Government Information (Public Access) Act 2009
On 1 July, 2010, new right to information legislation came into effect, replacing the former Freedom of Information Act & Section 12 of the Local Government Act. The new law:
- Creates new rights to information that are designed to meet community expectations of a more open and transparent government.
- Encourages government agencies to proactively release government information
Access to information collected and held at Inverell Shire Council is made available in accordance with the provisions of the Government Information (Public Access) Act 2009 (GIPA). The Act creates an enforceable right to information unless there is an overriding public interest against disclosure.
The GIPA Act provides for Council information to be released in four (4) ways:
- Mandatory Proactive Release (Open Access) – This information is made available on Council’s website and is available free of charge. For example, Council Policies, meeting agendas and minutes, media releases and annual reports.
- Proactive Release – Council is encouraged to make as much information of public interest as possible publicly available, free of charge or at minimal cost. For example, frequently requested information, or information of public interest.
- Informal Release – Other information held is authorised to be released in response to an informal request, subject to any reasonable conditions that Council may wish to impose. For example, requests for the personal information of the individual concerned but NOT another persons personal information. Written application forms are required for both Informal and Formal application.
- Formal Release – The release of other information not made available by mandatory, proactive or informal release can be made by way of a formal access application. Standard fees and charges and time frames are applicable for such application. For example, personal information relating to a third party where consultation is required or where information is of confidential nature. Written application forms are required for both Informal and Formal applications.
You can find out more about your right to information and new ways to access NSW Government Information on the Office of the Information Commissioner (OIC) website. Enquiries relating to your application may be directed to Council’s Administration Centre on (02) 6728 8288.