There are four ways in which government information is available. These are mandatory release, proactive release, informal request and formal application.
If information cannot be accessed through mandatory release, proactive release or informal request, a formal access application may be necessary. This should be a last resort under the GIPA Act, and only necessary if you are asking for a large volume of information, if providing access would involve an extensive search, or if the information you seek involves personal or business information about third parties who 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.
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.
You can formally request specific information by downloading the formal application form below.
Warren Shire Council
Phone: 02 6847 6600