Create dedicated departmental OIA pages

Government departments should be required to have dedicated Official Information Act pages that contained at least the following information: contact details for making an OIA request to that department; and a list of all previous answers to OIA requests to that department. The requests would need to be published with a certain delay (such as 20 working days) in order to ensure that journalists had time to publish stories off the back of their requests, without others' scooping them.

Why the contribution is important

Making OIA requests should be completely straightforward, but for some departments and agencies it is very difficult to find the right contact details. There is also minimal knowledge about what previous requests have been answered, for most departments. Automatic publication of the above information would be a very simple step. It would help smooth the process for the public, and could also lead to less work for public servants, as people would be less likely to duplicate requests.

 

As an alternative to standalone OIA pages, this suggestion could be effectively acted upon by departments' publishing OIA data within wider proactive information disclosure sections, as advocated by others, or through required cooperation with the FYI.org.nz site (though its being set up for public only requests, not those of journalists, may limit its usefulness).

by MaxRashbrooke on August 15, 2016 at 07:10PM

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Based on : 3 votes

Comments

  • Posted by IdiotSavant August 15, 2016 at 22:05

    Fairly low impact and low ambition, but worth doing all the same.
  • Posted by Ari August 19, 2016 at 22:05

    It would also be worthwhile centralising these requests and effectively taking over FYI.org.nz, as part of its purpose (cutting down repeat requests) is mitigated by the fact that it's not official.

    Offering something like OIA.govt.nz that fulfilled a similar function could be quite beneficial, not that FYI isn't already excellent. It would also be a great centralised place to put proactive information releases.
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