Online GIPA Data
As well as defining citizens’ rights to information in NSW, the GIPA Act also specifies that each public sector agency in NSW must report on its obligations under the GIPA Act, including the data each agency must include in its report – such as the number of applications received, what outcomes resulted and whether information was released in full.
NSW agencies are required to report annually on these obligations and are to provide a copy of this report to the Information Commissioner. These reports are used by the IPC as the basis for the Information Commissioner’s annual Report on the Operation of the Government Information (Public Access) Act 2009, across all agencies and dis-aggregated to the sector level.
In July 2016 the IPC provided sector-wide data back to agencies in open format with enhanced reporting features to enable agencies to better measure and assess performance. Previously agency data was only available via an agency’s annual report.
The IPC has a commitment to Open Data and transparency in government and supports the NSW Government’s Open Data Policy (2016). In addition, the Information Commissioner has a role as NSW Open Data Advocate. Accordingly, the IPC is now making agency-level data more accessible by publishing it in a form that allows deeper analysis and comparisons.
The publication of this data will assist in achieving:
- greater transparency;
- the GIPA Act’s object to open government information to the public; and
- the IPC’s regulatory responsibility to improve access to government information and promote greater openness, transparency and accountability of government.
Data collection and availability - Agency level GIPA Dashboard
The GIPA data is collected from agencies via the IPC’s GIPA Tool and is available as an Excel workbook. The IPC also makes the data accessible by publishing agency-level data via the Agency level GIPA Dashboard. The dashboard enables the public and agencies to see how the GIPA Act is working against the eight key performance measures reported upon each year since 2014.
The IPC GIPA Tool
The IPC GIPA Tool provides functionality for agencies to create and manage their GIPA applications and is provided by the IPC to support agencies to comply with the GIPA Act. Agencies can add, edit and search GIPA applications and view dashboards and reports. The GIPA Tool also enables agencies to submit their annual GIPA data to the Information Commissioner in order to assist in their reporting obligations and form the basis of the Information Commissioner’s yearly report on the operation of the GIPA Act. Agencies have custodianship and control over the data entered by them into the IPC’s GIPA Tool. Agency officers are responsible for the reliability and quality of the data entered.
Requests to access case management data in the GIPA Tool should be made directly to the agency for which data is sought. Information on how to make such a request should be available on the agency’s ‘right to information’ webpage. The IPC does not hold agency case management data.
An agency’s annual GIPA report data is also available in their corporate annual report, which is usually accessible via the agency website.
The IPC particularly welcomes use of this data to:
- bring the various tables together into an agency or sector ‘snapshot’ showing how many applications were received and their outcome
- highlight trends between agencies and over time; and
- enable members of the public to answer questions such as ‘how many applications has my local council received, with what outcome’.
The GIPA data presented is subject to a number of caveats (explained below) and is based on information submitted by NSW public sector agencies and analysed within the IPC.
*As noted above, this data is reported at an aggregated level in the Report on the Operation of the Government Information (Public Access) Act 2009. Anyone wishing to further analyse this data is strongly encouraged to read this report in order to understand its purpose, scope and limitations. While the material contained in this website has been formulated with all due care, the IPC does not warrant or represent that the material is free from errors or omission, or that it is exhaustive. Read the IPC Disclaimer for more information.