The Office of the Ombudsman says it received 693 Official Information Act 1982 complaints in the six months from 1 January to 30 June 2019. This was down 30 (4.1%) on the previous six months.
The Ombudsman has also released information on the Local Government Official Information and Meetings Act 1987 for the first time. In the first six months of 2019 the Office received 165 LGOIMA complaints.
After removing a statistical anomaly from the previous data, the Office says it resolved 30 more complaints than it received for the OIA, and 13 fewer for the LGOIMA.
“Even on slightly less volume, it is pleasing to see that overall we are completing more complaints than we are receiving. It shows we are becoming even more efficient, after eliminating a backlog built up over several years ago,” says Chief Ombudsman Peter Boshier.
Mr Boshier notes that the patterns for the reasons of complaint were unchanged – delays, incomplete or inadequate responses, and refusals by agencies to release information in part or full.
“I call on all agencies to make improvements in these areas. It requires a concentrated effort from everyone from the time a request first appears in your inbox to the final sign off.”
Mr Boshier says it is pleasing the LGOIMA data was now available.
“It’s important that we report across as many government agencies as possible, and the addition of local body data will give the public even more insights into the complaints we are receiving and the performance of public organisations.