- Reviewing access directions
Reviewing access directions
The State Records Act provides an internal review mechanism for decisions made by public offices to close or open records to public access. The review mechanism ensures that public offices are accountable and answerable for decisions that affect the publics' entitlement to access records in the open access period.
Who can request a review?
NSW State Archives can request a review of an access direction.
When will NSW State Archives request a review?
State Archives may request a review of an access direction if, after advice and negotiation with a public office, an access direction direction remains:
- inconsistent with the spirit of the access provisions of the State Records Act, including the presumption that most records should be opened after 30 years
- contrary to the Attorney Generals' guidelines on making access directions, or
- creates an inconsistent framework of public access to State records across government.
Who is responsible for reviewing an access direction?
The Public Office responsible for the State record that is subject to the access direction must request the Minister responsible for the public office to review the access direction. The Minister must finalise the review in three months. The review may be carried out in consultation with NSW State Archives.
How long does a review take?
A review is to be finalised within three months of NSW State Archives making a request.
What are the possible outcomes of a review?
The Minister finalises a review by either:
- confirming the original access direction, or
- directing the public office to revoke the access direction and replace it with another specified access direction.
What must a public office do after a review?
The public office must comply with the Minister's direction within 14 days. The public office can comply by revoking and authorising an access direction in accordance with the Minister's review.
If the public office does not comply within 14 days the access direction is revoked. The revoked direction can not be given again without the permission of NSW State Archives.
Can the Minister's direction be revoked?
The direction specified by a Minister in a review of an access direction can not be revoked without the permission of the Minister or NSW State Archives.