NSW government faces referral to Ombudsman over tourism documents


The panel noted that the original tribunal member, senior member Deborah Dinnen, had “raised questions about the adequacy of Destination NSW’s response to the access application” and whether it had discharged its obligation to undertake “reasonable searches” for documents relating to the Herald‘s information request.

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Under the Government Information (Public Access) Act 2009, which regulates requests for access to government documents, NCAT may refer any matter to the information commissioner that it considers is “indicative of a systemic issue in relation to the determination of access applications by a particular agency”.

NCAT may also refer matters to the NSW Ombudsman “where it considers that the matter can be the subject of a complaint, inquiry, investigation or other action”.

The original NCAT decision overturned Destination NSW’s refusal to provide the Herald with documents used to decide support for events including Vivid, Strictly Ballroom, the Blue Man Group and Yabun Festival for the three years up to and including April 2015, when the request was lodged.



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