Access to government information

Obtaining information under GIPA

What is the GIPA Act?

The Government Information (Public Access) Act 2009 (GIPA Act) gives you the right to access government information you ask for, unless there is an overriding public interest against its release.

What is government information?

Government information is any record held by an agency, a private sector entity or the State Records Authority to which the agency has an immediate right of access, or a record that is in the possession or under the control of a person in his or her capacity as an officer of the agency. A record means any document or other source of information compiled, recorded or stored in written form or by electronic process, or in any other manner or by any other means.

How is information made available?

There are four ways in which information is made available under the GIPA Act.

1. Open access information (mandatory disclosure)

‘Open access information’ must be disclosed free of charge and is available on this website.

This includes information about Sydney Living Museums (SLM), policy documents, a disclosure log, information tabled in Parliament and a register of government contracts valued at $150,000 or more. 

2. Proactive release

We will proactively release as much information as possible. Some information cannot be proactively released, for instance, if it concerns another party’s affairs. You can ask what further information we will make available, in addition to the information already publicly accessible. Contact the Governance Team if you think we are likely to hold the information or if you are unsure where the information may be held.

3. Informal release

You can ask for specific information (including your personal information) on an informal basis by contacting the Governance Team.

We will give you a decision as quickly as possible. If we can’t provide a final decision within 20 working days, we will let you know when you can expect one.

There is no right of review if you are not happy with an informal release decision. If you make a formal application for the information, you will then have review rights.

4. Formal release

A formal application is a last resort. You should first see what information is publicly available or will be made available. However, there may be public interest reasons why the information may not be released informally, or a third party may need to be consulted in relation to the release of their business or personal information, in which case a formal application should be lodged. 

Personal information

You can ask for your personal information under the GIPA Act, which defines personal information as information or opinion about a person who can be identified from that information or opinion. We will try to comply with your request for your personal information without the need for a formal application, but you will need to prove your identity. Sometimes we may have to ask you to put in a formal application.

You can also ask for and amend your personal information under the privacy legislation. Refer to the privacy page for further details.

How do I apply for informal release of information?

If the information you are seeking has not already been published by Sydney Living Museums (SLM), but is information which raises no particular concerns in terms of possible public interest reasons why it should be kept confidential, then we may be able to release it to you on request without the requirement of a formal application.

If you think this applies to the information you are seeking, you can contact us to make an informal request.

Generally, we try to release information we hold without the need for you to make a formal access application, unless there are good reasons to require one.

Under the GIPA Act, however, government agencies are not required to release information without an access application. SLM reserves the right to require you to lodge an access application, particularly if there may be significant public interest considerations that need to be taken into account in deciding whether the information can be released or if you request a large volume of information or if it would otherwise take SLM a significant amount of time to consider your request.

How do I apply formally for information under the GIPA Act?

If the information you are seeking is not available on this website and is not otherwise routinely provided by Sydney Living Museums (SLM) on request, then you have a right to formally apply for access to specific information. It may not be necessary to make a formal application. Under its policies and through its websites and other publications, many SLM documents are publicly available.

SLM GIPA applications are centrally managed by the Department of Premier and Cabinet Legal Branch.

You may submit a formal GIPA application by downloading and completing the government information access form and sending it to the Department of Premier and Cabinet Legal Branch at the following address:

Coordinator (Public Access to Government Information)Legal Branch
Department of Premier and Cabinet
GPO Box 5341
Sydney NSW 2001

Please note:

The GIPA Act states that we are only able to accept access applications that:

1.    Are in writing and sent to us at the address above;
2.    Clearly state that you are requesting information under the Government Information (Public Access) Act 2009;
3.    Enclose the $30 application fee;
4.    Have a return postal address as the address for correspondence; and
5.    Include as much specific information as necessary to enable us to identify the information you are asking for.

If your application does not meet these five requirements it will be considered an invalid application and will not be processed. If that happens, however, the Department will let you know and will help you, if possible, by explaining how to meet these requirements.

Otherwise, the Department will write acknowledging receipt of your valid access application within 5 working days, and will deal with your application within 20 working days (subject to any extensions allowed for under the Act). If any extension of time is required to deal with your application, the Department will let you know in writing.

Additional information on GIPA applications may be found on the Department of Premier and Cabinet website.

What if I don’t agree with a decision?

You can have a decision reviewed internally through the Department of Premier and Cabinet, or externally through the NSW Information Commissioner and/or the Administrative and Equal Opportunity Division of the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal.

You can ask for a decision to be reviewed if you are the access applicant or if a decision has been made to give an applicant access to information that relates to your business, commercial, professional, financial, or personal interests contrary to your objections.

For more details about your review rights under the GIPA Act, please visit the Information and Privacy Commission website.

How can I complain about my dealings with Sydney Living Museums in relation to the GIPA Act?

Complaints about Sydney Living Museums (SLM) can be made to the Information Commissioner.

How can I get more information?

•    See SLM’s privacy page
•    Contact the Governance Team at SARA-Coord@records.nsw.gov.au 
•    Refer to the GIPA Act, Privacy and Personal Information Protection Act 1998 and Health Records and Information Privacy Act 2002 online
•    Refer to the Information and Privacy Commission website
•    Refer to the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal website

Disclosure log

Information previously released by Sydney Living Museums

Under the Government Information (Public Access) Act 2009 (GIPA Act), Sydney Living Museums (SLM) is required to keep a record (a disclosure log) of information about formal applications it receives under the GIPA Act.

The disclosure log sets out information that is released under the GIPA Act that may be of interest to members of the public. The log has details of how you can access the information. Currently, SLM’s GIPA applications are administered by the Department of Premier and Cabinet and are included in their Disclosure Log. For applications processed prior to 10 August 2021, please refer to the disclosure log below. 

Information tabled in Parliament

The Government Information (Public Access) Act 2009 (GIPA Act) requires that Sydney Living Museums (SLM) make publicly available any information about SLM that has been tabled in Parliament. This includes documents tabled by, or on behalf of, SLM.

Information about SLM tabled in Parliament can be accessed at this site.

Since the commencement of the GIPA Act, with the exception of the Annual Reports which are available on our website, no information relating to SLM has been tabled in Parliament.

Access Application Form

Download access application form (PDF, 246KB)

Disclosure Log

Information previously released by Sydney Living Museums

Under the Government Information (Public Access) Act 2009 (GIPA Act), SLM is required to keep a record (a disclosure log) of information about formal applications it receives under the GIPA Act.

The disclosure log sets out information that is released under the GIPA Act that may be of interest to members of the public. The log has details of how you can access the information.

Agency Reference no. Date the application was decided Description of the information provided and the type of release (full or partial) Form of access Type of release
F2015/254 6-Mar-15 Information relating to the number of commercial events held at Vaucluse House in 2013 & 2014 Information can be provided upon request to: privacy@sydneylivingmuseums.com.au Full disclosure
F2015/255 20-Mar-15 Information relating to a contract to provide commercial services at Vaucluse House and Vaucluse House Tearooms Information can be provided upon request to: privacy@sydneylivingmuseums.com.au Partial disclosure
F2015/256 23-Mar-15 Information relating to the development of a Plan of Management for Vaucluse House Information can be provided upon request to: privacy@sydneylivingmuseums.com.au Partial disclosure

Information Tabled in Parliament

The Government Information (Public Access) Act (GIPA Act) requires that Sydney Living Museums make publicly available any information about Sydney Living Museums that has been tabled in Parliament. This includes documents tabled by, or on behalf of, Sydney Living Museums.

Information about Sydney Living Museums tabled in Parliament can be accessed at this site.

Since the commencement of the GIPA Act, with the exception of the Annual Reports which are available on our website, no information relating to Sydney Living Museums has been tabled in Parliament.