Online GIPA Data

The importance of access to government information

The Government Information (Public Access) Act 2009 (GIPA Act) was established to provide an open and transparent process for giving the public access to information held by NSW public sector agencies and to encourage the proactive release of government information.

NSW agency reporting on their release of information

As well as defining the NSW community’s rights to information, the GIPA Act also specifies that each agency must report on its obligations under the GIPA Act and the data each agency must include in its report – such as the number of applications received, what outcomes resulted and whether information was released in full.

NSW agencies are required to report annually on their obligations under the GIPA Act, and are to provide a copy of this report to the Information Commissioner. These reports are used by the IPC as the basis for the Information Commissioner’s annual Report on the Operation of the Government Information (Public Access) Act 2009:2014-2015, across all agencies and dis-aggregated to the sector level. 

To date, agency-level data has been publicly available only through each agency’s annual report. The IPC has committed to providing data to agencies and then moving to providing sector wide data and enhanced reporting to enable agencies to better measure and assess performance. In July 2016 the IPC provided data back to agencies in open format.

The IPC has a commitment to Open Data and transparency in government and supports the NSW Government’s Open Data Policy (2016). In addition the Information Commissioner has a role as NSW Open Data Advocate. Accordingly, the IPC is now making agency-level data more accessible by publishing it in a form that allows deeper analysis and comparisons.

The publication of this data will assist in achieving:

  • greater transparency;
  • the GIPA Act’s object to open government information to the public; and
  • the IPC’s regulatory responsibility to improve access to government information and promote greater openness, transparency and accountability of government.
The data

The data is available as an Excel workbook. Each tab contains a count of various activities by each agency. For example, the ‘Clause 7(b)’ tab lists how many GIPA applications were received by each agency, while the ‘Table A’ tab has data on the outcomes of applications, by type of applicant.

We would particularly welcome use of this data to:

  • bring the various tables together into an agency or sector  ‘snapshot’ showing how many applications were received and their outcome
  • highlight trends between agencies and over time; and
  • enable members of the public to answer questions such as ‘how many applications has my local council received, with what outcome’.


The data presented is subject to a number of caveats (explained below). The data is based on information submitted by NSW public sector agencies and analysed within the IPC. More detailed information about the data quality and reliability is available here.


Clause 7(a)        

Details of the review carried out by the agency under section 7(3) of the GIPA Act during the reporting year and the details of any information made publicly available by the agency as a result of the review.

Clause 7(b)

The total number of access applications received by the agency during the reporting year (including withdrawn applications but not including invalid applications).

Clause 7(c)

The total number of access applications received by the agency during the reporting year that the agency refused, either wholly or partly, because the application was for the disclosure of information referred to in Schedule 1 to the Act (information for which there is conclusive presumption of overriding public interest against disclosure).

Table A

Number of applications by type of applicant and outcome.

Table B

Number of applications by type of application and outcome.

Table C

Invalid applications

Table D

Conclusive presumption of overriding public interest against disclosure – matters listed in Schedule 1 to Act.

Table E

Other public interest considerations against disclosure – matters listed in table to section 14 of Act.

Table F


Table G

Number of applications reviewed under Part 5 of the Act (by type of review and outcome).

Table H

Applications for review under Part 5 of the Act (by type of applicant.

Table I

Applications transferred to other agencies under Division 2, Part 4 of the Act (by type of transfer).

As noted above, this data is reported at an aggregated level in the Report on the Operation of the Government Information (Public Access) Act 2009:2014-2015. Anyone wishing to further analyse this data is strongly encouraged to read this report in order to understand its purpose, scope and limitations.

While the material contained in this website has been formulated with all due care, the Information and Privacy Commission NSW (IPC) does not warrant or represent that the material is free from errors or omission, or that it is exhaustive. More detailed information about this disclaimer is available.

Read the IPC disclaimer