Public Access to Information

Accessing Council's Information

Introduction

All applications for access to information and documents for all State Government agencies, including councils, are dealt with under the provisions of the Government Information Public Access Act 2009 (the GIPA Act). You can find out more about your right to information and ways to gain access to NSW Government and Council information by viewing the Information and Privacy Commission website http://www.ipc.nsw.gov.au.

Accessing Information

Council seeks to ensure that genuine requests for information are handled in a prompt and helpful manner. In considering any request for access to information, Council also must take into account whether the privacy of any other party is affected by a particular request.

All applications submitted to Council are processed in accordance with the requirements of the GIPA Act. Council will decide whether to give access or refuse access to information sought on the basis of the relevant considerations set out in the GIPA Act.

Council is unable to provide any copies (including by email) of any copyright material such as plans or reports under the GIPA Act unless the copyright owner has provided express consent (written consent), however, Council allows members of the public to have "view only" access for the purposes of the GIPA Act.

Informal Requests for Information

This is the easiest and cheapest way to access Council information.

Members of the public can contact Council's Access to Information Officer or Council's Customer Service Centre on 1300 36 2170 and Council staff will assist with completing their informal request for information application. The application form can also be downloaded from the link below.

Access to Information (Informal Request for Information Application

Applications can be submitted to Council by email or by fax or in person at the Customer Service Centre located at Ground Floor, 33 Moore Street Liverpool.

If you are requesting information, it is important to provide an accurate details of the information to which you are seeking access. If insufficient information is supplied, Council may not be able to locate the information sought and so may refuse your request.

When dealing with your application, Council determines whether the information:

  • Is readily available (for example, on Council's website)
  • Can be released to you through your informal application request (without requiring a formal application) and
  • Requires written consent from a copyright owner.

In accordance with the GIPA Act, Council only requires a formal access application if it is not possible or practical to manage your request informally.

Formal Applications for Information

If information cannot be accessed through the informal application process, a formal application is necessary. The formal application process is required if the application involves a large amount of information or extensive searches, or the information that an applicant is seeking involves personal or business information about a third party who must and will be consulted before the particular information sought can be released.

Examples of the types of requests that require a formal access application include:

  • Requests that require substantial time and recourses to process
  • Requests that involve information about the personal affairs of individuals other than the applicant and
  • Requests that would require Council to consult third parties.

A formal application form must be completed and accompanied by a $30 fee, if it is determined that your application is a formal request for information. In some cases processing charges may also apply.

If a formal application is required, Council's Access to Information Officer can assist with completing your application so that Council can better understand the exact nature of your request. This assists Council in processing your request as quickly as possible, thereby limiting the fees and charges that are payable in regard to processing a formal access application. Plese click the link below

Access to Information (Formal Request for Information Application)

Refusal of Requests for Access to Information

Council may sometimes refuse a request for information if there is an overriding public interest against the disclosure of information sought, or if the information sought by an applicant involves the unreasonable use of Council's resources or the excessive allocation of time by members of Council staff.

Council will explain to any applicant the reasons that an access application has been refused, usually on the basis of the public interest test. If you are not satisfied with a refusal, you may apply to Council for an internal review by Council's Review Officer (which involves a small fee). If not satisfied with the internal review by Council, you may seek to have the matter reviewed by the Office of the Information Commissioner or by the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal (NCAT).


Council Open Access Information includes:

Access to Council Information Policy

Section 20 of the GIPA Act 2009 requires Council to have an agency information guide. The guide, known as the Access to Council Information Policy, provides an overview of Council's structure and functions and how members of the public can access information about Council and provide feedback to Council.

Council's Access to Council Information Policy can be accessed by clicking the link directly below.

Access to Council Information Policy

Contracts Register

The GIPA Act requires councils to record and publish certain information about contracts worth more than $150,000 with private sector bodies. Please click the link directly below.

Government Contracts Register GIPA Act

Delegations Register

Council's Delegations Register is maintained in an Excel format which, for technical reasons, including its size cannot be downloaded to Council's website. However, copies of individual delegations can be made available by contacting Council's Access to Information Officer on 0821 9298.

Disclosure Log

Council's disclosure log records details about information that has already been released in response to a Formal Application for Information which may be of interest to other members of the public (unless the applicant objects to its recording).

Council will update its disclosure log on a regular basis and in accordance with the GIPA Act.

Land Register

The Council's land register is a legal requirement from the Local Government Act (Section 53) which states that:

  1. A Council is required to keep a register of all land vested in it or under its control.
  2. The register must include the following:
    • the name (if any) by which the land is known
    • the address or location of the land
    • the reference to title of the land
    • the name of the owner of the land
    • whether or not the land is Crown land
    • the classification under this Part of the land
    • whether or not there is a plan of management for the land
    • the zoning (if any) of the land under an environmental planning instrument
    • particulars of any agreement (including any lease or licence) entered into by the council with respect to the land.

The Liverpool City Council Land Register is available in pdf format. Click here to download a copy

Pecuniary Interest Returns of Councillors and Designated Persons

Section 449 of the Local Government Act 1993 requires that Councillors and designated persons (the Chief Executive Officer, Council senior staff and regulatory staff) must file annual returns in relation to their pecuniary interests. These returns are tabled annually at a Council meeting, usually in October each year. These returns constitute open access information available to members of the public under clause 1(2)(a) of Schedule 1 of the Government Information (Public Access ) Regulation 2009. However, the NSW Information Commissioner has determined that, because these returns contain a great deal of personal information, they are not to be published on Council's website.

Therefore, if you wish to view or obtain a copy of these returns for a particular year, please contact Council's Access to Information Officer on 1300 36 2170 or submit an Informal Request for Information Application to Council.

Register of Councillor Voting Decisions on Planning Matters

Section 375A of the Local Government Act 1993 requires the General Manager to record which Councillors vote for and against each planning decision of the Council, and to make this information publicly available. The Act requires that a division be called whenever a planning decision is put at a Council or Council committee meeting, including meetings closed to the public. Each decision recorded in the register is to clearly describe or identify the matter being determined and how Councillors voted.

Download the Register of Planning Matters here.

Register Of Current Declarations Of Political Donations

Council maintains a register of current declarations of political donations in accordance with the Local Government Act 1993.

The purpose of this register is to keep current declarations of disclosures of political donations lodged with the NSW Electoral Commission by or on behalf of Councillors.

In order to obtain quick and easy access to these declarations (and declarations by or on behalf of all candidates in local government elections for Liverpool City Council) please visit the NSW Electoral Commission website.

Register of Graffiti Removal Work 

Council's register of graffiti removal work records the graffiti removal work carried out by Council in accordance with the Graffiti Control Act 2008. You can view the Register here

Register of Investments

Section 625 of the Local Government Act 1993 refers to how a council may invest. It states that a council may invest money that is not, for the time being, required for any other purpose and that it may only be invested in a form that is notified by order of the Minister for Local Government, as published in the NSW Government Gazette. Council invests its temporary surplus funds in accordance with Council's Investment Policy, Investment Strategy and State Government requirements. Council provides a monthly report of its investments to Council. Council' Investment Register can be accessed here.