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.

Information that will not be released

Public Interest Considerations

Under the Government Information (Public Access) Act 2009 (GIPA Act), when deciding whether or not to release information, Government agencies must consider whether there is an overriding public interest against releasing the information.

Examples of these considerations include:

  • Documents concerning law enforcement and public safety; 
  • Documents subject to legal professional privilege;
  • Documents subject to secrecy provisions in other legislation;
  • Personal affairs of another person;
  • Business affairs of another person or agency.

For more information on how Government agencies apply the public interest test when determining whether or not to release information, refer to the fact sheet on this topic from the Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioners website. Link the word Facts sheet to Schedule 1 to the GIPA Act.

Access Applications (Access Application Form)

Applications for formal access to documents must be in writing and can be made on the downloadable application form below, or in the form of a letter.

The application must:

  • be in writing;
  • specify that it is made pursuant to the GIPA Act;
  • be accompanied by the fee of $30.00;
  • specify the documents required or provide information as is reasonably necessary to enable the documents to be identified;
  • specify the name of the applicant and a postal or email address, as the address for correspondence in connection with the application.
    lodged with NSWPF electronically, by mail or by hand.

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.

We will 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:

Applications can be forwarded by:

  • Email: gipa@police.nsw.gov.au;
  • Post:   NSW Police Force, InfoLink Unit, Locked Bag 5102, PARRAMATTA  NSW  2124.

Proof of Identity

If requesting personal information proof of identity is required.

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.

Access Application Fees

Application Fee

A $30.00 application fee is payable by:

  • Cheque or Money Order, enclosed and payable to NSW Police Force
  • Credit Card (Visa and Mastercard), authority 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

Applicants may be entitled to a 50% reduction in processing charges:

  • On financial hardship grounds; or
  • If the requested information is of special benefit to the public.

NOTE: The discount applies only to the processing charge, not the application fee.

Further Information on Processing Fees can be located at:

Refund of GIPA Application Fees

Between July 2007 and November 2017, a misinterpretation by the NSW Police Force of section 57(2) of the Government Information (Public Access) Act 2009 (GIPA) meant that in some circumstances, an incorrect lengthening of the extended decision period was applied to GIPA applications.

If you have made a GIPA application during this period and your application received an extension of more than 10 days, you may be entitled to a refund of your application fees.

To apply for a refund, complete the GIPAA Refund Application Form and either:

  • Email:  gipaarefund@police.nsw.gov.au;
  • Post:    NSW Police Force, InfoLink Unit, Locked Bag 5102, PARRAMATTA  NSW  2124.

Internal Review of Agency Decision (Internal Review Application Form)

If you disagree with an agency decision about an access application, you may be able to apply to the agency for an internal review of that decision.

Applications can be lodged using the following forms:

What is the time frame for seeking an internal review?

You have 20 working days from the date the decision is given to you to ask for an internal review.

What is the cost for an internal review?

You will need to pay a $40 fee for an internal review unless you are asking for an internal review of a decision to refuse to deal with an access application because the agency did not decide the access application within time (a deemed refusal), in which case no fee is payable; or the internal review was recommended by the Information Commissioner.

The $40.00 application fee payable by:

  • Cheque or Money Order, enclosed and payable to NSW Police Force
  • Credit Card (Visa and Mastercard), authority to be attached

Applications can be forwarded by:

  • Email: gipa@police.nsw.gov.au
  • Post: NSW Police Force, InfoLink Unit, Locked Bag 5102, PARRAMATTA NSW 2124

External Review of Agency Decision

Office of the Information Commissioner

The Office of the Information Commissioner is independent of government departments and exercises certain oversight functions.

The role of the Information Commissioner is to raise public awareness of the right to information laws and provide assistance, information, support and advice to government departments and the public.

The Information Commissioner has broad investigative powers and may require government departments to provide information and conduct inquiries pertinent to the administration of the GIPA Act.

The Information Commissioner conducts reviews of decisions by NSW Police Force where the applicant is aggrieved by that decision. (Reviews OIC - Information Access)

Further information may be obtained by contacting the Office of the Information Commissioner:

  • Phone: 1800 INFOCOM (1800 463 626)
  • Email: oicinfo@oic.nsw.gov.au

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).

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.

Enquiries and Further Information

Enquiries in relation to the administration of the GIPA Act by New South Wales Police Force should be referred to the InfoLink Unit.

Post

NSW Police Force, InfoLink Unit
Locked Bag 5102
Parramatta, NSW 2124

Telephone

02 8835 6888

Fax

02 8835 6811

TTY

02 9211 3776

Email

gipa@police.nsw.gov.au