Information Access Commissioners and Ombudsman release survey results on community attitudes

September 30, 2019 - 9:29am

Information Access Commissioners and Ombudsman today released the findings of their first cross jurisdictional study of community attitudes to access to government information.

Commissioners from NSW, Victoria, Queensland, Western Australia, the Commonwealth of Australia and the Ombudsman from ACT sponsored the research, as part of Australia’s Open Government National Action Plan 2018–2020.

The Information Access Study 2019 measures citizens’ awareness of the right to access government information, and their experiences and outcomes in exercising that right. The research provides a broad insight into citizens’ views and experiences of the right to access information. Key findings include:

  • The importance of the right to access information is consistently recognised by respondents across state and national jurisdictions (85 – 93%)
  • The majority of respondents across the jurisdictions were aware that they had the right to access information from government departments/agencies (77- 85%).
  • Around 4 in 10 respondents had contacted at least one government agency in the past three years to obtain government information.
  • In general, citizens were able to obtain information successfully (60 – 91%*).

By enhancing understanding of community attitudes and experiences, the study’s results will help inform activities to promote and support the right to access government information.The results will also enable governments to examine the performance of their respective access to information laws from a citizen perspective.

View the research