Information Awareness Month and Open Government Week 2022
The month of May marks Information Awareness Month (IAM) which brings together the records, archives, library, knowledge, information, and data management communities to promote public awareness of information and improve information management practices across Australia.
This year’s theme for IAM is ‘Building Trust in Information’. The theme highlights the importance of trust in information across all aspects of our professional life, from people to technology.
Open Government Week (OGW) is on 16-20 May and invites open government doers, leaders, and thinkers from around the world to come together and share ideas, discuss solutions, and commit to new levels of citizen participation in government. We all share the responsibility to promote open government.
In celebration of IAM and OGW this month, the IPC is highlighting its resources for agencies to assist them to build trust in their information access management:
- Walton v Eurobodalla Shire Council  NSWCATAD 46
This case note deals with the manner in which an agency routinely saves records, such as emails, to its normal electronic record keeping system which does not ordinarily enliven the discretion to extend the decision period under the GIPA Act by 10 days. The process of retrieval from a records archive must involve some difficulty because an agency is required to undertake an act of retrieval from a place where public or historical records are kept, for the discretion to be enlivened. In short email archives are not the same as ‘archives’ because they are more accessible.
- Fact Sheet - Automated decision-making, digital government and preserving information access rights for agencies
Increasingly NSW government information is held in digital form, likewise decision-making and services are increasingly automated. This has implications for how governments can improve outcomes for citizens seeking access to government information. Agencies need to ask 3 key questions to ensure access rights are preserved: Who holds the government information; how can it be accessed? In what form can access be provided? Learn more in this fact sheet.
- Fact Sheet - Digital records and the GIPA Act
This fact sheet provides guidance about the definition of record, in particular digital records under the GIPA Act and what it means for agencies. It also outlines the importance of agencies maintaining good digital recordkeeping practices to ensure it is able to comply with its legislative obligations.
The IPC also has many resources for NSW citizens to help them better understand their rights under NSW information access legislation:
- Simplified guide to information access
This fact sheet can assist citizens in making an application for information to NSW government agencies under the Government Information (Public Access) Act (or GIPA Act).
- Animation – Ways to access government held information in NSW
This animation aims to assist citizens in understanding the four pathways they can take to seek access to information held by NSW public sector agencies.
- Fact Sheet – Automated decision-making, digital government and preserving information access rights for citizens
This fact sheet provides advice to citizens seeking access to government information. Increasingly NSW government information is held in digital form, likewise decision-making and services are increasingly automated. This has implications for how governments can improve outcomes for citizens seeking access to government information.
In NSW, the State Archives and Records Authority (SARA) oversee government recordkeeping through the State Records Act 1998. All NSW public sector agencies must have regard to the Act and ensure their recordkeeping practices also comply with GIPA Act. SARA have a wealth of information available online to assist agencies with their compliance.
For more information on IAM and events near you, visit the IAM webpage.