Beyond mandatory release, agencies are encouraged (and authorised) to release as much government information as possible.
Under section 7(3) of the GIPA Act, Council is required to review its proactive release program at least every 12 months, to identify any information we hold that should in the public interest be made publicly available.
You can ask Council what information they will make available to the public, in addition to the information contained on their website. Council will release as much government information as possible, in an appropriate way and free of charge (or at the lowest reasonable cost) providing there is no overriding interest against disclosure.
Agencies are encouraged to informally release information, by excusing the need for a formal application (and fee) to be submitted.
The informal release provisions under section 8 of the GIPA Act provides Council with the authority to release information without the need for a formal access application.
Information can be informally requested from Council by contacting the Right to Information Officer.
Please note the GIPA Act provides no statutory timeframe by which informal requests must be decided within. Council is not required to disclose government information pursuant to an informal request and is also not required to consider an informal request for government information (s8(3)). Council can decide however by what means information is to be released in response to an informal request (s8(4)).
You can ask for specific information. Council may release information without the need for a formal application, unless there are good reasons to require one. You will be required to lodge an informal access application from with Council be mail, email, fax or in person. Formal Access applications are not required for 'open access' information. Decisions are reviewable in certain circumstances.
This is the last resort if information is not accessible in any of the above 3 ways. Decisions made in response to formal applications can be reviewed.
If information can't be accessed through any of the above avenues, a formal access application can be submitted to Council. Council will request a formal application be made for information only as a last resort, likely necessary if an applicant asks for a large volume of information, if providing access would involve an unreasonable diversion of resources on behalf of Council (i.e. extensive search, retrieval from archives), or if the information sought involves personal or business information about third parties that must be consulted before the information can be released.
Section 41 of the GIPA Act lists the formal requirements for making a valid access application:
Upon receipt of a valid access application, Council must give the applicant notice of its decision within 20 working days, although this time can be extended under section 57(2) to consult with third parties or retrieve information from archives. Processing charges at a rate of $30 per hour may also apply as part of deciding the application.
Applicants aggrieved with a reviewable decision set out under section 80 of the GIPA Act have the right to request a review of that decision. This fact-sheet outlines available review rights under the GIPA Act.
The following information is classed as open access information. According to the Government Information Public Access (GIPA) Act 2009, you can gain easy access to the following information, which Council holds:
According to the GIPA regulations, you can also access the following additional information:
When previous versions are required: To obtain a copy of a previous version of a document, please contact Council’s Office on 02 6830 5100 or via email email@example.com
If a document is not available online: To obtain access to this document, please contact Council’s Office on 02 6830 5100 or via email firstname.lastname@example.org