Where do I start? 

There are a number of things you need to consider before formally applying for information under the NSW Government Information (Public Access) (GIPA) Act [sometimes referrred tol as the Freedom of Information (FOI) Act].

First, GIPA requires a lot of information to be made publically available under what is referred to as Mandatory Disclosure, or Open Access. Therefore, after you make sure you have the right organisation, you should see if the information you want is already available by checking the agency's website.

You can do this by going to www.service.nsw.gov.au/nswgovdirectory and scrolling down the page until you get to an area tiltied "A-Z Filter List". State government agencies are listed in the "A-Z Filter list". Under this list is a Service centre locator, which will assit you in finding contact detials for Service NSW, Roads and Maritime Servcies, Department of Fair Trading and NSW Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages. Councils are listed as "Local Council Directory" on the right hand top of the page marked "Related Links".

Once you find the right website, look for headings like GIPA or the “Right To Know”. Is there any other information available?

The second level of disclosure is called Proactive Release. Agencies are encouraged to proactively release other information they may not have previously published, but have no good reason to withhold it. The type of information here would be information that people have routinely applied for in the past, e.g. in the case of Roads & Maritime Services (previously the RTA) travel times; accident statistics, driver test waiting times and other information.

So have a look at the agency's website under GIPA or Right to Know and look for Proactive Release. If the information you seek is still not availbe, then you need to consider other oprions. At this point  contact Phillip Youngman. .

Youngman Consultancy | Expert advice in GIPA (FOI) and Privacy
Servicing all areas of NSW
Phone: 0425 372 262
Email: phillip@youngmanconsultancy.com.au
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