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General access (GIPA)

The Government Information (Public Access) Act 2009 (GIPA) came into effect on 1 July 2010 and replaces the NSW Freedom of Information (FOI) Act.

The new system is focussed on making government information more readily available.

This means that government departments including the NSW Food Authority will usually release information unless there is an overriding public interest against disclosure.

Access methods

There are 4 ways in which government information is available:

1. Mandatory disclosure

The Food Authority must publish certain types of information. You can search the Food Authority’s website to find this information, free of charge. It includes:

  • a current publication guide which describes the structure and functions of the agency, the kinds of information it holds and how people can access it
  • the Food Authority’s policies
  • the annual report
  • the disclosure log of formal access applications
  • the register of government contracts
  • a record of the general nature of any open access information that has not been disclosed because of an overriding public interest.

2. Proactive release

The Food Authority may release various other types of information, without it being required.

Release will usually be free of charge, or at the lowest cost possible It includes:

  • lists and registers in addition to those it is obliged to publish
  • consumer and food industry fact sheets, brochures and guides
  • policy and regulatory proposals
  • the risk framework the Food Authority uses in its activities and studies to better understand the safety of food
  • market analyses of food available generally for sale in NSW.

3. Informal release

The new laws allow members of the public to ask informally for some types of information. This is a new process intended to make access easier.

The Food Authority will undertake to release this information without formal application unless there is a good reason to require one.

4. Formal access

This is intended to be the last resort, for use when information has not been obtainable in any other way.

You can formally request specific information and the Food Authority must follow a formal process to make its decision.

How to

Publications and pages detailing the Food Authority’s services and business operations can be found on this website.

The Department of Regional NSW manages other requests for access to information, on the Food Authority's behalf. The Food Authority is part of the parent department.

For details of:

  • how to access NSW Food Authority information
  • costs
  • Publication guide
    for information routinely made available to the public, including the Food Authority’s profile, priorities, decisions, policies, registers and lists, and corporate publications.
  • Disclosure log
    for non-personal information that has a wider public interest and that has been released through GIPA 
  • Register of government contracts
    for details of contracts the Food Authority has entered into worth $150,000 or more

See Department of Regional NSW how can I access information, or

Contact Department of Regional NSW, Governance and Information Team:


call 1800 472 679
write Governance and Information Team
Department of Regional NSW
Level 2, 66 Harrington Street, Sydney 2000.

More about GIPA

The Office of the Information Commissioner’s (OIC)’s, role is to administer and provide independent oversight of the new ‘right to information’ system.

The Information Commissioner is completely independent and is not answerable to any Minister but reports to a joint committee of the NSW Parliament.

For more about the Office of the Information Commissioner:



1800 463 626 (1800 infocom)  freecall