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Appendices

9.5 Appendix 5: Access to government information

Report under the Government Information (Public Access) Act 2009

Review of proactive release program

Under section 7 of the Government Information (Public Access) Act 2009 (GIPA Act), agencies must review their programs to identify the kinds of information that can be made publicly available. This review must be undertaken at least once every 12 months.

Roads and Maritime continued to provide information on its website, including detailed reports on its infrastructure and maintenance projects and statistics. The website also provided a range of publications free of charge to assist customers wishing to use Roads and Maritime's services.

During the year, Roads and Maritime established a process to provide access to property files relating to wetland properties within Sydney Harbour and other maritime wetlands.

Roads and Maritime is an active member of the Corporate Proactive Release Committee, which was established across the Transport cluster during the year.

Number of access applications received - Clause 7(b)

During the reporting period, our agency received a total of 1,5751 access applications (including withdrawn applications but excluding invalid applications).

Number of refused applications for Schedule 1 information - Clause 7(c)

During the reporting period, Roads and Maritime refused six access applications because the information requested was information referred to in Schedule 1 to the GIPA Act. Of those applications, five were refused in full and one was refused in part.

  1. 1,575 applications were received in 2015-16, and 1,477 applications were completed during the financial year. One of these applications had more than one decision made against it and both decisions were recorded, resulting in 1,478 decisions.

Statistical information about access applications - Schedule 2

Table 27: GIPA Act applications by type of applicant and outcome1

Table A: Number of applications by type of applicant and outcome

Type of applicant Access granted in full Access granted in part Access refused in full Information not held Information already available Refuse to deal with application Refuse to confirm/deny whether information is held Application withdrawn Total % of total
Media 7 4 2 2 0 0 0 8 23 2
Members of Parliament 13 7 1 3 0 0 0 2 26 2
Private sector business 409 206 169 26 8 3 0 9 830 56
Not for profit organisations or community groups 8 1 37 16 0 0 0 2 64 4
Members of the public (by legal representative) 87 29 24 29 7 2 0 11 189 13
Members of the public (other) 166 31 66 65 5 1 0 12 346 23
Total 690 278 299 141 20 6 0 44 1,478
% of total 47 19 20 10 1 0 0 3
  1. As more than one decision can be made for a particular access application, each decision is recorded.
Table 28: GIPA Act applications by type of application and outcome1

Table B: Number of applications by type of application and outcome

Type of application Access granted in full Access granted in part Access refused in full Information not held Information already available Refuse to deal with application Refuse to confirm/deny whether information is held Application withdrawn Total % of total
Personal information applications2 6 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 8 1
Access applications (other than personal information applications) 684 277 298 141 20 6 0 44 1,470 99
Access applications that are partly personal information applications and partly other 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Total 690 278 299 141 20 6 0 44 1,478
% of total 47 19 20 10 1 0 0 3
  1. As more than one decision can be made for a particular access application, each decision is recorded.
  2. A personal information application is an application by an individual under GIPA to access personal information (as defined in Clause 4 of Schedule 4 to the Act).
Table 29: Invalid GIPA Act applications
Reason for invalidity No. of applications % of total
Application does not comply with formal requirements (section 41 of the Act) 153 100
Application is for excluded information of the agency (section 43 of the Act) 0 0
Application contravenes restraint order (section 110 of the Act) 0 0
Total number of invalid applications received 153 100
Invalid applications that subsequently became valid applications 138 90
Table 30: Conclusive presumption of overriding public interest against disclosure: matters listed in Schedule 1 of GIPA Act
Public interest consideration No. of times consideration used¹ % of total
Overriding secrecy laws 0 0
Cabinet information 2 33
Executive Council information 0 0
Contempt 0 0
Legal professional privilege 3 50
Excluded information 1 17
Documents affecting law enforcement and public safety 0 0
Transport safety 0 0
Adoption 0 0
Care and protection of children 0 0
Ministerial Code of Conduct 0 0
Aboriginal and environmental heritage 0 0
Total 6
  1. When more than one public interest consideration applies to a particular access application, each consideration is recorded.
Table 31: Other public interest considerations against disclosure: matters listed in table to section 14 of GIPA Act
Public interest consideration No. of times consideration used¹ % of total
Responsible and effective government 11 2
Law enforcement and security 4 1
Individual rights, judicial processes and natural justice 551 94
Business interests of agencies and other persons 20 3
Environment, culture, economy and general matters 0 0
Secrecy provisions 0 0
Exempt documents under interstate Freedom of Information legislation 0 0
Total 586
  1. When more than one public interest consideration applies to a particular access application, each consideration is recorded.
Table 32: Timeliness of GIPA Act decisions
Timeframe for GIPA application decisions No. of applications % of total
Decided within the statutory timeframe (20 days plus any extensions) 1,459 99%
Decided after 35 days (by agreement with applicant) 18 1%
Not decided within time (deemed refusal) 0 0%
Total 1,477
Table 33: Number of applications reviewed under Part 5 of the GIPA Act by type of review and outcome
Review type Decision varied Decision upheld Total % of total
Internal review 5 8 13 54
Review by Information Commissioner1 5 4 9 38
Internal review following recommendation under section 93 of the Act 0 0 0 0
Review by the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal 0 0 2 (both withdrawn) 8
Total 10 12 24
% of Total 45 55
  1. The Information Commissioner does not have the authority to vary decisions, but can make recommendations to the original decision-maker. The data provided indicates the Information Commissioner has made a recommendation to vary or uphold the original decision.
Table 34: Applications for review under Part 5 of the GIPA Act by type of applicant
Type of applicant No. of applications for review % of total
Applications by access applicants 19 79
Applications by persons to whom information the subject of access application relates (see section 54 of the Act) 5 21
Total 24
Table 35: GIPA Act applications transferred to other agencies
Type of transfer No. of applications transferred % of total
Agency-initiated transfers 13 93
Applicant-initiated transfers 1 7
Total 14 100

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