Access to Information Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How can I see the contents of a file?
When you complete an Informal Access to Information Application Form and under ‘Form of Access’, tick the words ‘Inspect the Document(s)’.  

How can I access the objections or support letters (submissions) on a Development Application?
You will need to complete a Informal Access to Information Application Form, under ‘Information Required’ tick the words ‘Submissions to DA’. 

How long does it take to obtain documents or access files?
This process may take up to four weeks to obtain certain documents under informal access. Some of the documents listed on the form are available within a week while others are stored offsite and may take longer to access.

What fees are charged for my Access to Information request?
In accordance with the provisions of Section 18 of the GIPA Act 2009, there are no fees for accessing City of Parramatta files and documents. However, for Council to complete a formal GIPA request, fees may apply. Fees will be estimated and notified to you prior to completion of the application.

How do I view or obtain a copy of all building plans if I am the owner?
All building plans, with the exception of internal floor layouts, are publicly available. Plans are usually located in the Records Unit. When you complete an Informal Access to Information Application Form, under ‘Information Required’ tick the word ‘Plans’. You will need provide proof of ownership to access your building plans. You can also view plans at City of Parramatta Council, 126 Church Street, Parramatta NSW 2151.

How do I view or obtain a copy of building plans (internal layout) if I am not the owner?
Call the City of Parramatta's Right to Information Officer on (02) 9806 5313 and you will also need a letter of consent from the owner. 

What documents can I view?
The types of documents available that can be copied under the GIPA Act 2009 include:

  • management plans
  • budget information
  • development applications and associated documents
  • business papers
  • annual reports
  • policies
  • public registers

Find out more on Key Council Documents.

Should you have any further questions relating to City of Parramatta’s position on copyright, please contact the Right to Information Officer on (02) 9806 5313.

What document types require lodgement of a Formal Access to Information Application Form?
Public access to the following documents may be available (and may require third party consultation):

  • legal advice
  • personnel (individual staff) matters
  • complainant details
  • individuals details on DA submissions where they claim personal safety issues
  • council lease documents
  • successful contracts
  • successful tenders
  • insurance claims

Legal advice may be subject to legal professional privilege (eg advice from City of Parramatta’s legal advisers relating to pending or threatened legal action by or against Council) and it is not normally available to be either inspected or copied.

How can I obtain a property owners name and address?
City of Parramatta does not release property owners’ details unless it is for the purpose of the Act under which it is kept. Any person requiring such information due to dividing fence or tree matters must write to or email and justify their reason for obtaining the property owners details. You can also apply for ownership information at the Land Titles Office on (02) 9228 6666.

What City of Parramatta registers can I view?
See the City of Parramatta Registers page.

What is government information?
Government information means information contained in a record held by an agency. Record means any document or other source of information compiled, recorded or stored in written form by electronic process, or in any other manner or by any other means. The knowledge of a person is not a record.

How will Council protect my privacy under the GIPA Act?
Government information sometimes identifies people. Under the GIPA Act a record that would reveal an individual's personal information would not generally be disclosed unless there are strong public interest considerations in favour of disclosure.

In deciding whether to disclose personal information about you to a person applying for access to information, City of Parramatta will consider whether you are likely to be concerned about the release of the information and whether those concerns are relevant to the public interest. If so, City of Parramatta will:

  • consult with you
  • take into account any objections you may have to the release of the information.

If the City of Parramatta consults you and decides to release the information they:

  • must tell you of this decision and your right to have it reviewed
  • must not release the information while you still have the right to seek review.

What is a Disclosure Log?
In addition to open access information, City of Parramatta has an obligation to keep a record called a Disclosure Log. The Disclosure Log details information previously released to an applicant under a formal access application that City of Parramatta considers would be of interest to other members of the public.

City of Parramatta must record the following details about the application in its Disclosure Log:

  • the date the access application was determined;
  • a description of the information released;
  • whether any of the information is available to other members of the public; and
  • if available, how and where it can be accessed.