No Right Turn on OIA

August 18th, 2011 at 9:34 am by David Farrar

Idiot/Savant at blogs:

At the beginning of the month I commented on preliminary results from my annual performance survey, which has seen Ministerial performance jump significantly since last year. I’m still waiting on a few Ministers (new Ministers had to be sent a two-stage request, and I failed to notice that Tariana Turia refuses to answer her Ministerial email), but here’s another improvement. Last year, Gerry Brownlee was the worst Minister, answering only 39.7% of requests within the statutory 20-day limit. This year, he’s boosted that to 54.8%.

Credit is due to I/S for collating and publishing the stats. It is a valuable public service, and is part of the reason I am sure there has been an improvement.

Gerry has of course had a lot on his plate of late, but in a reply to I/S he notes:

Notwithstanding this, dealing with requests for information under the Official Information Act is a matter that I take seriously and I have instructed my office to instigate a thorough review of the systems and processes used to manage and track requests made under the Official Information Act.

 

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19 Responses to “No Right Turn on OIA”

  1. Murray (8,847 comments) says:

    And Turia refuses to answer any of her ministerial email?

    Can we refuse to pay her ministerial wages?

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  2. mikenmild (11,247 comments) says:

    Additional information about compliance is reported by the Ombudsmen annually:
    http://www.ombudsmen.parliament.nz/imagelibrary/100364.pdf
    This is likely to be a more systematic collection of data, although it doen’t specifically report on Ministers’ performance and is an analysis of complaints. Individual agencies also usually report how many OIA requests they have received and the percentage answered within the statutory time-limits.

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  3. scrubone (3,095 comments) says:

    Measuring something is always a pretty good way to improve things. Especially if you publish the results.

    But won’t this lead the worst ministries to get really depressed and drop out of school or something?

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  4. KiwiGreg (3,249 comments) says:

    @ scrubone LOL. We always say if you can’t measure it you can’t manage it.

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  5. Murray (8,847 comments) says:

    Hone Hawariwa is 5’10″… will he stop being a racist prick now?

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  6. scrubone (3,095 comments) says:

    Murray, no but he might get taller or something. :D

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  7. peterwn (3,246 comments) says:

    Seems that National (mostly) wants to answer OIA requests promptly, unlike Labour when in power for the last 9 years. Witness the ‘caning’ of the SIS chief from some quarters for answering Whale’s OIA request too promptly.

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  8. mikenmild (11,247 comments) says:

    peterwn

    I’m not sure that there is actually any evidence for that statement.

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  9. Daigotsu (454 comments) says:

    Fuck Idiot Savant is a wanker. Just a piss drinking waste of space. Rot in hell with your bum chum Phil Gooooof, leftist.

    [DPF: 20 demerits

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  10. Nookin (3,284 comments) says:

    MnM
    “I’m not sure that there is actually any evidence for that statement.”
    Here is an extract from the Ombudsman’s annual report 2007/2008. It is a public expression of what everyone knew at the time.

    “Key Issues
    Delays in responding to Official Information requests
    In recent years we have observed an increasing tendency on the part of some agencies and some Ministerial offices to ignore the provisions of the Official Information Act 1982 (OIA) in terms of the timing of their responses to requesters. In some cases this was, upon examination, clearly the result of a misunderstanding of their legal obligations for processing and responding to requests for official information under the Act. Commentators, such as Nicola White in her book “Free and Frank: Making the Official Information Act 1982 Work Better”, have also observed that in certain sectors a regrettable tendency to “game” the system seems to be emerging, in order to delay responses until the currency of the complainant’s interest had passed.
    This subverts the purpose of the OIA and is unacceptable. As a consequence of our concern about this we have reviewed our investigation processes in this area and the guidance we had provided to date for agencies about how to use the provisions of the OIA appropriately. As a result, we conducted a series of briefings with CEOs and representatives of political parties, and have subsequently published extensive guidance in the Ombudsmen’s Quarterly Report. This has been welcomed and we have received requests to expand the guidance with workshops for departmental officials and requesters. We hope to see a considerable improvement in how agencies deal with requests and communicate with requesters. We will monitor this. “

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  11. mikenmild (11,247 comments) says:

    Thanks for that. And what has been the trend since? I’m not interested in defending any party, but my perception is that this ‘gaming’ started a long time ago and continues still.

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  12. KiwiGreg (3,249 comments) says:

    @ mikemild “I’m not interested in defending any party, ”

    1,986 posts would imply otherwise.

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  13. gravedodger (1,552 comments) says:

    @ KG 01 14, when it is 1 986,000 posts it will still only amount to a pinch of labour goatshit.

    “not interested in defending any party”, compost it before any skerrik of truth leaches out.

    @ peterwin 12 19 that is just sooo inconvenient just as Speaker Smith making ministers answer compared to the interference run by the lame shrill.

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  14. mikenmild (11,247 comments) says:

    The Ombudsemn actually seem to attribute the improvement to their own more rigorous enforcement of the rules.

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  15. stephen (4,063 comments) says:

    Fuck Idiot Savant is a wanker. Just a piss drinking waste of space. Rot in hell with your bum chum Phil Gooooof, leftist.

    Anonymous Gerry Brownlee fan?

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  16. scrubone (3,095 comments) says:

    Idiot/Savant has many negative qualities, but holding the government’s feet to the fire on OIA requests is not one of them.

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  17. Daigotsu (454 comments) says:

    Gerry has actually got something done in this world unlike Malcolm whose sole product is just a pile of treasonous blog posts

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  18. Innocent bystander (163 comments) says:

    I/S does a great job but shouldn’t the media be doing this sort of thing?

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  19. Clint Heine (1,570 comments) says:

    Daigotsu does have a point. Malcolm Harbrow is quite the fraud. He is one of those long time students who is quite proud of his “academic” longevity and lack of work ethic.

    So fragile is his ability to discuss with anybody real life, as in outside of the basement he lives in, that his blog refuses to allow any comments to the drivvle that he writes. Why people give him the light of day is beyond me.

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