What is GIPA (FOI)
The Government Information (Public Access) (GIPA) (replacing the Freedom of Information (FOI) Act), gives individuals and organisations the legal right to:
Obtain documents/information held by government agencies &
Appeal against decisions not to grant access to documents/information
It also places significant additional responsibilities on agencies to make information available to the public.
Frequently Asked GIPA Questions
Q1. What does an agency do if someone wants access to my records through GIPA?
The agency should consult you and give you the opportunity to object to the release. You will be required to prove the release of information relating to your personal information should be refused on the grounds there is an overriding public interest against the release. In general terms there is great weight given to the protection of personal information under the GIPA Act.
Q2. Will the agency release information about my business?
The agency may release information about your business in response to an access application; however, the decision will be subject to the public interest test.
If an access application covers your business information, the agency must consult you to see whether or not you object to the information being released. Your objection must relate to one or more of the five public interest considerations against disclosure set out in Section 14 of the Act.
If the agency decides that, on balance, there is an overriding public interest against disclosure, then it will not release the information.
Q3. What are the public interest grounds in favour of releasing information?
The only other considerations that may be taken into account in order to withhold information are listed in the Table under section 14. They include the following categories:
- Responsible and effective government
However, all of these grounds need to undergo a public interest test and the agency can only withhold information if it can prove there is an overriding public interest against the release.
Q5. What do I do if I do not agree with an agency's decision?
Q6. What can I do if I think my personal records held by the agency are incomplete, incorrect, out of date or misleading?
Amendment of records under the FOI Act ceased when the GIPA Act started and the Privacy Acts became the only method to use to challenge the accuracy of personal information held by NSW government agencies.
Q7. What are the protections for government agencies and their staff under the GIPA Act?
Q8. How much will it cost if I want to make an application?