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Maharey continually flouts OIA

Hon Bill English
National Party Education Spokesman

2 November 2005

Maharey continually flouts OIA

New Education Minister Steve Maharey leads the pack of Labour Ministers dodging the Official Information Act, says National's Education spokesman, Bill English.

The Annual Report of the Ombudsmen, released on Monday, says some Government Ministers have denied people the opportunity to 'participate in democratic processes' by withholding official information for 'political convenience'.

"Our records show that Mr Maharey fails to meet statutory deadlines for around four out of five Official Information Requests lodged by National," says Mr English.

“The law requires information requested under the Official Information Act to be released within 20 working days or an extension of time to be requested. Mr Maharey constantly flouts this requirement.

"Mr Maharey knows that an appeal to the Ombudsman when the Act is breached can take up to eight months, at which point the requested information is often irrelevant.

"It's no wonder he tries to hide the truth by concealing these documents – if the mess he created in the tertiary sector and the current furore at TVNZ are anything to go by.

"It is essential that official documents are available for scrutiny so that parents, teachers and students know exactly what's going on in the education system," says Mr English.

ENDS

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