Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search

 

OIA statistics released

31 January 2017

OIA statistics released

State Services Commissioner Peter Hughes has today published the first set of Official Information Act (OIA) statistics covering 110 different government agencies.

“It is essential that New Zealanders have trust and confidence in their government agencies,” Mr Hughes said.

“Being open and transparent is critical to giving the public confidence. When New Zealanders ask us for information we need to be responsive,” he said.

In 2015 former Chief Ombudsman Dame Beverley Wakem made a number of recommendations in her report into the OIA, ‘Not a Game of Hide and Seek’.

The State Services Commissioner and the Public Service chief executives carefully considered Dame Beverley’s findings and recommendations. In response, they have developed a programme of work to improve how government agencies are complying with the OIA and making information publicly available. The incoming Chief Ombudsman, Judge Peter Boshier, has subsequently also been involved in supporting the work programme.

This programme is a formal commitment in New Zealand’s ‘National Action Plan 2016-18’ under the international Open Government Partnership.

“The government has demonstrated our commitment to improving OIA compliance by making it an independently assessed undertaking as part of an international treaty,” Mr Hughes said.

The first publication of statistics details the number of requests each agency received during the 2015/16 financial year (1 July 2015 – 30 June 2016) and whether they were handled within the timeframe required by the OIA. Over time the information on performance that is gathered and published will increase to provide a more comprehensive picture of compliance with the letter and spirit of the Act.

The Chief Ombudsman is also today releasing data on the complaints his office has received and the complaints they have ‘completed’ between 1 July 2016 and 31 December 2016.

“It’s important to look at these figures as a set to understand the volumes of requests being received and responded to as well as the complaints being made,” Mr Hughes said.

The total number of OIA requests received during 2015/16 was 40,273.

Requests to each agency range from 0 to 11,054. Around half of all requests were received by Police, EQC and the Department of Corrections. Other agencies receiving more than 1,000 requests include the Ministry of Business, Innovation, and Employment, Fire Service Commission, Ministry of Health and Customs Service.

“This is a large number of requests for information and agencies are investing a lot of resources in responding to them,” Mr Hughes said.

Under the OIA agencies are required to respond as soon as practicable, and in a maximum of 20 working days, unless there are grounds to extend the timeframe for response.

“I expect agencies to respond to OIA requests on time in accordance with the Act,” said Mr Hughes.

The timeliness agencies are achieving ranges from a low 39% to 100% on-time. The agency average is 91% of responses handled on-time. This average is however impacted by some outlying low numbers, and agencies’ median rate of on-time responses is 96%. One third of agencies achieve 99% or more on-time, however a quarter are below 85%.

“Most agencies are working hard to respond on time and are achieving a good standard of timeliness,” Mr Hughes said.

“It is clear that some agencies need to improve and have work to do to lift their performance,” he said.

“District health boards stand out as an agency group that is not meeting its timeliness obligations, which is concerning,” said Mr Hughes. “While some DHBs are doing well, too many are consistently late in their responses and need to do better”.

“I have asked the Director-General of Health to work with DHB Chief Executives to focus on improving OIA performance,” he said

SSC and the Office of the Ombudsman are cooperating on the development of improved guidance and training for agencies and people making requests. This guidance and training will help agencies be more consistent in how they manage and respond to requests, and help people seeking information get what they are looking for more easily.

“I’m very pleased to be working closely with the Chief Ombudsman and I appreciate the leadership and support he is giving to this work,” Mr Hughes said.

“Openness and transparency is one of the four pillars of good government, along with free and frank advice, political neutrality and merit based appointment,” Mr Hughes said.

“It is important that we are open with New Zealanders and responsive to their requests,” he said.

“I am backing agencies in their work to improve their openness and SSC will support them to get it right,” said Mr Hughes.

Information on the numbers of requests received and on-time performance is available on SSC’s website http://www.ssc.govt.nz/official-information-act-statistics

Information on the number of complaints received is published by the Chief Ombudsman and is available on the Office of the Ombudsman’s website http://www.ombudsman.parliament.nz/resources-and-publications/oia-complaints-data

ENDS


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Another Leader Exiting: Statement From Peter Dunne

I have concluded, based on recent polling, and other soundings I have been taking over the last few weeks, that, the volatility and uncertainty notwithstanding, there is now a mood amongst Ōhāriu voters for a change of MP, which is unlikely to alter...

“I have therefore decided that it is time for me to stand aside, so the people of Ōhāriu can elect a new electorate MP. More>>

 

Gordon Campbell: On Labour’s Campaign Launch

One of the key motifs of Ardern’s speech was her repeated use of the phrase – “Now, what?” Cleverly, that looks like being Labour’s response to National’s ‘steady as it goes’ warning against not putting the economic ‘gains’ at risk. More>>

ALSO:

Lyndon Hood: Social Welfare, Explained

Speaking as someone who has seen better times and nowadays mostly operates by being really annoying and humiliating to deal with, I have some fellow feeling with the current system, so I’ll take this chance to set a few things straight.. More>>

ALSO:

Deregistered: Independent Board Decision On Family First

The Board considers that Family First has a purpose to promote its own particular views about marriage and the traditional family that cannot be determined to be for the public benefit in a way previously accepted as charitable... More>>

ALSO:

Transport Policies: Nats' New $10.5bn Roads Of National Significance

National is committing to the next generation of Roads of National Significance, National Party Transport Spokesperson Simon Bridges says. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Why Labour Isn’t Responsible For Barnaby Joyce

As a desperate Turnbull government tries to treat the Barnaby Joyce affair as a Pauline Hanson fever dream – blame it on the foreigners! We’re the victims of the dastardly New Zealand Labour Party! – our own government has chosen to further that narrative, and make itself an accomplice. More>>

ALSO:

Rail: Greens Back Tauranga – Hamilton – Auckland Service

The Green Party today announced that it will trial a passenger rail service between Auckland, Hamilton and Tauranga starting in 2019, when it is in government. More>>

ALSO:

Housing: Voluntary Rental Warrant Of Fitness For Wellington

Wellington City Council is partnering with the University of Otago, Wellington, to launch a voluntary Rental Warrant of Fitness for minimum housing standards in Wellington, Mayor Justin Lester has announced. More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

Featured InfoPages

Opening the Election