The Government Information (Public Access) Act 2009 (NSW)(GIPA Act) replaced the Freedom of Information Act 1989 on 1 July 2010. It introduces a new right to information system designed to meet the community's expectations of a more open and transparent government.
The new system is focused on making government information more readily available.
This means that a government agency, such as Coffs Harbour City Council, must release information unless there is an overriding public interest against disclosure.
What does that mean for Coffs Harbour City Council?
Where there is a presumption in favour of the disclosure of Coffs Harbour City Council's information there are four ways in which it will be made available to the public:
Mandatory release: You can search our website for this information. Certain information must be disclosed by Council on its website, free of charge. This includes information such as our policy documents, an Information Guide, a disclosure log and register of government contracts. If information is not available on the website, it might still be available. See the pages listed in the Open Government section for further information.
Proactive release: You can ask Council what information they will make available to the public, in addition to the information contained on our website. Council aims to release as much information as possible, in an appropriate way and free of charge (or at the lowest reasonable cost).
Informal release: You can ask us for specific information. Council aims to release information without the need for a formal application, unless there are good reasons to require one. How To Make An Informal Access Request.
Formal application: This is the last resort, if you haven't been able to get the information you need in any other way. You can formally request specific information. In limited circumstances, Council will require a formal application for access to certain information (Formal Access Application).
Read the GIPA Act
Go to the Office of the Information Commissioner NSW
Go to the Access Information Forms (includes Internal Review Form)