Searches for information under the GIPA Act

Searching for information under the Government Information (Public Access) Act 2009 (GIPA Act) is a part of the process of managing a formal request to access government information. Below is a range of resources that can be used as a guide when undertaking a search for information or deciding if a request will require an unreasonable and substantial diversion of resources.

Section 53 of the Government Information (Public Access) Act 2009 (GIPA Act) sets out the obligations of NSW public sector agencies to undertake searches for information requested in an access application.

A valid access application under the GIPA Act requires an applicant to include such information as is reasonably necessary to enable the relevant government information to be identified.

However the GIPA Act also provides discretion for agencies to refuse to search for information or deal with an application where this would require an unreasonable and substantial diversion of the agency’s resources.

Below is a selection of guidance that may assist you in understanding how to search for information and considering whether a request for access requires unreasonable and substantial diversion of resources under the GIPA Act. These resources clarify what may be considered an unreasonable and substantial diversion of resources and what review rights apply if an agency decides to refuse to deal with an access application. They provide a reference to the applicable sections of the legislation and include some practical tips.

Resource

Summary

Flowchart: Dealing with GIPA applications - managing searches for information

Flowchart to guide agencies when managing applications to access information under the GIPA Act.

Guide: GIPA Compliance Guide

To assist agencies in knowing their duties in order to comply.

Checklist: GIPA Compliance Checklist for Agencies

A companion to the Compliance Guide for agencies.

Guide: GIPA Compliance checklist for Councils

To assist councils in complying with the GIPA Act.

Knowledge Update: Reasonable searches under the GIPA Act

Section 53 of the Government Information (Public Access) Act 2009 (GIPA Act) sets out the obligations of NSW public sector agencies to undertake searches for information requested in an access application.

Fact sheet: Quick guide to responsibilities under the GIPA Act

A Quick Guide for public sector employees on their responsibilities under the Government Information (Public Access) Act 2009 (GIPA Act).

Fact sheet: Substantial and unreasonable diversion of agency resources

This fact sheet clarifies what may be considered an unreasonable and substantial diversion of resources and what review rights apply if an agency decides to refuse to deal with an access application.

IPC’s e-learning portal

The IPC e-learning portal contains a number of e-learning training modules to provide training across government information access and privacy legislation.

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Searches for information under the GIPA Act