NSW Information Commissioner releases Agency Information Guide guidance materials

Today, the NSW Informaton Commissioner, Elizabeth Tydd, released a range of materials to assist agencies in satisfying their obligations to create and update their Agency Information Guide (AIG) in accordance with Part 3, Division 2, of the Government Information (Public Access) Act 2009 (GIPA Act).

These materials stem from recommendations in the IPC’s report, Towards a NSW Charter for Public Participation (June 2016).

An AIG is an important tool for each agency to promote access to information, support public participation and contribute to Open Government.

The new guidance material includes:

Guideline 6: Agency Information Guides

This document summarises the legal obligation for agencies in preparing and updating an AIG, explains the opportunities provided by AIGs to promote Open Government, Open Data and public participation, and offers suggestions for structuring and writing an AIG.

A self-assessment checklist for agencies
This does not prescribe the structure and format that an AIG should follow, but rather assists agencies in reviewing and assessing the AIG to ensure it complies and is effective in promoting Open Government. The IPC also uses this checklist to assess the quality of AIGs received.

The enhanced AIG of the Information and Privacy Commission NSW
Including an infographic, this is intended to serve as a model of best practice for agencies. (In looking to inform the development of the enhanced AIG, the IPC acknowledges the AIGs of Orange City Council, Transport for NSW and the Audit Office of NSW.)

Fact sheet: AIGs and the public
This offers information for members of the NSW public about what an AIG is, where an agency’s AIG can be found, and how to make a complaint about an AIG. 

Importantly, an AIG is one of several avenues available to agencies to promote accountability and transparency. Others include disclosure logs, open access channels and informal release.

For questions and feedback please contact David Marcus, Manager, Performance Reporting and Projects, at ipcinfo@ipc.nsw.gov.au.