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Access to information under the GIPA Act

Information access under GIPA Act

Right to access ODPP information

The NSW Government Information (Public Access) Act 2009 (GIPA Act) replaced the Freedom of Information Act 1989 in July 2010.

Its object is to open government information to the public by:

  • authorising and encouraging its release
  • giving members of the public an enforceable right to access it
  • restricting access only when there is an overriding public interest against disclosure.

The ODPP Agency Information Guide outlines:

  • The NSW ODPP structure and functions
  • The way in which our functions affect members of the public 
  • The information we make publicly available and information the ODPP will not make available. 
  • How members of the public can provide feedback and ask questions of the NSW ODPP.

Open access information

The GIPA Act requires the ODPP to make certain categories of information available on our website – or to give an explanation if we do not. This information is called open access information. The categories, and the availability of the information, are listed in the table below.

Open access informationAvailability
A guide to our publicationsOn our website
Information about our office that has been tabled in Parliament Contained in our Annual Reports only
Our policy documents (‘Public Access information’)

The following Policy Documents are available online: 

Updates to Policy Documents will be added to the website when finalised

A disclosure log of the information released in response to applicationsOn our website
A register of government contracts valued at $150,000 or moreContracts Register
The open access information the ODPP does not make publicly available due to an overriding public interest against disclosureSee 'Information the ODPP will not make available' below

Information available via an informal request or application

Information that is not on our website may still be accessible under the GIPA Act. If you can't find what you are seeking, contact the ODPP’s Right to Information Officer who will advise you whether it:

  • can be publicly released
  • can be released to you informally, subject to reasonable conditions
  • won’t be released without you making a formal application (see below).

The contact details for the Right to Information Officer are:

  • phone – 1800 814 534 (toll free)
  • email – (include Attn Right to Information Officer in the ‘Subject’ field)
  • post – Right to Information Officer, Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions,  Locked Bag A8 Sydney South NSW 1232.

Formal applications

Formal applications for information must be in writing – a form is available here. The ODPP will determine them according to the GIPA Act.

The basic application fee is $30 (for the first hour, and an additional $30 per hour thereafter). Some requests may require the advance payment of a deposit. 

The ODPP will determine formal applications for information in accordance with the GIPA Act. The application must:

  • Specify it is made pursuant to the GIPA Act
  • List an Australian Postal address
  • Be accompanied by the $30.00 fee
  • Provide sufficient detail to enable the information requested to be identified by the ODPP.

If your application is deemed valid/partially valid, we will issue an invoice to the email or postal address provided in your application detailing the processing fees payable for payment by Electronic Funds Transfer. A cheque for payment of the invoice will be accepted should the issuing party not have access to electronic transfer or access to a banking facility. Please note that our Office cannot accept Money Orders from Australia Post. 

Further details about applying for government information – and reasons why applications can be refused – are available on the Information and Privacy Commission’s website (see Information access).

Information the ODPP will not make available

When information is sensitive, the GIPA Act ‘excludes’ it from the public access requirements. Applications for excluded information are invalid.

Schedule 2 of the Act provides that information relating to the ODPP’s prosecution function is ‘excluded information’. This means that applications to access our prosecution files or any information from them will be refused.

An exception will be made if a witness in a prosecution we conducted requests a copy of their police statement.

Public interest against disclosure

As noted, the GIPA Act also restricts access to information when there is an overriding interest against public disclosure. This includes when it would identify an informant; prejudice law enforcement, court proceedings or a person’s fair trial; or breach legal professional privilege or certain laws.

Requests from legal practitioners

Legal practitioners seeking information on subpoenas and how to obtain copies of police briefs of evidence should see Subpoenas to produce / extra copies of police briefs.