Food safety inspections for the years 2014, 2015, 2016

Nigel Gladstone made this Government Information (Public Access) request to Griffith City Council

The request was successful.

From: Nigel Gladstone

Delivered

Dear Local Council,

Can you please provide me with the number of food safety inspections carried out in your area annually, for the last three years?

How many warning were issued each year and how many fines each year?

What percentage of all food outlets did the council inspect each year?

Have any outlets been shut down for non-compliance and if so what for and how many?

What were the worst offences/biggest fines for each year?

Yours faithfully,

Nigel Gladstone

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Griffith City Council

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From: Wendy Krzus
Griffith City Council


Attachment GC FO 302 Formal Access to Information Request Application Form.pdf
39K Download View as HTML


Dear Nigel

I have received your request of provide information under the GIPA Act re
food safety inspections.

Attached for you to complete is a GIPA Application form.  There is a $30
application fee which must be paid at the time of lodging your
application.

Once this is received your request will be considered.

Regards

Wendy Krzus
Governance Coordinator
Griffith City Council
PO Box 485 Griffith 2680
Ph 02 69 628 186
Fax 02 69 644 368

From:        "[FOI #2449 email]"
<[FOI #2449 email]>
To:        GIPA requests at Griffith City Council
<[Griffith City Council request email]>
Date:        28/10/2016 02:41 PM
Subject:        Government Information (Public Access) request - Food
safety inspections for the years 2014, 2015, 2016

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Dear Local Council,

Can you please provide me with the number of food safety inspections
carried out in your area annually, for the last three years?

How many warning were issued each year and how many fines each year?

What percentage of all food outlets did the council inspect each year?  

Have any outlets been shut down for non-compliance and if so what for and
how many?

What were the worst offences/biggest fines for each year?

Yours faithfully,

Nigel Gladstone

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From: Nigel Gladstone

Delivered

Dear Wendy Krzus,
I have requested the same information from all NSW councils and other councils do not require a $30 fee for access to this information.
Is there a reason your council is different to the others?

On what grounds are you basing your request for the formal application fee?

Yours sincerely,

Nigel Gladstone

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Locutus Sum left an annotation ()

The request from the applicant in this application and in the other similar applications is not stated directly to be a request under the Government Information (Public Access) Act 2009 ("GIPA Act") but it probably is. I say this because it is a request for government information and it is sent from Right to Know.

The GIPA Act gives a person two different methods to request and access information. One method, under section 9, is an "access application". An application under section 9 is a formal application; it requires payment of a fee and it imposes some obligations on the agency to where the applicant applies. An agency must consider and deal with an application under section 9.

In the case of the application on this request page, the applicant has not made a formal "access application" and his letter implies that he wants the agency (council) to deal with the application informally. An informal application is a request under section 8 ("Informal release of government information") of the GIPA Act. The applicant is entitled to do this but there is a hair in the soup that I will explain. Section 8 does not impose any obligations on the agency. As Section 8(3) shows, "An agency cannot be required to disclose government information pursuant to an informal request and cannot be required to consider an informal request for government information." So you can see the limitations. "An agency cannot be required [even] to consider an informal request ..." So it definitely does not have to explain why it will not consider the informal application.

Maybe the applicant will get an explanation, but maybe he will not, and the agency is entitled to ignore the informal request.

On the matter of the fee, if the applicant decides to make a formal application, he must pay a fee of $30. This is the requirement of s 41(1)(c).

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Locutus Sum left an annotation ()

I did not say, but I ought to have said, that it is probably too early to know that the statement "other councils do not require a $30 fee for access to this information" is correct. Most of the councils where the applicant has made a request have acknowleged that they have received the application but they have not provided the information. They also have not said that they will provide the information. I expect that at least half of the councils will seek the application fee but we must wait to discover whether my opinion is correct.

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Locutus Sum left an annotation ()

Now it is another week and we can see what has happened when othe councils have replied. We can do a quick survey; it is not a complete answer because there has not been much time since the applications were lodged.

I did not search for all of the requests from Mr Gladstone about food safety. I looked only at 25 requests listed on the first search page. From 14 council agencies there is only an acknowlegement; 6 councils have given the applicant access to the information (this is very good!); 4 councils have said that the applicant must complete a formal application under the GIPA Act of New South Wales. This makes 24 councils.

The most interesting correspondence in my opinion is from the Griffith Council agency. The council first said that applicant must complete a formal application. Afterwards, the officer said that she had asked another person and she had discovered that the information was already available. The officer then gave access without a formal application.

In my opinion, it will be worthwhile for the applicant to understand that the person who answers the request on the first correspondcence is not always a food safety person. A food safety person will know that the information is already compiled for the Food Authority. So, the applicant might discover that it is beneficial to tell the council in the original application letter that the information will already be compiled. This might be better then to say "other councils gave me the information". Insstead, he will say, "I think that you food safety officer could tell you that the information has already been collected for the Food Authority and that it will not be much work at all to give me the information with an informal application".

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From: Nigel Gladstone

Delivered

Dear Wendy Krzus,

I agree and have been doing so with dozens of councils, which in the majority of cases has resulted in them changing their request for a formal GIPA and $30 fee to giving me the information for free without a form!

Yours sincerely,

Nigel Gladstone

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From: Wendy Krzus
Griffith City Council

Dear Nigel

Further to your request for information.

I have spoken to Council's Environmental Health Officer, who has provided
the following information to be passed onto you.

Question:  
Can you please provide me with the number of food safety inspections
carried out in your area annually, for the last three years?

Response:
2013/14 - 244
2014/15 - 243
2015/16 - 255

Question:
How many warnings were issued each year and how many fines each year?

Response:
2013/14 - 21 Warning Letters & 0 fines
2014/15 - 14 Warning Letters & 0 fines
2015/16 - 17 Warning Letters & 0 fines

Question:
What percentage of all food outlets did the council inspect each year?  

Response:
2013/14 - 100%
2014/15 - 100%
2015/16 - 100%

Question:
Have any outlets been shut down for non-compliance and if so what for and
how many?

Response:
0 outlets have been shut down in the 3 years.

Question:
What were the worst offences/biggest fines for each year?

Response:
0 fines were issued in the 3 years.

I trust this answers your enquiry.

Regards
Wendy Krzus
Governance Coordinator
Griffith City Council
PO Box 485 Griffith 2680
Ph 02 69 628 186
Fax 02 69 644 368

From:        Nigel Gladstone
<[FOI #2449 email]>
To:        Wendy Krzus <[email address]>
Date:        08/11/2016 05:46 PM
Subject:        Re: Government Information (Public Access) request - Food
safety inspections for the years 2014, 2015, 2016

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Dear Wendy Krzus,

I agree and have been doing so with dozens of councils, which in the
majority of cases has resulted in them changing their request for a formal
GIPA and $30 fee to giving me the information for free without a form!

Yours sincerely,

Nigel Gladstone

show quoted sections

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From: Nigel Gladstone

Delivered

Dear Wendy Krzus,

Thanks!

Yours sincerely,

Nigel Gladstone

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From: Nigel Gladstone

Delivered

Dear Wendy Krzus,

Can you please tell me how many Formal Improvement notices were issued in each year? I have this information from other councils and as it is on the same form the other info is on I hope it's not too much to ask?

Yours sincerely,

Nigel Gladstone

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From: Wendy Krzus
Griffith City Council

Hi Nigel

Information as requested.

There were 2 in 2013/14 and 0 otherwise.

Regards

Wendy Krzus
Governance Coordinator
Griffith City Council
PO Box 485 Griffith 2680
Ph 02 69 628 186
Fax 02 69 644 368

From:        Nigel Gladstone
<[FOI #2449 email]>
To:        Wendy Krzus <[email address]>
Date:        10/11/2016 01:56 PM
Subject:        Re: Food safety inspections for the years 2014, 2015, 2016

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Dear Wendy Krzus,

Can you please tell me how many Formal Improvement notices were issued in
each year? I have this information from other councils and as it is on the
same form the other info is on I hope it's not too much to ask?

Yours sincerely,

Nigel Gladstone

show quoted sections

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From: Nigel Gladstone

Delivered

Dear Wendy Krzus,

Great work, thanks!

Yours sincerely,

Nigel Gladstone

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