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Bega Valley Shire CouncilBega Valley Shire Council

GIPA review rights

Government Information (Public Access) Act 2009 (GIPA ACT)

Review rights under the GIPA Act

The new right to information system in NSW aims to foster responsible and representative government that is open, accountable, fair and effective.

You have a right to request a review of a decision regarding the release of information if you disagree with any of the following decisions as set out under the Government Information (Public Access) Act 2009 (GIPA Act):

a decision...

  • that an application is not a valid access application
  • to transfer an access application to another agency, as an agency-initiated transfer
  • to refuse to deal with an access application (including such a decision that is deemed to have been made)
  • to provide access or to refuse to provide access to information in response to an access application
  • that information is not held by Council
  • that information applied for is already available to the applicant
  • to refuse to confirm or deny that information is held by Council
  • to defer the provision of access to information in response to an access application
  • to provide access to information in a particular way in response to an access application (or a decision not to provide access in the way requested by the applicant)
  • to impose a processing charge or to require an advance deposit
  • to refuse a reduction in a processing charge
  • to refuse to deal further with an access application because an applicant has failed to pay an advance deposit within the time required for payment
  • to include information in a disclosure log dispute an objection by the access applicant (or a decision that the access applicant was not entitled to object).

Your have three options to have a decision reviewed:

  1. Internal Review

    You have 20 days from receiving notice of a decision to ask for an internal review.

    If the General Manager of Council or the Mayor made the decision, you cannot ask for an internal review, but you can ask for an external review (see below).

    The review must be carried out by a more senior officer than the person who made the original decision. The review decision must be made as if it was a fresh application.

    There is a $40 fee for an internal review application except if the decision is ‘deemed refusal’ because Council did not process your application in time. In this case, you cannot be charged any review fee.

    Council must acknowledge your application within 5 working days of receiving it.

    Council must decide the internal review within 15 working days (this can be extended by 10 days if Council has to consult with a third party, or by agreement with you).
  1. External review by the Information Commissioner

    If you disagree with the decision above, you can ask for a review by the Information Commissioner.

    If you are the person applying for access to information, you do not have to have an internal review of the decision before asking the Information Commissioner to review it. If you are not the access applicant, you must seek an internal review before applying for the review by the Information Commissioner.

    You have 8 weeks from being notified of the decision to ask for a review by the Information Commissioner.

    On reviewing the decision, the Information Commissioner can make recommendations about the decision to Council.

    Note: You cannot ask the Information Commissioner to review a decision that has already been reviewed by the Administrative Decisions Tribunal.

  1. External review by the Administrative Decisions Tribunal

    If you disagree with any of the decisions listed above, you can ask for a review by the Administrative Decisions Tribunal (ADT). You do not have to have the decision reviewed internally, or by the Information Commissioner before applying for review by the ADT.

    You have up to 8 weeks from being notified of the decision to apply to the ADT for review. However, if you have applied for review by the Information Commissioner, you have 4 weeks from being notified of the Information Commissioner’s review outcome to apply to the ADT.

Further information

Contact the Office of the Information Commissioner at http://www.oic.nsw.gov.au/ or phone 1800 194 210.

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