Right to Know Week NSW 2023

Right to Know Week NSW 2023

 

The importance of the online space for access to information

 

25 September - 1 October 2023

About Right to Know Week

28 September marks International Access to Information Day, which recognises citizen rights around the world to access government information. This right is encapsulated under Article 19 of the United Nations’ Declaration of Human Rights.

In recognition of this day, NSW celebrates Right to Know (RTK) Week, educating public sector agencies and citizens on the Government Information (Public Access) Act or GIPA Act and raising awareness about citizens’ rights to access government held information. RTK Week will take place from 25 September – 1 October 2023 and will celebrate the theme of The importance of the online space for access to information.

IPC has been actively supporting Right to Know Week since 2014 and collaborates with several Right to Know Champions across various NSW public sector agencies, universities, and councils to promote this campaign.

Elizabeth Tydd 2023

From the Information Commissioner

I am delighted to be leading this year’s Right to Know Week NSW 2023, which focuses on the importance of the online space for access to information.

The online space plays a pivotal role in empowering citizens by providing easy and convenient access to a vast array of government information. It fosters an informed and engaged society, enabling individuals to make well-informed decisions and participate actively in public discourse.

By offering access to information online, citizens can engage with government agencies, apply for services, and seek assistance easily which enhances overall public service delivery. For the public sector, an efficient and effective government relies on these streamlined e-government services.

Right to Know Week NSW 2023 aims to highlight how the online space empowers individuals to:

  • critically assess information
  • identify misinformation
  • ensure that government remains accountable and responsive to citizen views.

But crucially, without access to the online space the right to access information is compromised. It is only through guaranteeing online access, can we ensure greater access to information.

More broadly, the online space facilitates international collaboration, enabling people from diverse backgrounds to share knowledge, collaborate on projects, and address global challenges collectively.

Through Right to Know Week and by championing the significance of the online space for access to information, the NSW Information and Privacy Commission aims to create a vibrant, inclusive, and informed society while upholding the values of accessibility, transparency and trust in government.

Elizabeth Tydd
IPC CEO, Information Commissioner
NSW Open Data Advocate

Video Url

What's On

 

UNESCO 2023

UNESCO event: The Importance of the online space for access to information

Date: 28-29 September 2023
Time: Wednesday 6:30 pm - Thursday 4:00 am AEST
Format: In person and virtual 
About: This year, the global celebrations in Oxford, United Kingdom on 28 September 2023 will center around the theme of "the importance of the online space for access to information."

Events:

  • Panel 1 "Technology for Democracy and Sustainable Development" 
  • Panel 2 "Internet connectivity as an enabler of the ability to exercise rights online, with a particular focus on access to information" 
  • Panel 3 "Judicial and Information regulators’ perspective on accessibility and Internet connectivity"

Find out more about the event

S23

Solomon Lecture 2023

Date: Tuesday 26 September 2023
Time: 10:30 am - 12:00 pm
Format: In person and virtual
About: Ms Talei Elu, Seisia community member and 2023 Young Australian of the Year for Queensland, will be presenting on 'The Story of Seisia – How access to information in remote Indigenous communities can help to solve complex problems'.

Ms Elu will share her story about how the people of Seisia harnessed the information and contacts they had to lobby for better telecommunications infrastructure, ultimately securing a $1.09 million tower through the Regional Connectivity Program. 

Watch the event on 26 September.

OVIC event: The importance of the online space for access to information.

Date: 28 September 2023
Time: 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm
Format: virtual 
About: IAID Panel: Benefits and Barriers to Using the Online Space for Promoting Access to Information – Now and in the Future

Featuring NSW Information Commissioner Elizabeth Tydd, the expert panel will discuss the role the online space plays in promoting information access rights and the benefits of, as well as barriers to, using the online space to provide access to government-held information.

Informal Release Training Webinar and New Resources

Video Url

This Training Webinar has been released as part of Right to Know Week NSW 2023 and has been developed for NSW agencies to learn about effective and efficient informal release of government information that better serves agencies and citizens alike.

Resources



Fact Sheet - Frequently asked questions for citizens: Informal release of information

The Government Information (Public Access) Act 2009 (GIPA Act) allows agencies to release information to you in response to an informal request.

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.



Information Access Guideline 11: Informal Release of Information

This Guideline is part of a suite of information access resources provided by the Information Commissioner to facilitate informal access to information. Independent research conducted by the University of New South Wales (UNSW) and an audit of agency practices by the Information and Privacy Commission NSW (IPC) identified the need to support agencies in the exercise of this function and to promote better administrative decision-making practices under the GIPA Act.



Managing informal access applications

This checklist covers important information and considerations when managing and deciding an informal access application. It is designed to ensure that the practitioner has given consideration to all steps involved during this process. It contains links to templates and resources for agencies.

Template - Informal Release Decision Template Letters September 2023 (6)

Informal release decision templates

Informal release of information can be more efficient, flexible and timely for agencies and citizens. These templates will provide important information and wording when providing a decision on an informal release request. There are several response options depending whether access is provided.

Agency Informal Release Template Record

Agency Informal Release Record Template

This Template is intended to assist agencies in recording their applications for informal release. The Template contains the suggested minimum data to include in a record of an application to your agency. The IPC suggests including any additional fields, including relevant record numbers, which may assist in your record keeping. 

2023 Champion Program

This year we continue to run our RTK Champion Program. NSW public sector agencies can join as Champions to help spread the RTK message as well as encourage their own agency and work colleagues to get involved and promote citizen rights.

Champions of the Program will receive a pack full of digital and printable resources, as well as written content such as newsletter articles, blog posts, social media posts, educational powerpoint slides and more to make promoting the campaign easy. 

Agencies will also be acknowledged as a Champion here on the RTK NSW webpage and via the IPC's social media where possible.

Registrations have closed for 2023.

RTK 2023 Champions:
 

Council, University & State-Owned Corporations

RTK 2023

NSW Government agencies

Department of Communities and Justice NSW
Department of Customer Service NSW
Department of Education NSW
Department of Planning and Environment NSW
Department of Regional NSW
Fair Trading NSW
Health Care Complaints Commission NSW
Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal (IPART)
Independent Review Office NSW
Legal Aid NSW
Museums of History NSW
New South Wales Police Force
Education Standards Authority NSW
Environment Protection Authority NSW
Health Pathology NSW
Treasury NSW
Trustee & Guardian NSW
SafeWork NSW
Service NSW
State Records NSW
The Cabinet Office
State Insurance Regulatory Authority NSW