On 1 July 2010 new right to information legislation (The Government Information (Public Access) Act 2009 (NSW) (GIPA Act)) came into effect, replacing the former freedom of information law (Freedom of Information Act 1989 (NSW)).
The GIPA Act applies to all NSW government agencies, including State Government departments, Ministers and their staff, local councils and State-owned corporations.
The new right to information laws promote openness, accountability and transparency, and encourages government agencies to proactively release government information to the public. It also gives member of the public an equal and an enforceable right to access government information while providing appropriate protection for an individual's privacy.
This means that a government agency, such as Sydney Local Health District (SLHD), must release information unless there is an overriding public interest against disclosure.
The public access to government information system is overseen by the Information and Privacy Commissioner.
The Information and Privacy Commissioner's roles in relation to the GIPA Act include:
You can get more information about the Information and Privacy Commissioner and your right to information on the Information and Privacy Commissioner (IPC) website at www.ipc.nsw.gov.au.
It should be noted that the GIPA Act complements other regimes by which the public can access information held by government. It does not detract from any other rights of access to information that exist under other legislation or policies. Other legislation that may be particularly relevant includes:
The Personal Information and Privacy Protection Act 1998 and the Health Records and Information Privacy Act 2002, which allows individuals to obtain access to, and to apply for amendment of, information held about them by NSW government agencies. For more details please see the Privacy page on the Information and Privacy Commissioner website.
SLHD publishes a range of information under the Government Information (Public Access) Act 2009.
Follow the links to find out more about how to access government information held by SLHD including our policies, our "Agency Information Guide", a disclosure log of information applications, details of information not disclosed to the public and our register of government contracts.