On 1 July 2010 new Right to Information legislation came into effect, replacing the former freedom of information law.
The new law:
- creates new rights to information that are designed to meet community expectations of more open and transparent government
- encourages government agencies to proactively release government information.
You can find out more about your right to information and new ways to access NSW government information on the Information and Privacy Commission NSW website.
Accessing our agency's information
Our agency publishes a range of information under the Government Information (Public Access) Act 2009, including our policies, our agency's publication guide, a disclosure log of information applications, details of information not disclosed to the public and our register of government contracts.
The Government Information (Public Access) Act 2009 (GIPA Act) replaced the Freedom of Information Act 1989 (FOI Act) 1989 on 1 July 2010.
- 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.
- Open Access Information (aka Mandatory Release) - Certain information must be published on an agency's website, and available free of charge, including policy documents, a disclosure log of information released and refused under the GIPA Act, and a register of government contracts.
- Proactive Release - Agencies are encouraged to take the initiative to release as much government information as possible, in an appropriate manner and free of charge, or at lowest reasonable cost.
- Informal Release - Agencies are encouraged to release information on request without the need for a formal access application, subject to any reasonable conditions.
- Formal Access - In some circumstances, access to information will require formal access applications and a fee.
Information held by NSW Ambulance may be accessed in a number of ways.
If you want a copy of your medical records (or if you have written consent from a patient to apply on their behalf), these can be released under the Health Records and Information Privacy Act 2002. To do so, please apply in writing to NSW Ambulance and provide payment of $33.00 (inclusive of G.S.T) which can be either done by cheque, credit card or Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT).
If you wish to pay by cheque, please send your written application together with your cheque to NSW Ambulance PO Box 17 HAMILTON NSW 2303 marked to the attention of "NSW Ambulance Medical Records".
If you wish to pay by EFT or credit card, please call 02 4921 7555 or email AMBULANCE-MedicalRecordsNorthern@health.nsw.gov.au.
Please note that you do not need to apply under the Government Information (Public Access) Act 2009 for medical records.
Other information held by NSW Ambulance
First, search our website to see if the information you are seeking is already published, or check if the information has been released already under the Government Information (Public Access) Act 2009 - see our Disclosure Log.
If not, contact NSW Ambulance and request the information. We will then decide whether the information you want:
- is open access, or ‘mandatory release' information that is readily available. If it is, we will advise where and how you can get the information;
- should be made publicly available as part of a ‘proactive release' of information.
- can be provided to you through ‘informal release', subject to any reasonable conditions. The scope of your request will need to be considered in relation to the amount of time and costs required to provide the information.
- will require a formal access application, for example, if the scope of the request means that it will take significant agency resources to provide the information and/or because consultation with a third party is required.
How do I make a formal access application?
Access applications must be in writing, clearly indicate that it is an access application made under the Government Information (Public Access) Act 2009, and include the application fee. It must also include as much detail as possible to assist us to identify the documents you are requesting. We recommend that you use the GIPA Access Application form (PDF, 215.75 KB).
If you are requesting documents relating to your personal affairs you will need to provide proof of identity. If you require medical records go to Accessing Health Records.
Applications should be forwarded to the Right to Information Officer at the address below. Under the legislation, formal access applications must be processed within 20 working days, unless third party consultation is required or additional processing fees are payable.
While we will generally disclose information in response to a valid formal access application for information that is not otherwise available, we can refuse a request for information if there is an overriding public interest against disclosure or if searching for the requested information would require unreasonable and substantial diversion of the agency's resources.
Fees and processing charges for access applications
The application fee is $30.
Processing charges for documents that do not relate to your personal affairs are $30 per hour.
If an access application is made for personal information, there is no processing charge for the first 20 hours. Processing charges are incurred at $30 per hour after 20 hours.
We provide a 50% discount for processing charges in cases of financial hardship. If you wish to apply for a discount, please attach supporting documentation to your application (e.g. photocopy of a pension or health care card).
The application fee of $30 counts as a payment towards any processing charge payable by the applicant.
If you would like to make payment via credit card, please use the payment form (PDF, 60.74 KB).
Your review rights under the GIPA Act
You have a right to request a review regarding the release of information if you disagree with certain agency decisions as set out under the Government Information (Public Access) Act 2009.
Further information about the decisions that can be reviewed and who you can apply to is available from the Office of the Information Commissioner fact sheet, What is the public interest test?
Applications to NSW Ambulance to review a decision made by us must be in writing and include the application fee of $40. We recommend that you use the Internal Review Application form (PDF, 34.13 KB).
For further information, contact:
General Information about accessing government information under the GIPA Act is available from the Information and Privacy Commission.