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Parliamentary Service should be covered by OIA

#Debarclay shows why Parliamentary Service should be covered by OIA

28 June 2017

The Taxpayers’ Union is calling on MPs to shed the cloak of secrecy surrounding Parliamentary Services and for political parties to commit to bring it under the Official Information Act in the next Parliamentary term.

“Taxpayers should be able to find out how politicians are spending their money,” said Jordan Williams, Executive Director of the Taxpayers’ Union.

In 2007, then Speaker Hon Margaret Wilson, called on the inclusion of Parliament under the Act, telling an Information Law Conference marking 25 years of the Official Information Act that “I personally find it anomalous that the administration of Parliament is not subject to the OIA, with suitable protections for the privacy of communications between Members of Parliament and their constituents and agencies that they petition on behalf of the public.”

Mr Williams said that “Today New Zealand First Deputy Leader Ron Mark called on the Government to front up and tell the public how much the Barclay employment settlement cost taxpayers. We agree, but sunlight should be shone on all instances of politicians paying to silence and settle employment disputes with former staff. At the Taxpayers’ Union, we’ve been highlighting this very issue since 2014.”

The 2014 comments can be found at: http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/9590207/Payments-buy-the-silence-of-staff-at-Parliament

Maragret Wilson’s full speech can be found at: http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PA0705/S00352.htm


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