Annual Report for the Office of the Ombudsmen 08/9
Purpose of the Ombudsmen
Ombudsmen are independent Officers of Parliament appointed by the Governor General on the recommendation of the House of Representatives. Their purpose is to provide Parliament and the New Zealand public with an impartial, independent check that the New Zealand government’s administrative practice, and its exercise of decision making at local, regional and central level is robust, fair, transparent and accountable. They also have responsibilities under the offi cial information legislation to assist and encourage the public to participate in the making and administration of policy and laws.
The Ombudsmen’s key functions are to:
• investigate and form opinions on the merits of the administrative acts and decisions of government agencies at central, regional and local levels, either as a result of complaints about them received from the public or on the Ombudsmen’s own motion under the Ombudsmen Act 1975;
• investigate and review, form opinions, report and where appropriate make recommendations on decisions relating to offi cial information requested under the Offi cial Information Act 1982 and the Local Government Offi cial Information and Meetings Act 1987;
• provide guidance and information to employees who have made, or are considering making, a protected disclosure pursuant to the Protected Disclosures Act 2000 and to fulfi l the requirements of an “appropriate authority” pursuant to that Act; and
• examine the conditions of detention and the treatment of detainees, make recommendations and report on the exercise of their functions as a National Preventive Mechanism under the Crimes of Torture Act 1989.