Andrew Little’s claim that reform of the Official Information Act may no longer be necessary thanks to the openness of his Government is astonishing, says the New Zealand Taxpayers’ Union.
Taxpayers’ Union spokesman Louis Houlbrooke says, “Labour were right to campaign on reforming official information laws in Opposition, so it’s a disappointment to see Minister Little distance himself from this position in Government.”
“There are many aspects of the Act that need changes to law, not just implementation. For starters, the Act could require the proactive release of certain types of regularly-produced information, and its reach could be extended to include Parliamentary Services.”
“The Minister’s specific excuse for inaction – the openness of his Government – is astonishing. The current Cabinet’s failure to live up to its promises of transparency has become an open joke in policy and journalism circles, and is made clear in the serious uptick of complaints compared to the previous Government.”
“Besides, even if this Government was more open, the Act needs reform now in order to ensure transparency under future Governments of all stripes.”