Private debt collectors seeking information about individuals from Corrective Services NSW can lodge an access application under the Government Information (Public Access) Act 2009 (GIPA Act) if they can’t/don’t want to use a subpoena.
An application form is not required to be completed. The application can be made by letter on company letterhead. It must be stated in the letter that it is an access application under the Government Information (Public Access) Act 2009.
The GIPA Act requires that a postal address must be provided. All information covered by the scope of the application will be posted unless you advise that you prefer to receive the decision letter and any attached information by email. Generally, the acknowledgement letter will be posted.
It must be stated in the letter whether or not the company’s identity can be revealed as the applicant when consultation takes place with the subject individual. Also, please advise this Unit of the purpose of you seeking the information (e.g. debt recovery or goods recovery) and that the purpose can be disclosed to the individual. Consultation is required under the GIPA Act before consideration can be given to releasing information about an individual who is not the applicant. The decision to release information or not will be based on what is the overriding public interest. Applicants do not have to give reasons for making applications but it assists the consultation and decision-making process. Documents may be requested to establish the bona fides of the application.
The processing charges will be waived if the scope of the application is: “current location of [name of individual, DOB]”, or “when was [name of individual, DOB] in custody”. For the former scope, the response would be either the name of the correctional facility or “not in custody”. Processing charges may need to be paid for applications requiring more information than the aforementioned sample scopes. Information about processing charges, and lodging an application, is provided on the CSNSW GIPAA application form (which is available in the documents section).
Telephone enquiries can be made to (02) 8346 1067.