Requesting Information

Requesting Information

In New South Wales, the object of the Government Information (Public Access) Act 2009 is to open government information (including Universities) to the public by:

  • authorising and encouraging the proactive release of government information by agencies;
  • giving members of the public an enforceable right to access government information; and
  • providing that access to government information is restricted only when there is an overriding public interest against disclosure.

How do I request information?

Every day the University responds to requests for information from the public. This process is still your first avenue of access to the information you wish to see. To make a valid formal access application, however, the application must:

  • be in writing;
  • state that it is made under the Government Information (Public Access) Act 2009;
  • have a postal address for return correspondence;
  • provide enough details to help the University identify the information you want; and
  • enclose the application fee of $30.

All formal access applications should be submitted to the University using the Formal Access Application Form.

How much will it cost me to make a request for information?

The formal access application fee is $30, however you may be entitled to a 50% reduction of processing charges on financial hardship grounds, or if the information requested is of special benefit to the public generally.

If the University decides to provide you with access to the information, you may be asked to pay a further processing charge. Processing costs are $30 per hour and cover the time needed to deal efficiently with the application.

The University may ask you to pay up to 50% of the expected processing charge in advance. This request must be in writing and you must be given at least four weeks to pay.

If you seek access to your own personal information , the first 20 hours of processing time are free of charge.

How long does a formal access application take?

The University must notify you of the decision on an application within 20 working days, unless you agree to extend the time.

The University may also extend the time by 10-15 days where consultation with a third party is required or if it needs to retrieve records from archives.

If access is deferred by the University then the University must notify you and include the reason for the deferral and the date on which you will be given access. A decision to defer access is reviewable (see Reviews).

If the University does not decide the your access application within 20 days, it is considered 'refused'. The application fee must be refunded and the applicant may seek internal or external review of this refusal. (see Reviews). This will not apply if an extension of time has been arranged or payment of an advance deposit is pending.