2 Outline1. Information access methods 2. GIPA general principles 3. Informal requests 4. Formal applications 5. How to get the information you want 6. Costs 7. When to appeal 8. Review options 9. Going to NCAT
3 1. Information access methods MPs asking questions (but problems with relevance)Budget estimates (but only once a year)GIPA (formal and informal application)Standing Order 52 (require support of the house)
4 2. GIPA general principles Replaces old NSW FOI ActGOVERNMENT INFORMATION (PUBLIC ACCESS) ACT 2009Section 3 – Objects of the ActIntention to make more information publicly available.
5 3. Informal requests S8 of the GIPA Act No cost Gives decision maker substantial discretion
6 4. Formal applications Form of application s41 of the Act $30 cheque Timeframes – 20 working days for decision, 10 extra days if consultation or archive (or longer by consent)
7 5. How to get the information you want Make sure you have the right decision maker – Minister vs Department vs MinistryBe specific, include relevant dates, name of document where known – respondents undertake keyword searches, make sure they have the relevant termsForm of access – eg CCTV may be allowed to watch, but unlikely to get released
8 How would you get the following information? The standard operating procedures for Taser use in the NSW Police Force?A report into special religious education in NSW schools?Numbers of guns owned and numbers of registered owners in NSW by postcode?Information about cuts to education for prisoners?The names and quantities of chemicals sprayed in State Forests?Maintenance reports about a building owned by Blue Mountains City Council?
9 GIPA re: Special religious education report A copy of the report into special religious education and special education in ethics as recommended by Legislative Council General Purpose Standing Committee No. 2 in 2012, in both its current and initial draft form (i.e. as first sent to the Minister by ARTD Consultants and after requested amendments).
10 GIPA re Firearms ownership The number of guns owned by each of the 100 registered gun owners in NSW who own and/or possess the highest numbers of guns.The postcodes of each of the 100 registered gun owners in NSW who own and/or possess the highest numbers of guns.The total number of registered guns in NSW.The total number of registered gun owners in NSW.The numbers of registered guns and registered gun owners in each NSW postcode.
11 GIPA re Forestry chemical use The names and quantity of chemicals used by Forestry Corporation when undertaking the aerial chemical spraying of crops and forestsThe sites which Forestry Corporation has undertaken the aerial chemical spraying of crops and forests in the following financial years:2012/132013/142014 to date.
12 6. Costs Costs - $30 then $30 per hour May need to reduce the scope Special interest discountAdvance deposit (50% of final charge)May need to reduce the scope
13 7. When to appeals12 Public interest considerations in favour of disclosures13 Public interest tests14 Public interest considerations against disclosures15 Principles that apply to public interest determination: Objects of the ActWatch out for 'legal professional privilege' and 'Cabinet in confidence' being misused
14 8. Review options Internal review – unlikely to produce new outcome External review – can be useful for refining scope etcIPC (can be informative, but doesn’t have power)NCAT
15 9. Going to NCAT File application - $98 Planning meeting - determine if mediation is appropriate/narrow issues under disputeWill set timetable for submissions and set date for hearingOutcomes: decision to require production of documents, reduce costs, apply discount, direct agency to do further agency searches
16 How would you appeal this? Refuse to release postcodes of top 100 owners and number of guns owned by top 100 ownersSection 14 Table 3(a) – would reveal an individual's personal informationSection 14 Table 2(d) endanger, or prejudice any system or procedure for protecting, the life, health or safety of any person and, (e) endanger the security of, or prejudice any system or procedure for protecting, any place, property or vehicle