Access to Information
City of Parramatta Council (Council) holds a variety of information that is made available to the community under the Government Information (Public Access) Act 2009 (GIPA Act).
The GIPA Act allows the community to have right of access to information held by Council.
Further information is available in Councils Information Guide.
What is Access to Information?(Back to top)
Access to Information is a right of access for members of the public to gain access to government information held by City of Parramatta.
Information means any information contained in a record held by Council, this can be in hardcopy or digital format.
The GIPA Act is generally in favour of releasing information subject to Public Interest requirements.
How to get the information you want(Back to top)
- Search Council’s website to see if information is already available
- Check Council’s Councils Information Guide to see if the information is Open Access information
- If the information is not routinely available, i.e. not Open Access information, you need to make an Informal Application or Formal Access Application.
Mandatory Release (Open Access information)(Back to top)
Under section 18 of the GIPA Act certain information is prescribed as Open Access information. This information must be made available free of charge on Council's website, this includes:
- Policy documents
- Disclosure Log of formal access applications
- Agency Information Guide
- Government Contracts Register
- Record of Open Access information that is not made available to the public on the basis of an overriding public interest against disclosure
Council’s website should be reviewed in the first instance for Open Access information to see if the information you seek is freely available. The GIPA Act and Government Information (Public Access) Regulation 2005 (GIPAR) sets out the minimum information that is freely available in addition to other information made freely available by Council.
Further information is available in Council's Information Guide.
Proactive Release(Back to top)
Similar to Mandatory release, City of Parramatta will review the information it holds and determine if it should be made available to the community e.g. information that is frequently requested will be made routinely available and released under Mandatory Release. Information will be made available free or at the lowest reasonable cost.
Information held by Council can include:
- Approved Council Strategy and Plans
- Community information directories, publications and service
- Council Reports and/or Research Studies e.g. State of the Environment report, reports against Council’s Delivery Program and results of research studies
- Councils events information
- Development Application and relevant associated documents
- Government submissions
- Major projects updates
- Standing and Special Committee Terms of Reference
- Statement of Fees and Charges
Informal Release(Back to top)
If the information you seek is not available on Council's website, then an Informal Request for Access to Information should be made. You can submit an Informal Request by using Council's online services or submitting an Informal Application form.
Information that may be applied for under Informal Release may include, for example:
- information that is not too complex to process
- information that does not require significant processing time
- details of a complaint (excluding the complainant details)
You can submit a request for Neighbour/Adjoining Owner details here.
An Informal Application for information may take 20 working days or more depending on the information requested.
Information will be made available for free or at minimum charge, i.e. photocopying fees.
For further fees refer to Council’s Schedule of Fees and Charges.
Formal Release(Back to top)
For information that is not available on Council’s website or the three (3) ways of access listed above. You can submit a formal access application by using Council's online services or submitting a Formal Access application form.
A Formal Access application is a request for information where the information is of a type that includes:
- information that relates to the personal/business/commercial/financial interests of another party
- information that must be consulted with a third party
- confidential information
- information that requires significant research and will require significant Council resources
- a complex scope
Processing time for a Formal Access application is 20 working days. This can be extended by 10 to 15 days when information held by Council must be retrieved from an off-site storage facility or if third party consultation is required.
An application or other request for government information is not a valid access application unless it complies with the following requirements:
- it must be in writing sent by post to or lodged at an office of the agency concerned or online
- it must clearly indicate that it is an access application made under this Act
- it must be accompanied by a fee of $30
- it must state the name of the applicant and a postal or email address as the address for correspondence in connection with the application
- it must include such information as is reasonably necessary to enable the government information applied for to be identified
If you are unhappy with the outcome of your Formal Access application, you can seek an internal review of the decision.
Copyright(Back to top)
Legal processes apply to the copying of documents under the Commonwealth Copyright Act 1968. There may be documents that cannot be copied without the consent of the copyright owner e.g. certain building plans, publications and consultants reports.
If Copyright consent cannot be obtained, ‘view only’ access will be provided to those particular documents.
Privacy(Back to top)
If you are applying for information as an individual, you may be providing Council with personal information (such as your name and address) within the meaning of the Privacy and Personal Information Protection Act 1998.
The supply of information is voluntary. If you do not provide all details requested, Council may be unable to process your application.
The details you provide are stored at Council Offices and are not made publicly available unless there is an overriding public interest to do so under the Government Information (Public Access) Act 2009 (GIPA Act) and Privacy and Personal Information Protection Act 1998 (NSW).
Council is collecting this personal information from you in order to identify and process your application. You may make a request for access or amendment to information held by Council. You may also make a request that Council suppress your personal information from being made publicly available.
For further information
You can find out more about right to information and privacy by:
- visiting the Information and Privacy Commission NSW website
- calling City of Parramatta on 1300 617 058 or 02 9806 5050
- e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
- reading Council’s Privacy Management Plan