Access to Council Information (GIPA Act)

The new Government Information (Public Access) Act

The Government Information (Public Access) Act 2009 (GIPA Act) extends the right of community members to have access to information held by State Government departments and local and public authorities. This Act aims to make more information available to all sectors of the community with a view to achieving more open, accountable, fair and transparent government.

Ways in which the public can access government information

Under the GIPA Act, a person seeking access to Council information has a right to be provided with access unless there is an overriding public interest against disclosure of the information.

Access to government information may be exercised in four ways:

1. Mandatory release (Open Access)

The following publications constitute open access information:

  • Agency Information Guide - provides the community with the structure and functions of Wagga Wagga City Council and details on how each function affects them. In the guide it identifies what information is publicly available to members of the public, how to access government information and how to be involved in Council's decisions making processes.
  • Policy documents
  • Disclosure log of formal access applications where in Council's opinion the information released may be of interest to other members of the public
  • Register of contracts worth more than $150,000 that Council has with private sector bodies
  • Additional open access information as defined for Local Government
Open Access Information

2. Authorised proactive release

Council is encouraged to release additional information, not considered mandatory release information, which may be of interest to the general public.

Any proactive release must be exercised in an appropriate manner by or with the authority of Council's principal officer, free of charge (or at the lowest reasonable cost).

Proactive Release Information

3. Informal access applications

Other information held by Council is authorised to be released in response to an informal request, subject to any reasonable conditions that Council may wish to impose. This may include information not currently available on Council's website or a request for an individual's own personal information. The preferred method of lodging an informal request is through Council's Online Services site:

Online Services Informal Request

Alternatively, an application form can be completed for informal access:

Informal Request Form

4. Formal access applications

In some limited circumstances, people seeking access to government information will need to submit a formal request. This should occur if one or more of the following apply to the information requested:

  • It is of a sensitive nature that requires careful consideration in terms of overriding public interest for and against disclosure.
  • It contains personal (of another person) or confidential information where consultation with other agencies or third parties is required.
  • It would involve an unreasonable amount of time and/or resources to provide the information requested.

Formal Request Form

5. Privacy Information

Council has a Privacy Policy and a Privacy Management Plan both of which help to ensure that staff are aware of privacy issues and ensures that personal information of individuals is handled in accordance with legislation.

Additional Information

For more information about the new legislation please refer to Council's Frequently Asked Questions.

The GIPA Act is complemented by the Privacy and Personal Information Protection Act 1998 (PPIPA), which establishes an individual's right to amend personal information in records held by Councils and other government agencies.

For more information on GIPA and PPIPA, please refer to the Privacy section on this website or alternatively visit the Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner website.

Disclaimers

Responsibility for information on this site

Wagga Wagga City Council makes no guarantee as to the accuracy or completeness of any information on this website.  All of the material on this site is for information and communication purposes only and does not constitute legal or any other advice upon which you can rely.  Whilst Wagga Wagga City Council endeavours to ensure that the information provided on the website is accurate and complete, it does not guarantee that the information is current, complete or correct and accepts no responsibility in these respects.

Copyright Disclaimer

Council's responsibility to release information protected by Copyright.

Wagga Wagga City Council provides access to information in accordance with the requirements of the GIPA Act, however legal Copyright provisions currently apply.

Information held on Council's website is intended for general use only.  Information and files may be downloaded, stored in cache, displayed and printed. Content must not be modified, copied, reproduced, or republished without the consent of Wagga Wagga City Council.

Where Council is not the copyright owner of the documents, authority from the document owner may be necessary before Council can release copies of documents to members of the public.  An example of this would be property plans and property reports lodged as part of a DA application.