Transparency Test Failed: Key Ministries Yet To Embrace Ombudsman's Tool
Taxpayers’ Union OIA's reveal that despite the Chief Ombudsman's introduction of a self-assessment tool in July, aimed at enhancing public sector transparency and adherence to official information protocols, prominent ministries and agencies including Waka Kotahi, the Ministry of Health, and the Ministry of Justice have yet to utilize it as of September.
Oliver Bryan, Investigations Coordinator at the Taxpayers' Union, said, "It's a glaring irony: departments and Ministries hesitant to use a tool explicitly designed to enhance their transparency and reputation, especially concerning the OIA. It's truly baffling that ministries, which frequently find themselves under the public microscope, are dragging their feet on a tool that promotes better governance. Is it simply a case of old habits dying hard? Or is there an underlying apprehension about transparency?"
"While these ministries play catch-up with good governance tools, one wonders how many other departments and ministries are also stuck in the bureaucratic doldrums. This isn't a game of hide and seek; it's about ensuring transparency and building trust with the taxpayers who fund these agencies."
"We urge the incoming government to show leadership on this issue. It is imperative to ensure all departments, irrespective of their size, employ the Chief Ombudsman's tool. Beyond the immediate operational advantages, this is a clear way to signal commitment to openness and build faith with the New Zealand public."