How to Access Council Information
The Government Information (Public Access) Act 2009 (GIPA) (the GIPA Act) commenced on 1 July 2010 and applies to all NSW government agencies, including local councils and county councils. It requires proactive information disclosure through mandatory publication and authorised release of ‘open access information’. Open access information is information that agencies must publish, unless there is an overriding public interest against disclosure. The Act also provides for disclosure in response to informal requests and a revised system of response to formal access applications.
Council holds the following information:
- Files – either physical or electronic
- Policy documents
- General Documents
Prior to 1 October 1998 Council had a “hard copy” filing system, with material being held in physical (paper) files. Since then Council’s files have been maintained in electronic format except for plans associated with development/building/construction applications, which became available in electronic format from 1 January 2004.
Council’s files for development applications and related building and construction certificate applications are available online via the inquiry portal DA Tracker . Other files are not available on the website however this information may be made available either by informal release or via a formal access application, unless there is an overriding public interest against disclosure of the information, in accordance with the provisions of the GIPA Act.
Council’s policies are maintained in a policy register which is accessible on this website.
The following list of general documents held by Council has been divided into four sections as outlined by the GIPA Regulations:
- Information about Council;
- Plans and Policies;
- Information about Development Applications;
- Approvals, Orders and other Documents.
The GIPA Regulations require that these documents held by Council, are to be made publicly available for inspection, free of charge. The public is entitled to inspect these documents on Council’s website and at the offices of the Council during ordinary office hours (Monday to Friday, 8.30 am to 5.00 pm). Any current and previous documents of this type may be inspected by the public free of charge. Copies can be supplied for reasonable copying charges. In respect of some information, there may be an overriding public interest against publishing it on the website. Where this is the case, the information will be available for inspection at Council offices only.
How to access Council information
Open access information (mandatory)
Open access information is publicly available on this website or at Council’s offices during normal business hours. Persons unable to find the information they are looking for on the web site should contact Council for assistance.
Persons requiring access to open access information at Council’s offices may be required to complete an ‘Application to Access Council Information’ in order to be provided with access to Council’s electronic document management system.
Proactive release information
Council will make other information publicly available unless there is an overriding public interest against disclosure.
Informal access to information
Persons unable to locate the information they are seeking may make an informal access request by completing an ‘Application to Access Council Information’. Council staff will assess the application and may release the information either wholly or partially and subject to any reasonable conditions and in any format.
Council will not charge a fee for inspection of open access information or information proactively released or for informal access to information. Council will charge a fee for providing copies of information in accordance with its Pricing Policy.
Formal access applications
Information not publicly available as open access or informal access information may be released subject to a formal access application being made. Persons should complete an ‘Application for Formal Access to Council Information’ accompanied by a $30 application fee. The application will be dealt with pursuant to Part 4 of the GIPA Act and Council must determine the application within 20 working days (with provision for an extension of up to 15 working days in certain circumstances).
A person who makes a formal access application has a legally enforceable right to be provided with the information requested unless there is an overriding public interest against disclosure. Decisions are subject to internal and external review.
Assistance and further information
Call Council on 9978 4000 or visit the Customer Service area at the Civic Centre with enquiries or requests for assistance.
Any written enquiries or applications should be directed to:
Mosman Municipal Council
PO Box 211
SPIT JUNCTION NSW 2088
1 Mosman Square
SPIT JUNCTION NSW 2088
Telephone: 9978 4000
Facsimile: 9978 4132
Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner
Further advice or assistance concerning rights to access Council information may be obtained from the Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner or by email firstname.lastname@example.org by telephone 1800 472679 between 9am and 5pm Monday to Friday (excluding public holidays).
The Information and Privacy Commission NSW is located at Level 11, 1 Castlereagh Street, Sydney.