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EQC breaks OIA law – complaint laid with Ombudsman

Clayton COSGROVE

Earthquake Commission Spokesperson

13 December 2013      MEDIA STATEMENT

EQC breaks OIA law – complaint laid with Ombudsman

Gerry Brownlee’s EQC has broken the law while delaying Clayton Cosgrove’s OIA request on behalf of a community group by 150 days and counting.

“On 15 July I took over an Official Information Request on behalf of the Wider Earthquake Communities Action Network of Canterbury (WECAN), which had been informed by EQC that it would be charged $24,000 for the request,” says Clayton Cosgrove.

“That was 150 days ago. The EQC has delayed the request twice, and has breached the law by extending it two months after the required 20 day deadline.

“I have met with the Ombudsman and laid a complaint about this process. She has advised me she will be looking into the matter and taking it seriously.

“A month ago my office spoke to EQC and was told that the OIA was effectively finished in November. Since then it has either been left at the chief executive’s office or Gerry Brownlee’s.

“Last week I sought an update from EQC on the status of the OIA but this was cancelled because Gerry Brownlee has muzzled staff. 

“This is completely unacceptable. What Cantabrians need now is as much information as possible. Instead EQC is either ignoring OIAs or delaying them automatically by six months, a process which is legally questionable.

“EQC is treating the OIA process with contempt. That attitude comes from the top. Gerry Brownlee’s department is not above the law,” says Clayton Cosgrove. 

ENDS

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