Ministerial diary publication strengthens transparency
Transparency International New Zealand (TINZ) is encouraged by the public release of ministerial diaries.
Yesterday Minister for State Services (Open Government) Chris Hipkins announced that all Government Ministers will for the first time release details of their internal and external meetings,
"The move helps build trust and confidence in government," Chris Hipkins said.
TINZ agrees. "We are pleased that the Government acknowledges the need for transparency from its Ministers. Transparency is the antidote for corruption, every action they take makes New Zealand a better home for her citizens and reinforces New Zealand's leadership in the global fight against corruption," stated TINZ Chief Executive Officer Julie Haggie.
This action is recommended by TINZ's Integrity Plus 2013 New Zealand National Integrity System Assessment (NIS). Recommendation 3 v page 341 is to: " Introduce measures that provide an adequate degree of transparency to ensure that public officials, citizens, and businesses can obtain sufficient information on, and scrutinise lobbying of members of Parliament and ministers."
"The NIS is a definitive roadmap for increasing integrity systems in New Zealand. Ministers taking this step are demonstrating a commitment to improving transparency and in this way, improving policy, practice and outcomes for New Zealanders," says Suzanne Snively, Chair of TINZ.
"We hope it is not long before all Parliamentarians are required to release their diaries and this requirement is codified in law so that it cannot be undone in the by future by politicians fearful of transparency," Snively adds.
TINZ applauds actions such as the release of official information to the public, that lead to a stronger New Zealand integrity system.