Department’s responsibilities and your rights under the GIPA Act
The Government Information (Public Access) Act 2009 (NSW) replaced the Freedom of Information Act 1989 (NSW) on 1 July, 2010.
The GIPA Act establishesa comprehensive system for public access to government information.
The objective of the Act is to open government information to the public by
- authorising and encouraging the proactive public release of government information by agencies, and
- giving members of the public an enforceable right to access government information, and
- providing that access to government information is restricted only when there is an overriding public interest against disclosure.
The system for public access to government information is overseen by the Information Commissioner
The Information Commissioner’s role includes, promoting public awareness and understanding of the Act, dealing with complaints about Government Agencies and providing advice and assistance to agencies and the public.
Further information is available from the Information and Privacy Commission website
It should be noted that the GIPA Act complements other regimes by which the public can access information held by government. It does not detract from any other rights of access to information that exist under other legislation or policies. Other legislation that may be particularly relevant includes:
- The Privacy and Personal Information Protection Act 1998, which allows individuals to obtain access to, and to apply for amendment of, information held about them by NSW Government agencies (for more information visit the NSW Privacy Commissioner).
- The Court Information Act 2010, which provides for public access to information held by Courts about judicial proceedings (for more information visit Lawlink).