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.
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 information
|A guide to our publications||On our website|
|Information about our office that has been tabled in Parliament||Contained in our annual reports only|
|Our policy documents||
A number of policies are being updated and will be added to the website when finalised
|A disclosure log of the information released in response to applications||On our website|
|A register of government contracts valued at $150,000 or more||N/A|
|The open access information the ODPP does not make publicly available due to an overriding public interest against disclosure||See 'Information the ODPP will not make available' below|
Information available on 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 – email@example.com (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 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 and must be provided with the application form. Some requests will be subject to additional processing charges of $30 an hour, and may require the advance payment of a deposit. We will let you know if any of these extra payments apply to your application.
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.