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Public Access to Information

To promote open, accountable, fair and effective government in NSW, members of the public have a right to access government information. This right is restricted only when there is an overriding public interest against disclosing the particular information.

What is Public Access to information?

The Government Information (Public Access) Act 2009 (NSW) (GIPA Act) replaced the Freedom of Information Act 1989 (NSW) on 1 July 2010. It established a comprehensive system for public access to government information.


We make information available under the GIPA Act in four ways:  

  • as open access information  

  • through proactive release of information  

  • through informal access  

  • in response to a formal access application  


Open access information  

Mandatory open access information (as provided for in sections 6 and 18 of the GIPA Act) is publicly available on the IRO’s website free of charge.  This information includes the following:  


Proactive release of information  

The proactive release of information is a discretionary power to release information in any manner considered appropriate, free of charge or at the lowest reasonable cost (sections 7 and 72 of the GIPA Act).   

We promote the release of newly published information, which may be of interest to the public. We regularly proactively release information that is available on the IRO’s website. The information we may release in this way includes (and is not limited to):  

  • guidelines   

  • brochures   

  • bulletins  

  • fact sheets  

  • statistical information  

  • any other information which may be of interest to the public.  

Relevant information is also available on  


How to access information we hold under the GIPA Act  

The GIPA Act provides the public with a right to access government information and the IRO is committed to openness and transparency in line with the spirit of the GIPA Act.  


Informal access  

The GIPA Act authorises the release of government information in response to an informal request unless there is an overriding public interest against disclosure (section 8 of the GIPA Act).  

If the information you seek is not available through our website, we may be able to release it to you informally without the need for a formal access application.   


We generally provide the following types of information in response to an informal request:  

  • your personal information  

  • copies of correspondence sent to us by you  

  • applications and supporting documents sent to us by you  

  • documents that may have already been made public in some other way   

  • other reasonable requests for release of information that would not raise any potential public interest or privacy concerns.  

This form of release does not require a fee or an application form.  

Information may be released with deletions, released subject to reasonable conditions, or released in a preferred form. We may impose conditions on the use or disclosure of information that we release in response to an informal request.  

If you would like to make an informal request for information, please email the IRO Privacy Officers at   


Formal access applications  

If the information you are looking for is not published by us or available by informal request, you may wish to make a formal access application in writing under the GIPA Act. Formal access applications are subject to application fees and processing charges. We will not release information if there is an overriding public interest against its disclosure.  

You can make a formal application by completing a Government Information Public Access (GIPA) online application form or emailing  

Disclosure log  

We maintain a disclosure log under section 25 of the GIPA Act which documents the information we release in response to access applications, and that may be of interest to members of the public.  

Our disclosure log provides a mechanism to further proactively release information to the public.  

There are currently no responses on the IRO's disclosure log. 


Agency Information Guide

Our Agency Information Guide is published in accordance with the requirements of the GIPA Act. The GIPA Act gives you the right to access government information. The guide details the kind of information the IRO holds and how to access it.