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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 [previously called 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/departments and looking to the right until you see an area tiltied "A-Z List". State government agencies are listed in the "A-Z list". Under this list is a Service centre locator, which will assit you in finding contact detials for State Government agencies e.g.Service NSW, Roads and Maritime Servcies, Department of Fair Trading and NSW Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages. Councils can be located by typing "Local Government" into the search field on the top of the page.

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. 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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