Right to Information
The Government Information (Public Access) Act 2009 (GIPA Act) replaced the Freedom of Information Act 1989 (FOI Act) 1989 on 1 July 2010.
The aim of the Right to Information law is to maintain and advance a system of responsible and representative democratic government that is open, accountable, fair and effective. The object of the GIPA Act is to open government information to the public by:
- authorising and encouraging the proactive release of government information by agencies;
- giving members of the public an enforceable right to access government information; and
- providing that access to government information is restricted only when there is an overriding public interest against disclosure.
The GIPA Act creates rights to information that are designed to meet community expectations of more open and transparent government. It encourages the routine and proactive release of government information, including information held by providers of goods and services contracted by government agencies.
HealthShare NSW and eHealth NSW publish a range of information under the Government Information (Public Access) Act 2009.
The GIPA Act establishes four ways for the public to access government information.
- Open Access Information (aka Mandatory Release) - Certain information must be published on an agency's website, and available free of charge, including policy documents, a disclosure log of information released and refused under the GIPA Act, and a register of government contracts.
- Proactive Release - Agencies are encouraged to take the initiative to release as much government information as possible, in an appropriate manner and free of charge, or at lowest reasonable cost.
- Informal Release - Agencies are encouraged to release information on request without the need for a formal access application, subject to any reasonable conditions.
- Formal Access - In some circumstances, access to information will require formal access applications and a fee. This is similar to how Freedom of Information applications were received and processed.
- The NSW Ministry of Health manages GIPA Act applications on behalf of HealthShare NSW and eHealth NSW.
For further information contact: