Resources for the public

You have a legally enforceable right to access most government information and can expect that access to that information is open and available freely, unless there is an overriding public interest consideration against disclosure. 

The Information and Privacy Commission NSW (IPC) has developed a number of resources to assist you in finding the right information about accessing government information.

Fact sheets

Summary
Frequently asked questions: informal release of information This fact sheet is designed to address issues or questions you may have when considering asking for information from an agency informally or when an agency offers to release information informally.
Your rights to accessing government information in NSW In NSW, you have a legal right to access most government information under the GIPA Act.
How to access your personal information from government agencies You can ask for your personal information from a government agency using either the PPIP Act or the GIPA Act.
Third party consultation For individuals or organisations to explain why they are being consulted by a government agency and the rights under the GIPA Act.
Role of Right to Information Officers Right to Information Officers are government agency staff who have been specific authority to meet the day to day obligations under the GIPA Act.
GIPA Act fees and charges Fees and charges for formal applications for information.
Your review rights under the GIPA Act Your rights to request a review of a decision made by a government agency.
External review by the Information Commissioner How to apply for an external review with the NSW Information Commissioner.
Monitoring compliance with the GIPA Act Monitoring compliance of agencies under GIPA Act
How to make a complaint about us How you can make a complaint about us.
Legal professional privilege Understanding the test that agencies should apply when relying on this clause to refuse access to information applied for under the GIPA Act.
Open access information  A guide to open access information that agencies must make available. 

Internal reviews under the GIPA Act

If you disagree with an agency decision about an access application, you may be able to apply to the agency for an internal review of that decision.

Restraint orders under the GIPA Act

An agency, the Minister or the Information Commissioner may apply to the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal for an order to restrain a person from making unmeritorious access applications.

Offences under the GIPA Act

The purpose of this fact sheet is to raise awareness of Government Information (Public Access) Act 2009 (GIPA Act) rights and responsibilities, highlight the offence provisions and the circumstances and evidence that may enliven consideration of these offence provisions, and inform members of the public and agencies of the IPC’s role and procedures in dealing with allegations that offences under the GIPA Act have been committed.

Agency Information Guides and the public 

Provides information for members of the NSW public about what an AIG is, where an agency’s AIG can be found, and how to make a complaint about an AIG.

The GIPA Act: Agency systems, policies and practices - guidance for principal officers

This fact sheet provides assistance to principal officers in the performance of their responsibilities under the Government Information (Public Access) Act 2009 (GIPA Act). It provides suggested actions informed by a recent investigation, relevant to cluster arrangements, to improve agency systems, policies and practices that relate to functions of agencies under the GIPA Act.

Guide for applicants when an Agency has initiated a decision that an access application may involve an unreasonable and substantial diversion of resources  

This fact sheet is designed to assist citizens where an agency has advised that the scope of the access application is too broad under the Government Information (Public Access) Act 2009 (GIPA Act).

Applying for complaints information 

This fact sheet is designed to assist citizens in seeking access to complaints information under the Government Information (Public Access) Act 2009 (GIPA Act).

Applying for workplace investigation information
This fact sheet is designed to assist citizens in seeking access to workplace investigation information under the Government Information (Public Access) Act 2009 (GIPA Act).

Applicant’s guide to section 121 of the GIPA Act 

This fact sheet provides information to applicants seeking information that may be held by a non-government organisation (NGO) providing services on behalf of a government agency to assist applicants to understand how section 121 of the GIPA Act affects them.

Reports Summary
Advancing the objects of the Government Information (Public Access) Act 2009 (NSW): an international comparative evaluation of measures used to promote government information release (PDF 1.07MB) The report, commissioned through the University of Technology, Sydney provides an insight into the types of practical mechanisms utilised in selected international jurisdictions to promote open government through information sharing and citizen engagement.

Conditions Enabling Open Data and Promoting a Data Sharing Culture 2017 (PDF, 645KB) This UNSW Law Report was commissioned by the NSW Information Commissioner and NSW Open Data Advocate to provide contemporary insights to support the promotion of Open Government and Open Data. To do so the Report analysed legislation, policy, regulatory settings, roles and responsibilities for leadership, culture and operations in leading jurisdictions as identified in the Open Data Barometer Report.

Forms Summary
Access Application Form to agencies (Word) Use this form when making a formal application for government information to a NSW agency.
Access Application Form for IPC corporate information (Word) Use this form when making a formal application for government information to the IPC.

Complaint to the Information Commissioner Application Form 

Use this form if your complaint concerns the conduct (action or inaction) of an agency in exercising its function under the Government Information (Public Access) Act 2009 (GIPA Act).

External Review by the Information Commissioner Application Form 

Use this form if you are seeking an external review of a decision by an agency regarding the provision of information under the Government Information (Public Access) Act 2009 (GIPA Act).
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You have a right to access most government information and an expectation that access to that information is transparent and open and available freely.