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Ombudsman Office practice investigation welcomed

Media Release: Tuesday 9 October 2018

Council’s Acting Chief Executive welcomes Ombudsman Office practice investigation

Horowhenua District Council Acting Chief Executive Mark Lester has welcomed today’s announcement that Council will be part of a self-initiated Ombudsman’s Office practice investigation of Local Government Official Information and Meetings Act (LGOIMA) policies and practices among councils.

“I concur with the Ombudsman's Office in seeing this as important work to ensure we provide the public with continuing trust and confidence in the ability of public sector agencies to operate effectively, as official information legislation is a cornerstone of New Zealand’s democracy,” Mr Lester said.

Mr Lester said the practice investigation was similar to an audit and would identify areas of good practice, and make suggestions for improvements if any were needed.

“We look forward to the opportunity to improve capability in official information administration and decision making,” he said. “This work will inform not only Horowhenua District Council but the wider local government sector of how best to manage our responsibilities under LGOIMA.”

The practice investigation covers two different types of councils and a central government agency. Christchurch City Council was chosen to represent a large urban council, Horowhenua District Council to represent a small district council, and Treasury to represent a central government agency.

Mr Lester said the Ombudsman’s Office made it clear that the practice investigation is part of an established work programme on public sector compliance with LGOIMA and is unrelated to any previous issues.

ENDS

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