Report finds positive transparency and accountability outcomes across government authorities

Media release

Media release – Report finds positive transparency and accountability outcomes across government authorities (PDF, 66kb)

The Information and Privacy Commissioner released a report on the operation of the Government Information (Public Access) Act 2009 (known as the GIPA Act).A new report released last week shines a spotlight on how government authorities are dealing with information requests – finding that most are taking a flexible and timely approach with this task.

The report provides a statistical analysis about how the law is being implemented by NSW Government authorities, universities and councils, following its commencement in mid-2010.

NSW Information Commissioner Elizabeth Tydd said the report found promising outcomes for information access in NSW, although there were policy and other areas which still needed attention.

“Three years of data indicates that, in the main, agencies are adopting the law’s flexible and timely approach to decision making on formal access,” Ms Tydd said.

“Approximately 75 per cent of all applications are being granted in part or in full and there are also positive statistics in regards to timeliness and internal review success.

“This is even more encouraging as the results were collected during a period where the public sector has met further big challenges with restructuring since the last State election.

“In saying this, I acknowledge the need to remain vigilant to ensure the law will continue to be properly implemented and in the report I outline areas we will focus on to achieve this outcome.”

The report collected data across five government sectors – NSW Government agencies, State-owned corporations and Ministers, universities and local councils.

The report found that between 2010 – 2013:

  • 50,318 applications were lodged across the five sectors
  • 82% of those applications were lodged with government agencies, State-owned corporations or Ministers
  • 61% of the applications lodged with government are attributed to three agencies: Police (36%) Roads and Maritime Services (15%) and WorkCover (10%)
  • 87% of applications were finalised within the statutory timeframe, 3% exceeded the 35 days
  • During the reporting period (2010 – 2013), the number of invalid applications decreased from 13% to 7% and the number of invalid applications subsequently becoming valid increased from 13% to 26%
  • 75% of decisions resulted in information being release in full and in part
  • 69% of internal reviews varied the initial decision
  • Just 3% of council and 9% government decisions were deemed refused.

Media Contact

Kate Jobling
Level 11, 1 Castlereagh Street, Sydney, NSW, 2000
GPO Box 7011, Sydney NSW 2001
02 8071 7018 or 0435 961 961