Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search


Joint work to improve OIA responsiveness

20 October 2016

Joint work to improve OIA responsiveness

The State Services Commission and the Office of the Ombudsman will work together to help State sector agencies improve how they are responding to Official Information Act requests, State Services Commissioner Peter Hughes and Chief Ombudsman Judge Peter Boshier have announced.

The joint work will assist in the delivery of one of the Commitments in New Zealand’s National Action Plan under the international Open Government Partnership, published today by Minister of State Services Hon. Paula Bennett.

“Former Chief Ombudsman Dame Beverley Wakem made a number of recommendations in her seminal report into the OIA, ‘Not a Game of Hide and Seek’, and this commitment responds to her calls,” Mr Hughes said.

“The aim here is to ensure regular reporting on compliance with the OIA, increase the pro-active release of official information across government, and to lift capability in agencies to ensure more consistent performance,” said Mr Hughes.

“The Official Information Act gives New Zealanders the right to access information; it is vital the Act is working effectively and agencies are meeting their obligations,” said Judge Boshier.

The work programme under the OGP will be led by the State Services Commission. The Office of the Ombudsman will collaborate with SSC on key projects, and other relevant agencies will also be invited to contribute.

“We need to develop a reporting regime that will give an accurate picture of compliance with the OIA across the State sector, and then make the results public,” said Mr Hughes. “This could include the volume of requests being received, the time taken to respond and other statistics on how agencies are responding to OIA requests.”

“This will be a significant step forward in letting New Zealanders see how well government agencies are meeting their obligations,” said Judge Boshier. “The data being published will include information from my office on the complaints being received,” he said.

The Office of the Ombudsman and SSC are aiming to publish the first reports early in 2017 covering the period from 1 July 2016.

SSC and the Ombudsman’s Office will also cooperate on the development of improved guidance and training for agencies and people making requests. The Ombudsman’s Office is already doing a considerable amount of work in this area. This guidance and training will help agencies be more consistent in how they manage and respond to requests, and help people seeking information get what they are looking for more easily.

“We need to help agencies respond to requests they receive in a consistent way and help people get the information they are looking for,” Mr Hughes said.

SSC is also starting a work programme to get more information made available proactively. This will initially cover key documents such as decision papers, important briefings and key advice.

“These are important documents and they should be available to people who want to see them without having to make requests under the OIA,” Mr Hughes said.

“New Zealand already has one of the world’s most open and trustworthy governments, and I am committed to building on this and becoming more open and responsive,” said Mr Hughes.

“I am very pleased to see this commitment to the OIA and to be working with SSC to make this programme happen,” Judge Boshier said. “This work will complement the new Ombudsman programme of proactive audits of agency official information practices, which was funded and announced earlier this year, and which will begin next year.”

New Zealand’s second National Action Plan, including the OIA commitments is available on the newly established Open Government Partnership New Zealand website www.ogp.org.nz


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Covid-19: Dissolution Of Parliament Delayed As Govt Hunts Source Of New infections

The dissolution of Parliament has been deferred by at a least a few days due to the new covid-19 cases, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said.
This was in case Parliament had to be reconvened as more information came to light, Ardern said at a briefing on the three-day level 3 lockdown in Auckland and level 2 alert for the rest of the country.
A decision about the dissolution of Parliament and any flow on effects for the timing of the election would be considered on Monday, Ardern said... More>>


Government: Plan To Tackle Problem Plastics

Following the success of the phase out of single-use plastic shopping bags, the Government now has plans to phase out more single-use and problem plastics to reduce waste and protect the environment announced Associate Minister for the Environment ... More>>


Gordon Campbell: On The New Lockdowns, Leadership And Lebanon

As Melbourne has shown, the webs of urban life overlap so extensively that community transmission can be very hard to trace, let alone control. Each of the family members in the South Auckland family at the centre of the current outbreak will have had ... More>>


National: Emma Mellow As Auckland Central Candidate

Tonight the National Party has selected Emma Mellow to stand in the Auckland Central electorate for the 2020 General Election. Emma Mellow replaces retiring MP Nikki Kaye who first won the seat from Labour in 2008. Emma leads a team of communications ... More>>


Travel: Update On New Zealand And The Cook Islands Bubble

The Prime Minister of New Zealand Jacinda Ardern and the Prime Minister of the Cook Islands Henry Puna have welcomed the completion of phase one in the establishment of a travel bubble between New Zealand and the Cook Island. More>>

Election 2020: Labour Launch

E ngā mana e ngā reo Ngāti whātua ngā mana whenua o Tāmaki Makaurau, e tika te kōrero Ehara taku toa he toa (taki tahi) he toa (taki tini) No rēira tātou e huihui mai nei, ka ‘Hoake tonu tātou’ Thank you for that welcome. And thank ... More>>

Gordon Campbell: On Political Twins, And On Labour Extending Its Wage Subsidy Scheme

A quick quiz for the weekend. Which political party currently represented in Parliament issued a press release yesterday that contained these stirring passages: “[We have] long supported a free trade and free movement area between Canada, Australia, New ... More>>


Covid-19: Poll On Management Approval

New Zealanders’ overall trust in the Ministry of Health and Government to manage the COVID-19 pandemic is at 82%, down from 91% during April. Overall distrust that the Ministry and Government will manage it in ways which best protect themselves More>>

Election 2020: National Releases 2020 Party List

National’s 2020 Party List is a strong mix of experience coming up through our Caucus, and new and exciting talent joining our team from communities across New Zealand, Party President Peter Goodfellow says. “The National Party is incredibly ... More>>

Horizon Research Limited: How Judith Collins Stopped The Bleeding

Horizon Research includes questions on voting from time to time in its surveys – for both forthcoming referenda and general elections. More>>

Your Vote 2020: Bringing Election Coverage To Viewers Across TVNZ Channels And Platforms

As New Zealand gets ready to head to the ballot box this September, 1 NEWS is bringing voters comprehensive coverage and analysis of this year’s General Election. TVNZ’s coverage will draw on the depth of experience held across the 1 NEWS team, says Graeme ... More>>

Economy: 30% Believe Households Worse Off, 298,000 Expect To Lose Jobs

64% of New Zealanders feel the economic position of their households is the same or better than a year ago – and 30% think it is worse or much worse, while 298,000 think they will lose their jobs in the next 12 months. Households’ perceptions ... More>>

State Services Commission: Findings Of Investigation Into COVID-19 Active Cases Privacy Breach

Deputy State Services Commissioner Helene Quilter has today announced the findings of an investigation into a breach of privacy regarding sensitive personal information. The investigation looked into who or what caused the disclosure of the information, ... More>>

International Security: New Zealand Suspends Extradition Treaty With Hong Kong

The New Zealand Government has suspended its extradition treaty with Hong Kong and made a number of other changes in light of China’s decision to pass a national security law for Hong Kong, Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters says. More>>






InfoPages News Channels