Consultation on guidance materials

The NSW Information Commissioner is seeking feedback on three sets of draft materials developed to provide guidance to regulated sectors under the Government Information (Public Access) Act 2009 (GIPA Act):

Section 121 under the GIPA Act

S121 of the GIPA Act provides government agencies with a mechanism to obtain access to certain information held by contractors when they provide services to the public on behalf of the agency. The fact sheets aim to help agencies and government contractors understand how s121 of the GIPA Act operates and may impact them.

The fact sheets were developed in light of the outsourcing of government services, as well as the government’s response to the release of a Parliamentary inquiry report in 2015 into “Service coordination in communities with high social needs”. The Report identified the need for agencies to enhance their level of service delivery to members of the public and for regulators to provide guidance to further this.

Delegation or authorisation

The fact sheet clarifies what is required when the principal officer of an agency seeks to delegate or authorise their functions under the GIPA Act.

The accuracy and currency of delegations or authorisations recently arose in a case before NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal. Additionally, the IPC has, in its regulatory functions, identified this issue as a risk to the proper application of the GIPA Act, so it is important that agencies examine their authority to make decisions in relation to requests for information.

Third parties

The guidance materials address a range of issues in relation to third party consultations, objections and review rights, including notice requirements, the burden of proof under the GIPA Act, and the impact on application and review timeframes.

The materials stem from a marked increase in applications made by third party objectors to the release of information between 2013/14 and 2014/15.

Consultation

The consultation period is open until 6 March 2017.

How to provide feedback

We encourage you to view the above resources and provide us with feedback via the following channels:

Section 121

Delegation or authorisation

Third parties

 Alternatively, email your feedback to ipcinfo@ipc.nsw.gov.au

For further information, please call the IPC on our free call number 1800 472 679.