Accessing Information

Applications for information held by Council are dealt with under the provisions of the Government Information (Public Access) Act 2009 (the GIPA Act).  

The four ways in which government information is available under the GIPA Act are:

1. Open access information (mandatory release)

Council is required to publish the following open access information under section 18 of the GIPA Act:

  • current publication guide
  • documents tabled in Parliament
  • policy documents
  • disclosure log of access applications
  • register of government contracts
  • record of open access information not publicly available
  • other information as prescribed by the regulations as open access, including: 
    • Information about council
    • Council Plans and Policies
    • Information about development applications
    • Information about approvals, orders and other documents

2. Proactive release

Under section 7(3) of the GIPA Act, Council is required to review its proactive release program at least every 12 months to identify any information we hold that should be made publicly available in the public interest. You can view that information here. 

3. Making an informal access request

The informal release provisions under section 8 of the GIPA Act provides Council with the authority to release information without the need for a formal access application.

Information can be informally requested from Council by contacting the Corporate Services Manager.

Please note the GIPA Act provides no statutory timeframe by which informal requests must be decided within. Council is not required to disclose government information pursuant to an informal request and is also not required to consider an informal request for government information (s8(3)). Council can decide however by what means information is to be released in response to an informal request (s8(4)).

4. Making a formal access application

If information can't be accessed through any of the above avenues, a formal access application can be submitted to Council. Council will request a formal application be made for information only as a last resort, likely necessary if an applicant asks for a large volume of information, if providing access would involve an unreasonable diversion of resources on behalf of Council (i.e. extensive search, retrieval from archives), or if the information sought involves personal or business information about third parties that must be consulted before the information can be released.

Section 41 of the GIPA Act lists the formal requirements for making a valid access application:

  • it must be in writing sent to or lodged at Council;
  • it must clearly indicate that it is an access application made under the GIPA Act;
  • it must be accompanied by a $30 application fee;
  • it must state a postal address in Australia 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.

Upon receipt of a valid access application, Council must give the applicant notice of its decision within 20 working days, although this time can be extended under section 57(2) to consult with third parties or retrieve information from archives. Processing charges at a rate of $30 per hour may also apply as part of deciding the application.

GIPA Access Application

Applicants aggrieved with a reviewable decision set out under section 80 of the GIPA Act have the right to request a review of that decision. This factsheet outlines available review rights under the GIPA Act. 

Where can I get more information about right to information?

Go to http:www.ipc.nsw.gov.au

Email ipcinfo@ipc.nsw.gov.au

Mail GPO Box 7011, Sydney NSW 2001

Visit Level 11, 1 Castlereagh Street, Sydney NSW 2000

Call 1800 INFOCOM (1800 463 626) between 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday (excluding public holidays).

Contracts Register

In accordance with Section 27 of the Government Information (Public Access) Act 2009 (GIPA), Council is required to maintain a register that records information about each government contract which has (or is likely to have) a value of $150,000 or more.

This requirement however, does not apply to contracts entered into by Councils before commencement of the GIPA Act on 1 July 2010. Alternatively, Council may make some of this prior information proactively available within the contracts register.

You can request information on any contract entered into prior to this date by contacting the Manager of Corporate Services.

Under Section 35 (2)(b) of the Act, Councils are not required to publish their contracts register on the e-tenders website, making this page the centralised location for all current contracts entered into by Council since 1 July 2010.

Contracts that must be included in the government contracts register are those:

  • between an agency and a private sector contractorfor a value of $150,000 or more, and involve:
    • the contractor undertaking a specific project such as construction, infrastructure or property development
    • the contractor agreeing to provide specific goods or services
    • the transfer or lease of real property.

Employment contracts do not need to be included in the register.

Different classes of contracts

The Act provides for three different classes of contracts, each with different information disclosure requirements.

Class 1 contracts are those that have, or are likely to have, a value of $150,000

Class 2 contracts are class 1 contracts where:

  • there has not been a public tender process and the terms and conditions of the contract have been negotiated directly with the contractor, or
  • the contract was the subject of a tender (whether public or not) but the terms and conditions have been substantially negotiated with the contractor
  • the obligations of one or more parties to maintain or operate infrastructure or assets
  • could continue for 10 years or more, and the contract involves a privately financed project (as defined by Treasury) or the exchange of significant assets.

If a class 2 contract has a value, or likely value of more than $5 million, it becomes a class 3 contract. Agencies must publish a copy of a class 3 contract on the register of government contracts.

Information Disclosed and not disclosed

This Disclosure log identifies information and documents that have been released by a formal application process.

Formal access applications received that are likely to be of interest to members of the public, will be published in this disclosure log.  The disclosure log contains non-personal information only.

Details of how to access the documents are listed within the disclosure log items below. Please note that details of an application will not be included within the disclosure log until the application has been decided.

As Council makes decisions about open access information that may not be disclosed due to an overriding public interest, it will note this information below. This will detail the information requested and the public interest considerations against disclosure that resulted in Council's decision not to release the information.

There is nothing to disclose at this time.

Disclaimers

Responsibility for information on this site

Murrumbidgee Council makes no guarantee as to the accuracy or completeness of any information on this website.  All of the material on this site is for information and communication purposes only and does not constitute legal or any other advice upon which you can rely.  Whilst Murrumbidgee Council endeavours to ensure that the information provided on the website is accurate and complete, it does not guarantee that the information is current, complete or correct and accepts no responsibility in these respects.

Copyright Disclaimer

Council's responsibility to release information protected by Copyright.

Murrumbidgee Council provides access to information in accordance with the requirements of the GIPA Act, however legal Copyright provisions currently apply.

Information held on Council's website is intended for general use only.  Information and files may be downloaded, stored in cache, displayed and printed. Content must not be modified, copied, reproduced, or republished without the consent of Murrumbidgee Council.

Where Council is not the copyright owner of the documents, authority from the document owner may be necessary before Council can release copies of documents to members of the public. An example of this would be property plans and property reports lodged as part of a DA application.