New Zealand Law Society - Ombudsman reports on OIA practices at four agencies

Ombudsman reports on OIA practices at four agencies

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Chief Ombudsman Peter Boshier has released reports on investigations into the official information practices of four Government departments.

The investigations are part of a long-term strategy to traise the quality of official information delivery from the public sector.

The four departments were the Ministry for Culture and Heritage, the Ministry for the Environment, the Department of Conservation, and Land Information New Zealand.

“It was interesting to see the many common areas for improvement, and these finding are useful for the public sector as a whole. I would encourage other agencies to read these reports and consider making proactive changes to their own processes and policies," Judge Boshier says.

The investigations took place between April and June 2018, and the agencies were offered an opportunity to comment on the provisional opinion. The final opinions published incorporate each agency’s comments and feedback.

The investigations identified a number of areas that could be improved to help the agencies concerned discharge their OIA responsibilities more effectively. These included clearer messaging from senior leaders, improving their web presence for official information, clarification of the role of the Minister in departmental OIA responses, and how media requests were a key part of agency’s OIA statistics and record-keeping.

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