Requirement for Office of the Ombudsman to provide regular mandatory status reports on OIA complaint progress.

A mandatory reporting process would institutionalise when clients of the Office of the Ombudsaman (OoO) are to be informed as to the status of their information requests.

I'm not intending to bog the OoO with unnecesary effort, so suggest that the cycle for mandatory reporting be a minimum of 2 weeks or 10 working days.

A mandatory status report might indicate what actions have been undertaken by the OoO;

  • Who was communicated with and the content of the communication,
  • The action taken by the OoO and the dates that occurred,
  • The response from the government department,
  • The advice the OoO suggests to the Complainant, and
  • The expected date of resolution or next stage of process.

Manadatory status reporting will provide Complainants with clear guidance and knowledge of the progress of their matter. It would remove Complainant frustration as this measure will institutionalise structural motivation for report backs.

Why the contribution is important

I'm suffering no advice at all from the Ombudsman's Office in respect to my OIA complaint.

I initiated the complaint February 2016 in respect to questions to the GCSB and NZSIS that I asked in December 2015.

At no point has the Office of the Ombudsman provided a report of progress in the matters without my repeated and persistent phone calling, emailing or physically visiting the office.

The matter remains unsatisfactory i.e. I made two phone calls Tuesday 23 August 2016 and left messages and no answer from my case officer. This followed phone calls to OoO in the previous week, were staff committed to passing on my request. This follows a litany of previous attempts to gain a report on progress.

There is no occasion in which the OoO officer have volunteered information.

I do not know if my experience is generally felt or specific to my complaint.  If it is a general problem the system of Mandatory Status Reports would assist in redressing the current observed dissatisfaction to the extent that the complainant would at least know what is happening and if their case is delayed, they would have an idea as to the cause of the blockage.

I note that other OGP ideas suggest increasing the funding/budget to the OoO. I support the increase in funding where there is accountability to the OoO complainants and clients.

by gregfullmoon on August 24, 2016 at 02:22AM

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  • Posted by JanRivers August 24, 2016 at 22:16

    In the ECO OGP survey responses several respondents made unprompted proposals that the role of the Ombudsman's office be strengthened and others suggested that it be better resourced which would support this proposed action.
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