OIA departmental star rating system

The OIA is a critical part of an accountable democracy. However, there is no requirement for public servants to understand this mechanism or the wider democratic pillars, such as freedom of information, freedom of the press, academic freedom. Culturally, many public servants see those that make OIA requests as "trouble makers", not as empowered citizens acting within a healthy democracy. There appears also to be little accountability around the OIA within government departments other than to attempt requests are actioned within the 20 days and many departments purposefully drag out replies to the 20th day to slow down public inquiries through the OIA. It is recommended that:

  1. OIA and an understanding of democratic instruments are mandatory for all public servants
  2. That departments are mreasured and rated through a simple 5 star system based on metrics such as:
  • Posting average reply time (not just initial acknowledgement)
  • Percentage of staff who are trained as above
  • Deduction of points/stars for escalations to ombudsman
  • Customer service satisfaction surveys from those who made requests
  • Employment agreements especially those in senior roles to ensure the above
  • The star system would be published in their annual report
  • Any department scoring less than 3 stars (i.e. minimum requirements), placed under strict monitoring
  • Any department with 4 or 5 stars, rewarded i.e. linked to performance agreements/bonuses

Why the contribution is important

Currently the OIA system makes applicants feel like villans. 

by steveglassey on May 18, 2018 at 04:25PM

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