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Green Party response to recommendations for OIA

4 February 2013

Green Party response to recommendations for OIA

The Green Party is disappointed with the Government’s response to the recommendations from the Law Commission’s review of the Official Information Act (OIA).

“Maximising transparency should be paramount when looking at reforming the OIA,” said Green Party Open Government spokesperson Holly Walker.

“The Law Commission recommended a substantive review and possible re-write of the Act, but instead the Government is tinkering around the edges.

“The Government is picking out the recommendations that suit it, like creating new ways of withholding information.

“At the same time, it is ignoring recommendations that it doesn’t like, including extending the OIA to cover Parliament.

“The Office of the Ombudsman is completely overloaded dealing with OIA complaints and other complaints about government agencies. The Government should have either considered the Law Commission’s recommendation to create a new stand-alone office to oversee compliance with the OIA, or committed to better resourcing the Office of the Ombudsman to deal with the number of requests and complaints it receives.

“The OIA is only useful if you can actually access the information that you need. We need greater transparency, not less.”

ends

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