Public information & privacy

Information overload

The volume of information that each of us receives, sends and stores has increased exponentially over the last decade. While this applies to us all as individuals, the volume of information flowing into, out of and within public sector organisations is truly mammoth.

Over the same period, the public sector has seen substantial legislative pressure to both facilitate more open government through easing access to information considered public and to restrict access to that which is considered private.

Together these elements provide a particular challenge to all public sector organisations.

We regularly work with public sector agencies in developing the systems and processes to deal with a large volume of public information access requests, advising on the assessment of particular access requests or defending their decisions on the release of information in the NSW Civil & Administrative Tribunal or assisting them to responding to complaints made to these parties, such as the Information & Privacy Commission.

We also assist private sector organisations seeking the release of information they deem public, both in drafting access applications and seeking a review of access decisions.

LTL’s specialist expertise covers the characterisation of information; public interest; legal privilege; commercial considerations; copyright information and intellectual property, access to information via subpoena; refusal to deal; processing charges; restraint orders; as well as the use (and abuse) of social media, corporate media and information policies, as well as defamation of and by public sector officials.

Where we can assist

The assistance we provide government and private sector clients in relation to public information and privacy issues includes:

  • all aspects of the Government Information (Public Access) Act 2009 and related legislation, including:
    • advice on and preparation of public information access requests under the Government Information (Public Access) Act 2009
    • advice for public sector organisations on dealing with complainants
    • representation of clients regarding appeals on public information access requests before the NSW Civil & Administrative Tribunal
  • advice on national privacy legislation including the Privacy Act 1988 (Cth), Privacy and Personal Information Protection Act 1998 and the Privacy Amendment (Enhancing Privacy Protection) Act 2012
  • advice on the role of the Information & Privacy Commissioner and complaints made to the IPC
  • advice on all aspects of confidentiality clauses and agreements, including confidentiality deeds and drafting of template deeds as well as advising clients on allegations of breaches of deeds
  • advice and representation in relation to intellectual property, trademark infringements and copyright, including the transfer or retention of intellectual property and claims of infringement
  • advice and representation in relation to defamation of clients and defences to claims of defamation by third parties.