The Office of the Ombudsman says changes to the Local Government Official Information and Meetings Act 1987 (LGOIMA) which came into effect on 21 March 2019 will affect "working day" calculations for the Act.
The changes were a consequence of the Local Government Regulatory Systems Amendment Act 2019, which is intended to bring consistency to laws affecting local authorities.
The Ombudsman says the changes mean that local authorities:
- Need to publish a notice on their internet site as part of their meeting notification process;
- Need to tell people about an extraordinary or emergency meeting, including what the meeting is about, as soon as they can;
- Need to change the way they calculate ‘working days’ when deciding on requests for official information.
The Office says the changes to "working days" now mean that regional anniversary days are now not counted when calculating timeframes for responding to LGOIMA requests, and the end of year holiday period has changed to 20 December to 10 January of each year.
It says its website calculator is now only able to calculate Official Information Act 1982 timeframes.