Searches for information under the GIPA Act

Searching for information under the Government Information (Public Access) Act 2009 (GIPA Act) is a part of the process of managing a formal request to access government information. Below is a range of resources that can be used as a guide when undertaking a search for information or deciding if a request will require an unreasonable and substantial diversion of resources.

Section 53 of the Government Information (Public Access) Act 2009 (GIPA Act) sets out the obligations of NSW public sector agencies to undertake searches for information requested in an access application.

A valid access application under the GIPA Act requires an applicant to include such information as is reasonably necessary to enable the relevant government information to be identified.

However the GIPA Act also provides discretion for agencies to refuse to deal with an application where dealing with the application would require an unreasonable and substantial diversion of the agency’s resources.

Below is a selection of guidance and resources that may assist you in understanding how to search for information and considering whether a request for access entails an unreasonable and substantial diversion of resources under the GIPA Act. 

The IPC’s Fact Sheet - Unreasonable and substantial diversion of agency resources clarifies what may be considered an unreasonable and substantial diversion of resources and what review rights apply if an agency decides to refuse to deal with an access application. The fact sheet references applicable legislative  provisions and relevant case law.

 

Resources

Flowchart - Dealing with GIPA applications - managing searches for information
Flowchart to guide agencies when managing applications to access information under the GIPA Act.

Checklist - GIPA Compliance Checklist for Agencies
A companion to the Compliance Guide for agencies.

Checklist - GIPA Compliance checklist for Councils
To assist councils in complying with the GIPA Act.

Knowledge Update - Reasonable searches under the GIPA Act
Section 53 of the Government Information (Public Access) Act 2009 (GIPA Act) sets out the obligations of NSW public sector agencies to undertake searches for information requested in an access application.

Guide - Quick guide to responsibilities under the GIPA Act
A Quick Guide for public sector employees on their responsibilities under the Government Information (Public Access) Act 2009 (GIPA Act).

Fact sheet - Unreasonable and Substantial diversion of agency resources
This fact sheet clarifies what may be considered an unreasonable and substantial diversion of resources and what review rights apply if an agency decides to refuse to deal with an access application.

IPC’s e-learning portal
The IPC e-learning portal contains a number of e-learning training modules to provide training across government information access and privacy legislation.