Checklist - GIPA Compliance Checklist for agencies

Read the introduction of the document below or download the whole document here Checklist - GIPA Compliance Checklist for agencies March 2012

Introduction

This document sets out the requirements that agencies must comply with under the Government Information (Public Access) Act 2009 (the GIPA Act), and the circumstances in which those requirements apply. It is not a replacement for reading and understanding the Act itself. If you are unclear about how the GIPA Act will relate to your agency, call the Office of the Information Commissioner (OIC) for information. You may also want to consider getting independent legal advice.

The GIPA Act focuses on information sharing and a cultural change to a proactive approach to release of government information. To comply with the GIPA Act, you will need to consider how your agency approaches access to information. For example:

    • Commitment – establish written policies and procedures that support your agency’s right to information process, plus training for staff so they understand the process and can access and implement it easily.
    • Communication – provide information for staff about the requirements of the GIPA Act, and communicating support for an approach that facilitates and encourages simple and straightforward access to government information.
    • Responsiveness – deal with requests for information by responding quickly. Administrative burdens can be eased by releasing information informally rather than requiring a formal access application. Consistent with a good customer service focus, applicants should always be kept informed of where their application or request is up to.
    • Initiative – the GIPA Act authorises the proactive release of information unless it is excluded information or there is an overriding public interest against disclosure. The Act thus provides an opportunity for your agency to proactively release information that will assist or inform the public about what your agency does and how it does it.

For guidance on how to comply with the GIPA Act, please see the OIC’s Compliance Overview, which you can download from the IPC’s website at www.ipc.nsw.gov.au.