Accessing information under the Government Information (Public Access) Act 2009
What is the Government Information (Public Access) Act?
The Government Information (Public Access) Act 2009 (GIPA Act) came into force on 1 July 2010. It replaces the Freedom of Information Act 1989. The object of the GIPA 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 where there is an overriding public interest against disclosure.
The GIPA Act requires government agencies to make certain information easily available to the public without requiring an application. This is known as open access information and includes:
- information about who we are, what we do and the information we hold (our publication guide)
- information about the Inspector and the Office of the Inspector tabled in Parliament
- our policy documents
- a log of all of the information released in response to applications 9 our disclosure log), and information about contracts valued at over $150,000.
Public officials and agencies are required to provide an explanation if we do not make any of the information listed above available publicly.
What information is available from the Office of the Inspector of the PIC?
The Office of the Inspector of the PIC (the Office) provides public information about the Inspector’s functions and powers, the Office’s role and functions and its general policies and procedures.
If you are uncertain about what information you can access from the Inspector’s office, you may telephone the office on (02) 9232 3350. After speaking with the Inspectorate you may be in a better position to decide whether you still wish to proceed with lodging an access application or whether the information you seek is publicly available.
What information is not available from the Office of the Inspector of the PIC?
The Inspector is exempt from the GIPA Act from having to provide information relevant to the Inspector’s statutory functions. This means an open access application cannot be made in respect of the Inspector’s complaint handling, investigative, auditing and reporting functions. The Inspector also cannot provide information concerning the PIC’s complaint handling, investigation and reporting role as this information is also exempt under the GIPA Act.