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The GIPA Act establishes a proactive, open approach to gaining access to government information in New South Wales (NSW). The objects of the GIPA Act are to maintain and advance a system of responsible and representative democratic Government that is open, accountable, fair, and effective.
The GIPA Act:
The GIPA Act applies to all NSW government agencies, and also extends to Ministers and their staff, local councils, state-owned corporations, courts in their non-judicial functions, and certain public authorities, such as universities.
The guiding principle of the GIPA Act is public interest. It is generally presumed that all government agencies will disclose or release information unless there is an overriding public interest against doing so. Under the GIPA Act, it is compulsory for agencies to provide information about their structure, functions and policies, and agencies are encouraged to release as much other information proactively and informally as possible.
Charles Sturt University manages Right to Information requests by following the Government Information (Public Access) Procedure.
Firstly, check if the information is publicly available:
Wherever possible, the University provides requested information informally, without the need for a formal application form. ‘Informal release’ occurs when the University gives out information in response to a request, without requiring the person requesting it to lodge a formal access application under Part 4 of the GIPA Act. The University can decide how information is released: by phone, email, letter, fax, or in person. Information can also be released in an audio-visual format, or by providing view-only access.
The University can impose reasonable conditions prior to release of the information. The University may facilitate the release of information informally by deleting any part of the information that would otherwise result in an overriding public interest consideration against disclosure. Informal requests for information must be dealt with by universities to facilitate and encourage promptly and at the lowest reasonable cost, access to government information. Requests for informal release of information can be made directly to the Right to Information Officer.
Formal requests for release of information under the GIPA Act must be made in writing using the Formal Access Application form.
An application or other request for government information is not a valid access application unless it complies with the following requirements (the formal requirements) for access applications—
You have a right under the Privacy legislations to request access to, and correction of, your personal and health information held by Charles Sturt. Requests are considered in accordance with the access principles set out in the Privacy and Personal Information Protection Act 1998 (NSW) (PPIPA) along with the University’s Privacy Management Plan. If you are seeking access to your personal records please refer to the universities Privacy website or contact the Privacy Officer for guidance. For information about accessing or amending your personal information please email the University’s Privacy Officer at email@example.com.
For information about obtaining access to documents held by the University please contact the Right to Information Officer.