2022/23 GIPA Act Report tabled in Parliament


The NSW Information Commissioner’s twelfth annual Report on the Operation of the Government Information (Public Access) Act 2009 (GIPA Act): 2022/23 (‘the Report’) has been tabled in the NSW Parliament.

The Report is a comprehensive assessment of the operation of the right to information legislation in NSW and examines the performance of over 260 public sector agencies. It provides important guidance to policymakers and agency heads and promotes greater transparency for the NSW community.

The Report notes:

  • A record number of access applications were received this reporting year. Agencies reported that they received 24,476 valid applications during 2022/23. The increase of 3% in the number of applications compared to 2021/22, follows the 37.9% increase recorded between 2019/20 and 2021/22. 
  • Application outcomes for members of the public remain at a record high, increasing moderately by 9% compared with 2021/22 – from 19,758 in 2021/22 to 21,556 in 2022/23.
  • In 2022/23, 84% of all outcomes were related to applications from either a member of the public or their legal representative, consistent with 83% reported in 2021/22.  Within this group, the largest single applicant type, at 48%, was members of the public represented legally – an increase of 4% from 2021/22.
  • The number of outcomes for not-for-profit organisations or community groups increased significantly by 19% from the previous year; 412 in 2021/22 compared with 489 in 2022/23, following a 49% increase in 2020/21. 
  • Personal information application outcomes increased moderately by 10% from the previous year, with 12,081 outcomes in 2022/23 compared with 11,004 in 2021/22. 
  • Outcomes that were partly personal information and partly other information increased significantly by 18% from 4,451 outcomes in 2021/22 to 5,255 in 2022/23. The type of information sought varied across sectors and the overall release rate was 64%, representing the combined access granted in full and in part outcomes.
  • During 2022/23, agencies reported that 480 applications were transferred to another agency. This is a 7% decline from the 516 transfers reported in 2021/22. This result represents the lowest number of transfers recorded over the past five years and a 44% decline from the highest number of transfers, 854, reported in 2017/18.
  • No data is available for ministers’ offices for the reporting period prior to April 2023 due to the State election that took place in March 2023. 
  • For the first time, the Report includes data on agencies’ use of the informal release pathway under the GIPA Act. While voluntary reporting was only received from 27% of all agencies, an IPC audit also showed that agencies are receiving a high volume of informal access applications and that 83% of informal requests recorded by agencies resulted in some information being released.  The IPC has released for agencies about informal release and encourages more agencies to use the GIPA Tool to report their data for 2023/2024.
  • Compliance with the Open Access information requirements of the GIPA Act, which include requirements to publish specific information on agency websites, continues to be a concern. Agencies are also encouraged to use phrasing that is consistent with the GIPA Act to make it easier for people to locate their Agency Information Guides (AIG) on agency websites, as well as include information about uses of technology for automating agency decision-making.
  • Agencies should be aware that the preservation of information access rights is an important integrity requirement in the roll-out of new technology applications in the NSW public sector, including for artificial intelligence (AI) and forms of automated decision-making.  The Report refers to the AI Regulatory Scan undertaken by the IPC during the reporting year.  The AI Scan considered potential amendments to NSW law to support ongoing transparency, and these were included in the IPC’s submission to the current Artificial Intelligence Inquiry by the NSW Parliament’s Portfolio Committee No. 1. 

Read more in the IPC’s Media Release.