New Zealand Law Society - Regular reports on OIA compliance to begin in 2017

Regular reports on OIA compliance to begin in 2017

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Regular reports on compliance with Official Information Act (OIA) compliance across the State sector will begin in early 2017, according to a statement by the Office of the Ombudsman and the State Services Commission.

The first reports will cover the period from 1 July 2016.

The two organisations say they will work together to help State sector agencies improve how they are responding to OIA requests.

"We need to develop a reporting regime that will give an accurate picture of compliance with the OIA across the State sector, and then make the results public," says State Services Commissioner Peter Hughes.  

"This could include the volume of requests being received, the time taken to respond and other statistics on how agencies are responding to OIA requests."

Chief Ombudsman Peter Boshier says the data being published will also include information from the Ombudsman on the complaints being received.

The organisations also plan to cooperate on the development of improved guidance and training for agencies and people making requests. Mr Hughes says the SCC is starting a work programme to get more information made available proactively. This will initially cover key documents such as decision papers, important briefings and key advice.

"These are important documents and they should be available to people who want to see them without having to make requests under the OIA," he says

"New Zealand already has one of the world's most open and trustworthy governments, and I am committed to building on this and becoming more open and responsive."

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