricted only when there is an overriding public interest against releasing that information.
The GIPA Act applies to all NSW government agencies, and also extends to Ministers and their staff, local councils, state-owned corporations, courts in their non-judicial functions, and to certain public authorities, such as universities.
The guiding principle of the GIPA Act is the public interest. It is generally presumed that all government agencies will disclose or release information, unless there is an overriding public interest against doing so. Under the GIPA Act it is compulsory for agencies to provide information about their structure, functions and policies, and agencies are encouraged to proactively and informally release as much other information as possible.
Under the GIPA Act there are four ways that SESLHD can make information available to the public:
State and local Government agencies are required to publish specific open access information on their website, free of charge. For example, this could include a register of government contracts, policies, media releases and annual reports.
State and local Government agencies are encouraged to make as much other information as possible publicly available in an appropriate manner, including on the internet. The information should be available free of charge or at the lowest reasonable cost. For example, frequently requested information or information of public interest may be readily available.
Information which may not be disclosed
An access application cannot be made for information specifically excluded under Schedule 2 of the GIPA Act. For more details about information that may not be disclosed, please contact Executive Services.
For some categories of information, while an access application may be made there is a presumption against release. The list of categories is set out at Schedule 1 of the GIPA Act. For more details about information that may not be disclosed, please contact Executive Services