A formal access application may be necessary when the information you seek contains another person’s personal information, requires consultation with a third party, is subject to public interest considerations and may require complex or extensive searches.
Fees Apply (there is provision for some discount of processing fees)
Council is required to deal with a Formal Access Application within 20 working days of its receipt. This time may be extended by 10 - 15 days if Council is required to consult with third parties.
If you are dissatisfied with the decision made by Council in a Formal Access Application, you have a right of appeal. There are three avenues of appeal - internal review, Information Commissioner review and external review by the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal.
You can apply to the Council for an internal review. This is a review by someone more senior than the original decision maker and there is a $40 fee. You have 20 working days from receiving notice of a decision to ask for an internal review.
Review by the Information Commissioner:
If you are not satisfied with the internal review, or do not want one, you can ask for a review by the Information Commissioner. You have eight weeks from being notified of a decision to ask for this review.
Review at the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal:
If you are not satisfied with the decision of the Information Commissioner or the internal reviewer or if you do not want to take these options, you can apply to the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal (NCAT). If you have already had a review by the Information Commissioner, you have four weeks from notification of the decision to make this application. If you haven’t had a review by the Information Commissioner, you have eight weeks from notification of the decision to make this application.