Official Information

Reform official information laws by extending them to Parliamentary bodies and adopting the Law Commission’s recommendation to create an official information authority responsible for training, culture, advice, best practice guidance, and identifying necessary reforms.  This includes the provision of guidance to staff in ministerial offices on the Official Information Act 1982 (OIA) and a code of conduct on official information for Ministerial staff and the provision of guidance to those staff.

Ultimately, the PSA would like to see a shift to a culture of proactive disclosure of official information to help ensure New Zealand’s democracy remains strong.

 

Why the contribution is important

The OIA was reviewed by the Chief Ombudsman in 2015, and the PSA was pleased to see the recommendations to improve resourcing, staffing and guidance for departments to help to lessen perceived and real delays in responses to OIA requests.

We also look forward to the implementation of the recommendation to provide guidance to staff in ministerial offices, and would like to see a code of conduct for ministerial staff to help both them and other public servants to ensure that lines of responsibility in respect of the OIA are clear.

Resourcing is also a significant issue for the Office of the Ombudsman itself, and this must be addressed for the Office to fulfil its important monitoring role.

by DairneGrant on August 24, 2016 at 10:03AM

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Based on : 2 votes

Comments

  • Posted by JanRivers August 24, 2016 at 22:05

    Changes and improvements to the OIA were the proposed ideas generated without prompting by the respondents to the ECO OGP survey.

    Creating an official information authority responsible for training, culture, advice, best practice guidance, and identifying necessary reforms appears to be one of the most fruitful approaches. In addition an OIA register which would record OIA question and responses

    In addition implementing a public OIA register and publication of OIA responses by agencies. I understand a few agencies do this already Treasury and NZTA. If this is too ambitious for the plan then investigate the costs, benefits, methodology of doing this with a view to implementing this process in all agencies in the next action plan. To support quality journalistic coverage pf the content of responses consideration could be given to releasing the information to the requesting party with a week's lead time.
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