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Advice in dealing with GIPA Applications 
As a specialist GIPA (Right To Information) Officer you have the need and obligation to balance the right of the individual to access information with the rights of the agency, and where applicable the third parties that have supplied information to the agency and to safeguard legitimate sensitive information.
It is not a contradiction in terms; it merely means you need to balance the rights of all parties. Initially, you need to make sure any objections from agency staff are valid, i.e. the release of the information will cause some harm to the agency or impact on its ability to carry out its functions.
Don't forget Section 15 (c) of the GIPA Act states: (c) The fact that disclosure of information might cause embarrassment to, or a loss of confidence in, the Government is irrelevant and must not be taken into account. There are ample grounds to legitimately refuse to release information.
You also need to remember Section 15 (d) that states: The fact that disclosure of informaiton might be misinterpreted or misunderstood by any person is irrelevant and must not be taken into account.
However, if you cannot legitimately refuse to release the information, then the information must be released. You also need to remember attempting to withhold information without valid grounds is a criminal offence, by you and any other staff involved in such an attempt.
Youngman Consultancy | Expert advice in GIPA (FOI) and Privacy
Servicing all areas of NSW
Phone: 0425 372 262
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