Access to information
COVID-19 and GIPA
As a result of unprecedented events in managing and responding to the COVID-19 outbreak, Inner West Council has implemented a coronavirus response plan to
slow the spread of coronavirus within our workforce and within the Inner West community. As a result, our Right to Information team of 3 staff are participating in modified working arrangements which includes working remotely.
We remain committed to the preservation of the right to access government information. We will continue to work on GIPA applications, however, delays are inevitable due to staff not having access to the full range of Council resources they need during this time. As a result:
- Council cannot assure applicants of informal GIPA requests that their applications will be responded to with our existing service standard of 20 working days.
Council’s Information Access Officers will work to complete applications as quickly as they can, prioritising applications in order of receipt; and
- Council’s Information Access Officers will contact applicants of formal GIPA applications to seek an extension of time (where this is required).
For more information, please contact Council’s Right to Information team at firstname.lastname@example.org
or the Information and Privacy Commission’s update at: https://www.ipc.nsw.gov.au/covid-19-information-citizens
Government Information (Public Access) Act 2009 (the GIPA Act)
In 2009, the Information and Privacy Commission NSW (IPC) introduced new requirements for information access of government agencies to ensure greater public accessibility to information.
The Government Information (Public Access) Act 2009 (the GIPA Act) replaced the Freedom of Information Act 1989 and section 12 of the Local Government Act 1993 in NSW.
For a better understanding of your right to information you can access the Information and Privacy Commission NSW website
For further information refer to Council’s:
How to access information
Information held by Council can be accessed in the following ways:
Mandatory disclosure (Open Access Information)
Under section 18 of the GIPA Act certain information is prescribed that must be made available free of charge on Council's website, this includes:
- Policy documents
- Disclosure Log of formal access applications
- Agency Information Guide
- Government Contracts Register
- Record of open access information that is not made available to the public on the basis of an overriding public interest against disclosure
Council can make information available to the public free of charge on its website if there is an overriding public interest to do so. This is in addition to the Mandatory Release information. Information for inclusion under proactive release is reviewed annually.
Some of this information is available on our website free of charge and some information is available in other formats for a small charge.
Refer to Council’s Fees and Charges.
You should make an Informal Request for information if after reviewing Council's website you are still not able to find the information you are looking for.
You can lodge an Informal Access request via our online Customer Request Management system
Lodge an Informal Access request
Refer to lnner West Council Agency Information Guide (PDF 938.1KB) for the type of information that is available for informal release.
You should make a Formal Access application if you can’t access the
requested information through the other three ways listed above.
The GIPA Act states that members of the public have a right
to access information unless there are overriding public interest
considerations in favour of non-disclosure of the information.
Examples of where a Formal Access Application is necessary include:
- When searching for and retrieving the information sought would require a diversion of resources and time
- Where the information sought involves details of third parties who must be consulted.
There is a $30 application fee for a formal access application and a
processing charge of $30 per hour. The application fee counts towards
the first hour of processing. Refer to Council’s Fees and Charges
Processing time for a Formal Access Application is 20 business days with possible extension.
Access to Information - Formal Access Application (PDF 67.5KB)
Access to Information - Formal Access Application (DOCX 121.8KB)
Steps to get the information you want
Step 1: Search the website (using the search box at the top of the page) to see if the information is already available.
Step 2: Check the Inner West Council Agency Information Guide (PDF 938.1KB) to see if it is open access information. The Agency Information Guide will tell you how to obtain the information.
Step 3: If the information is not routinely available(i.e. not open access information) you need to make an Informal Access Information request or a Formal Access application. Please read the details about the different types of applications above.
Copying of documents
Legal copyright provisions apply to the copying of all documents at Inner West Council. Due to the Copyright Act 1968, there may be documents which may not be copied, without consent of the copyright owner. Some of these documents could include certain building plans, publications and consultant's reports.
Copying charges may apply if documents are available. Fees and charges are outlined in Council's Fees and Charges.
Processing of your application
Provide sufficient detail so that the correct information can be identified and your request can be processed as quickly as possible.
The GIPA Act requires Council to keep and publish a record (called its "disclosure log") that records information about access applications made to Council to which it provides access (to some or all of the information applied for) if the information is deemed by the agency to be of interest to other members of the public.
Inner West Council
Other Useful links
For further information please contact the Information and Privacy Commission NSW
Application forms and/or names and addresses of people making an application is information that is publicly available.
The supply of information is voluntary. If you do not provide all details requested, Council may be unable to process your application.
The details you provide are stored at Council Offices and are not made publicly available unless there is an overriding public interest to do so under the Government Information (Public Access) Act 2009 (GIPA Act)and in accordance with section 18(1)(b) of the Privacy and PersonalInformation Protection Act 1998 (NSW).
For more information about your privacy, please refer to Council’s Privacy Management Plan or contact email@example.com
Privacy Management Plan (PDF 111.7KB)
Privacy Management Plan (DOCX 153.8KB)
Find information on the Internal Ombudsman page