GIPA reviews

If you have asked for an application and you are dissatisfied with the decision, you can ask for a review.

What can be reviewed?

The following decisions can be reviewed by the agency involved, the Information and Privacy Commission NSW (IPC), or the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal (NCAT).

Reviews can be requested on a decision:

  • that an application is not valid 
  • to transfer an access application to another agency, as an agency initiated transfer 
  • to refuse to deal with an access application (including such a decision that is deemed to have been made) 
  • to provide access or to refuse to provide access to information in response to an access application 
  • that government information is not held by the agency 
  • that information applied for is already available to the applicant 
  • to refuse to confirm or deny that information is held by the agency 
  • to defer the provision of access to information in response to an access application 
  • to provide access to information in a particular way in response to an access application (or a decision not to provide access in the way requested by the applicant) 
  • to impose a processing charge or to require an advance deposit 
  • to refuse a reduction in a processing charge 
  • to refuse to deal further with an access application because an applicant has failed to pay an advance deposit within the time required for payment 
  • to include information in a disclosure log despite an objection by the access applicant (or a decision that the access applicant was not entitled to object).

Who do I ask for a review?

If you are dissatisfied with the decision, you have a number of options. You can:

  • seek an internal review through the agency which you originally applied for the information
  • approach the NSW Information Commissioner for an external review of the agency’s decision
  • request a review through NCAT.

Type of review

Days to request a review from when you were given the decision

Is there a fee involved?

Internal review by agency 20 working days Yes – $40*
Review by NSW Information Commissioner 40 working days No
NCAT

20 working days from review by Information Commissioner;

Yes

40 working days from review by agency

See the NCAT website for more infomation

*No fee applies for an internal review if the decision is a ‘deemed refusal’ because the agency did not process your application in time or the internal review is conducted because the Information Commissioner has recommended the agency reconsider its decision. 

Decisions by a Minister or principal officer

If a Minister or their personal staff, or the principal officer of an agency has made the decision, then you can only ask for a review with the IPC or NCAT.

What if I am a third party?

If you are not the person seeking the information (i.e. a third party), you must seek an internal review (unless that option is not available to you), before applying for an external review by the NSW Information Commissioner.  

How do I apply for a review?

All request for reviews should be in writing:

  • Ask the agency involved if they have a form
  • Attach all relevant information, including the original request, the notice of decision, details about your concerns, and your contact details to your application
  • Make sure you keep copies for yourself.

The IPC has developed a form: Requesting assistance from the IPC and a fact sheet: Your review rights under the GIPA Act for assistance and more information.

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If you have asked for an application and you are dissatisfied with the decision, you can ask for a review.

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