Access to Government Information under the GIPA Act

Requests for information under the GIPA Act may be made either informally or formally as outlined below.

Informal Request for Information

Justice Health and Forensic Mental Health Network will generally provide the following types of information in response to an informal request, without the need to make a formal access application:

  • copies of correspondence, where the person requesting the correspondence was the person who sent it to the organisation.
  • documents that have already been made public in some other way.
  • Other reasonable requests for information, the release of which would not require third party consultation or raise concerns in terms of public interest considerations against disclosure.

Informal access to government information under the GIPA Act can be requested through the following steps:

  1. Identify what information is required
  2. Contact the Right to Information Officer (details below) to request information.

The Network will not charge a fee to process an informal request for information, however the agency reserves the right to request a formal application or impose conditions on its release.

Formal Access Application

If information cannot be accessed through an informal request, a formal access application may be necessary. A formal request may also be necessary if:

  • A large volume of information is sought.
  • Providing access would involve an extensive search.
  • The information sought involves personal or information about third parties who must be consulted before the information can be released.

Formal access to government information under the GIPA Act can be requested through the following steps:

  1. Prepare an Access Application and clearly indicate it is an application under the GIPA Act
  2. Include information so that we may reasonably identify what is being requested
  3. Include a postal address as the address for correspondence
  4. Include a cheque ($30 application fee), payable to Justice Health
  5. Submit the Access Application to the Right to Information Officer (details below)

Formal requests will be processed within 20 working days and may be extended by up to 15 working days where consultation with a third party is required or if records need to be retrieved.

The applicant will be notified of a decision in writing. Any decision to refuse access will include reasons for the decision.

You may make an enquiry or lodge an application for information under the GIPA Act by contacting:

Right to Information Officer

Justice Health and Forensic Mental Health Network
PO Box 150
Matraville NSW 2036
Phone: (02) 9700 3000
Fax: (02) 9700 3744
Email: GIPAinfo@justicehealth.nsw.gov.au

 

Review Rights

You have the right to request a review of a decision regarding the release of information if you disagree with a reviewable decision made by Justice & Forensic Mental Health Network. You generally have three options to have a decision reviewed:

  • an internal review by Justice & Forensic Mental Health Network
  • an external review by the Office of the Information Commissioner (OIC)
  • an external review by the Administrative Decisions Tribunal (ADT)

Requests to review a decision must be submitted within the following number of working days after the notice of decision was given to you:

  • 20 working days for an internal review; or
  • 40 working days for an external review by the OIC or the ADT.

The Office of the Information Commissioner has published a fact sheet entitled Your Review Rights under the GIPA Act which details your rights of review. Frequently asked questions are also available on the OIC website.

Internal Review

An application for an internal review must be made within 20 working days of the Notice of Decision being sent to the applicant and should be accompanied by a GIPA Application for Internal Review form along with a fee of $40. The internal review will be undertaken by a senior officer who was not involved in making the original decision. A determination from an internal review will be issued within 15 working days which may be extended by 10 working days where there is a need to consult with new third parties.

External Review

An applicant can appeal a decision to refuse access to information directly to the OIC or ADT. Applicants have 40 working days from the date of the original decision being given to the applicant to appeal a decision to the OIC or ADT.