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Access to information

ACCESS TO INFORMATION

The Government Information (Public Access) Act 2009 (GIPA)

The Government Information (Public Access) Act 2009 (GIPA) is the New South Wales Government's approach to giving the community greater access to information.

The new legislation came into effect 1 July 2010 and replaces the Freedom of Information Act 1989 and Section 12 of the Local Government Act 1993. The new reform aims to:

  • make more information available;
  • provide equal access to information across all sectors of the community; and
  • provide appropriate protection for individuals' privacy.

For more details on your rights to information visit the Office of the Information Commissioner .

Auburn City Council is in the process of implementing the new laws across its functions.

Access to Information Policy

Policy currently being developed.

Ways to access information in Council

Council will provide four ways for the public to access information held by Council:

Mandatory Release

Certain information will be published on Council’s website and will be available at the Auburn City Council Customer Service Centre and Libraries.
 
Open access, or mandatory release, information that will be available includes:
  • Council’s policy documents
  • an Information Guide 
  • a disclosure log of formal access applications
  • a register of council contracts
  • Council’s record of open access information that it does not make publicly available on the basis of an overriding public interest against disclosure
  • information about Council contained in any document tabled in Parliament by or on behalf of Council (other than any document tabled by order of either House of Parliament).

Proactive Release

At Council’s discretion, Council will release as much government information as possible in an appropriate manner and free of charge (or at lowest reasonable cost).
 
A list of information types available from Council under proactive release will be made available on the Council public website.  

Informal Release

Council will release information without the need for a formal application subject to any reasonable conditions that Council deems fit to impose and providing there is not an overriding public interest against disclosure of the information.   

Formal Release

In limited circumstances, Council will require formal access applications to be completed in order to access information held by Council.
 
The information will be provided by Council subject to any reasonable conditions that Council deems fit to impose and providing there is not an overriding public interest against disclosure of the information.
 
Download a copy of the Formal Release application form.

Public Interest Considerations

There is a general public interest in favour of the disclosure of government information. The public interest test will be applied when a determination must be made in order to release Council information to the public.

Public Interest Test

There is an overriding public interest against disclosure of Council information if, and only if, there are public interest considerations against disclosure and, on balance, those considerations outweigh the public interest considerations in favour of disclosure. 

There is an overriding public interest against disclosure of any of the information described within Schedule 1 of the GIPA Act. Schedule 1 includes references to:

 

Overriding secrecy laws NSW Cabinet information
NSW Executive Council information Contempt
Legal professional privilege Excluded information
Documents affecting law enforcement and public safety Transport safety
Adoption Care and protection of children
NSW Ministerial Code of Conduct Aboriginal and environmental heritage