Prioritize Accessibility of Information for Everyone and disabled person/DPO participation in decision-making processes


The Office for Disability Issues and Ministry of Social Development will implement the actions concerning access to information and disabled citizen/DPO participation in decision-making in the Disability Action Plan 2014-18 as a matter of urgency. In particular, they will establish a strategy to accelerate the processes for determining and approving the scopes for actions 5 A and B, 9 A and 9G, in conjunction with DPOs, DSPs,  and other relevant parties. Additionally, they will ensure information on implementation is updated at least every three months on their website, as is promised on the section on this topic on this webpage, where information on the actions can also be accessed:

http://www.odi.govt.nz/what-we-do/ministerial-committee-on-disability-issues/disability-action-plan/index.html

 

Why the contribution is important


Everyone has the right to be able to find out about, and have a say on, the policy decisions that affect them, in particular wen public consultation on these decisions is being sought. This means that every step of the processes from partnerning with DPOs to raising awareness about such consultations to the information being consulted on to the consultation procedure itself must be accessible for everyone. Everyone also has the right to be able to access all governmental agency information which is publically available.

The 2014-18 Disability Action Plan acknowledges that more work must be done to ensure these rights are protected, yet progress on this front, at least according to the Office for Disability Issues website, has been extremely slow. We are already half way through the plan's timeframe, and yet actions 5 A, 5 B and 9 G still do not have a scope written up, and the scope for action 9 A is pending approval.

The lack of accountability that the Office for Disability Issues, in particular, is demonstrating in the face of their apparent lack of effort to increase the participation of disabled New Zealanders in decision-making at local and national level, and the inherent lack of transparency which comes along with mediums like image-based PDFs unequivocally contradicts the very pillars of Open Government. Open Government means Open Government for the benefit of all citizens, and by definition also extends to the provision of accurate and accessible information on the processes in place to make this concept a reality in New Zealand.

by ainekc on August 24, 2016 at 10:18PM

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