How to Access Information
The Government Information (Public Access) Act 2009 requires local councils to proactively release a range of information on their websites and in other accessible formats, while providing appropriate protection for individual’s privacy. It means formal applications for access should be a last resort.
INFORMATION (OPEN ACCESS) INFORMATION
Certain information must be disclosed by Council unless it is not in the public interest to do so. This is referred to as open access information and includes the following:
- Singleton Council Agency Information Guide - assists you in your search of what government information is held and how you can access this information.
- Policy Documents
- Disclosure Log – outlines previous information requests that are deemed to be in the public’s interest.
- Register of Council Contracts
- Documents Tabled in Parliament on behalf of Council - No documents have yet been tabled in Parliament by or on behalf of Singleton Council. Should this occur, Singleton Council will publish links to these documents on its website.
- Open Access Information Not Released - Council has not withheld any open access documents from release based on overriding public interest against disclosure, if it does Council will publish the details here.
- Council’s Agendas and Meeting Minutes (not including business papers for matters considered in the closed session of a council meeting).
- Limited Development Application and Building Information
Schedule 1 of the GIPA Act outlines the information that can be released under open access. If the information you are seeking is not publicly available on our website and is contained within schedule 1, please complete an Informal (Open Access) Application to request the informal release of information.
Singleton Council may allow access to other information unless there is an overriding public interest against disclosure of the information.
NOTE: DA's prior to 1 July 2010 will now require a Formal Access Application in accordance with Schedule 1, Clause 3 (2) (c) of the GIPA Act.
COPYRIGHT NOTICE: Plans and third party documents supporting development applications, which is available for public access, is subject to copyright laws. Access to this information will not be provided to members of the public unless applicants have the consent of the copyright owner before Council provides the information.
PROACTIVE RELEASE OF INFORMATION
In addition to the open access information that must be made available on our website, Singleton Council is committed to providing as much information as possible through proactive release. It is also our intent to make information easily accessible to the public. You can find information on our website or by contacting our Council for assistance.
FORMAL RELEASE OF INFORMATION
If you are unable to obtain your required information through any of the previous methods, a formal access application may be necessary.
A Formal Access Application is required in the following circumstances:
- if information is not available via proactive or informal release, or
- if you require access to DA documents prior to 1 July 2010, or
- the request involves a large volume of information (generally requiring more than 30 minutes of processing time), or,
- the request requires extensive research and accordingly will involve an unreasonable amount of time and resources to produce, or
- the request contains personal or confidential information about a third party which may require consultation, or
- the request is of a sensitive nature that requires careful weighing of the consideration in favour of and against disclosure.
A Formal Access Application can be made online through our online services, and a $30.00 application fee must be made at time of lodgement. See below for our 'How-To Guide' to register to our online services.
The processing time frames for Formal GIPA Applications in accordance with Section 57 of the GIPA Act are:
- Where no consultation or archival retrieval is required – 20 working days
- Where the GIPA request is seeking access to information requiring archival retrieval or access to personal information of third parties – 35 working days.