Role of Right to Information Officers

Read the document below or download it here Fact sheet - Role of Right to Information Officers, updated September 2019 

Right to Information Officers (RIOs) are government agency staff who have been given specific authority and responsibility to meet some of their agency’s day-to-day obligations under the Government Information (Public Access) Act 2009 (GIPA Act).

This includes dealing with formal applications for access to information and other responsibilities in relation to the release of information.

Other staff who are not RIOs may also be authorised to make decisions about the release of information to the public.

The range of tasks that may be assigned to a RIO include:

1. Processing and making decisions about formal information access applications

2. Assisting with the routine publication of open access information, including:

  • the contents and annual review of the agency’s agency information guide
  • policy documents
  • the disclosure log
  • the register of government contracts
  • proactively releasing as much information as possible, in as many ways as are appropriate
  • recording the open access information that is not made publicly available on the basis of an overriding public interest against disclosure.

The RIOs and principal officers of a local authority (local or county councils and joint-organisations) will have additional obligations in relation to the publication of open access information.

3. Working with relevant staff to provide training, support and advice in relation to the proactive and informal release of information, including:

  • who has authority to release information
  • the type of information to be released
  • how to apply the public interest test
  • the manner in which such information should be released
  • whether conditions should be imposed in response to an informal request for information
  • the internal tracking of information requests
  • reporting functions and obligations.

4. Working on the agency’s response to reviews conducted by the Information Commissioner or the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal

5. Facilitating agency compliance with the GIPA Act and GIPA Regulation reporting requirements.

For more information

Contact the Information and Privacy Commission NSW (IPC):

Freecall:           1800 472 679


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