The External Information Access Unit is responsible for receipting, processing and coordinating responses to requests for information under the Government Information (Public Access) Act 2009 (GIPA Act) which replaced the Freedom of Information Act 1989.

You have the right to access certain government information under the Government Information (Public Access) Act 2009 (NSW) (GIPA Act).  The objective of the GIPA Act is to make government information more accessible to the public by:

  • requiring government agencies to make certain sorts of information freely available
  • encouraging government agencies to release as much other information as possible
  • giving the public an enforceable right to make access applications for government information, and
  • restricting access to information only when there is an overriding public interest against disclosure.

Public access to the government information system is overseen by the Information and Privacy Commission.

Applications

Access Applications

Applications for access to information under the provisions of the Government Information (Public Access) Act 2009 must be in writing, accompanied by the application fee and if requesting personal information proof of identity is required. (Access Applications - External Information Access Unit (MS Word))

Authorising a person/agency to act on your behalf

You may authorise a person to act on your behalf, by providing your authorisation with the full details of the person you are appointing to obtain NSW Police Information on your behalf.

This information must be included with your Formal Access Application Form or provided separately with a reference to your Application. If such authorisation is not provided it may impact on the Notice of Decision.

Requirements for Valid Applications for access to information under the provisions of the Government Information (Public Access) Act 2009 are detailed below:

Part 4 Access Applications of the GIPA Act 2009

Section 41 How to make an access application

(1) An application or other request for government information is not a valid access application unless it complies with the following requirements (the formal requirements) for access application:

  • it must be in writing sent to or lodged at an office of the agency concerned,
  • 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 a postal 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 requesting personal information proof of identity is required.

If an application does not include these 5 things, it will be invalid and will not be processed. If that happens however, we will advise the applicant, and assist if possible, by explaining how a valid application can be made.

While not a requirement, any contact number provided may assist this agency to deal with the application should there be a need for clarification or consultation.

Otherwise we will write to acknowledge receipt of a valid access application within 5 working days, and will deal with an application within 20 working days (subject to any extension allowed for under the Act). If any extension of time is required to deal with an application, we will let the applicant know in writing.

The following documents must be completed for all access applications

Access Application Fees

Application fee

The $30.00 application fee is payable by

  • Cheque (Enclose a cheque made payable to NSW Police )
  • Money order (Enclose a money order made payable to NSW Police)
  • Credit Card (Authority is to be attached)

Processing Charges

In certain circumstances this agency may request an applicant to pay a processing charge, by way of advance payment, an amount covering the costs to the agency in dealing with the application. In such matters, the applicant will be sent a notice indicating the amount being sought by this agency.

Financial Hardship

Part 4 Division 5 Section 65 of the GIPA Act Discounted processing charges – financial hardship

(1) An applicant is entitled to a 50% reduction in a processing charge imposed by an agency if the agency is satisfied that the applicant is suffering financial hardship.

Note. The discount applies only to the processing charge, not the application fee. If a 50% reduction in processing charge applies, the application fee will pay for the first 2 hours of processing time (not just the first hour). See section 64 of the Act.

(2) The agency may refuse to allow the discount if satisfied that the applicant is making the application on behalf of another person in order to obtain the discount for that person.

(3) The regulations may prescribe circumstances that constitute financial hardship.

Note. A decision to refuse to reduce a processing charge is reviewable under Part 5.

Part 3 Clause 9 of the Government Information (Public Access) Regulation 2009 -Discounted processing charge

An agency is required to reduce, by 50%, the processing charge payable under the Act for dealing with an access application if the applicant provides evidence that the applicant:

(a) is the holder of a Pensioner Concession card issued by the Commonwealth that is in force, or

(b) is a full-time student, or

(c) is a non-profit organisation (including a person applying for or on behalf of a non-profit organisation).

Requests for Reduction in the Processing Charges must be specified in the Access Application Form.

Part 4 Division 5 Section 66 of the GIPA Act - Discounted processing charge—special public benefit

(1) An applicant is entitled to a 50% reduction in a processing charge imposed by an agency if the agency is satisfied that the information applied for is of special benefit to the public generally.
Note. The discount applies only to the processing charge, not the application fee. If a 50% reduction in processing charge applies, the application fee will pay for the first 2 hours of processing time (not just the first hour). See section 64.

A decision to refuse to reduce a processing charge is reviewable under Part 5.

(2) If the information applied for was not publicly available at the time the application was received but the agency makes the information publicly available either before or within 3 working days after providing access to the applicant, the applicant is entitled to a full waiver of the processing charge imposed by the agency.

(3) The Information Commissioner may, for the assistance of agencies, publish guidelines about reductions in processing charges under this section.

Informal Applications

In certain circumstances the NSW Police Force will consider releasing information in response to an informal request e.g. Documents relating solely to personal information concerning the applicant.

To apply for an informal request for information please complete the

Informal Access Application Form (MS Word)

There is no application fee. In some situations, charges may be incurred for services such as photocopying.

Lodging Formal and Informal Applications

Access and Informal applications should be directed to:

The Coordinator
External Information Access Unit
NSW Police Force
Locked Bag 5102
PARRAMATTA NSW 2124

Review

Your Review Rights Under the GIPA Act

1. Internal Review

You have 20 working days after the notice of a decision has been posted to submit your internal review request.

There is a $40 fee for an internal review application. No fee applies for an internal review if the decision is a ‘deemed refusal’ because the agency did not process your application in time or the internal review is conducted because the Information Commissioner has recommended the agency reconsider its decision under section 93 of the GIPA Act. In this case, you cannot be charged any review fee.

Internal Review Application Form (PDF)

Internal Review Application Fee

There is a $40.00 application fee payable by:

  • Cheque (Enclose a cheque made payable to NSW Police )
  • Money order (Enclose a money order made payable to NSW Police)
  • Credit Card (Enclose a signed credit card payment authority

Lodging Internal Review Applications

Applications can be lodged using the following methods:-

Mail
NSW Police
External Information Access Unit
Locked Bag 5102
Parramatta NSW 2124
Telephone 02 8835 6888
E-Mail (Note a credit card authority must accompany any emailed application) gipaapp@police.nsw.gov.au .

2. External Review

2.1 External review by the Information Commissioner

If you disagree with any of the decisions listed above, you can ask for a review by the Information Commissioner.

If you are the person applying for access to information, you do not have to have an internal review of the decision before asking the Information Commissioner to review it.

If you are not the access applicant, you must seek an internal review before applying for review by the Information Commissioner.

You have 40 working days from being notified of the decision to ask for a review by the Information Commissioner.

On reviewing the decision, the Information Commissioner can make recommendations about the decision to the agency.

Note: You cannot ask the Information Commissioner to review a decision that has already been reviewed by the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal (NCAT).

2.2 External review by the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal (NCAT)

If you disagree with any of the decisions listed above, you can ask for a review by NCAT. You do not have to have the decision reviewed internally, or by the Information Commissioner before applying for review by NCAT.

You have 40 working days from being notified of the decision to apply to NCAT for review. However, if you have applied for review by the Information Commissioner, you have 20 working days from being notified of the Information Commission’s review outcome to apply to NCAT

Informal Application Review

There is no process to review a decision made in response to an informal application.

Information Not Available

Information NOT available

In accordance with the Act, this agency will whenever possible make information available.  However, the Act does allow for this agency to refuse access to information/documents in certain circumstances.  These circumstances occur when the there is an "overriding public Interest against disclosure" and must be measured against those public interests in favour of disclosure.  Examples of these considerations include:

  • Documents concerning law enforcement and public safety; (Section 14 Table 2 & Schedule 1 Clause 7 )
  • Documents subject to legal professional privilege; ( Schedule 1 Clause 5 )
  • Documents subject to secrecy provisions in other legislation; ( Schedule 1 Clause 1 )
  • Personal affairs of another person; ( Section 14 Table 3 )
  • Business affairs of another person or agency. ( Section 14 Table 4 )

Spent Convictions

For information regarding spent convictions

Inquiries

Inquiries in relation to the administration of the GIPA Act by New South Wales Police Force should be referred to the External Information Access Unit.

Post:

External Information Access Unit
Locked Bag 5102
Parramatta
NSW 2124

Phone number: (02) 8835 6888
Fax No: (02) 8835 6811
TTY: (02) 9211 3776
Email: iau@police.nsw.gov.au