Auckland DHB thinks they are above the law

July 18th, 2014 at 10:00 am by David Farrar

Andy Tookey filed an with the Auckland District Health Board for a copy of a slide presentation by the Organ Donor Service to a taxpayer funded official meeting.

They refused the request on the grounds of privacy, even though no names were requested.

Tookey went to the Ombudsman who said it must be released.

They then declined on the basis it would be made public in six months time.

Again the Ombudsman indicated he would rule against them.

So what did the Organ Donor Service do?

They deleted the information.

organs

The Minister should tell the Board that he will start sacking board members if this happens again. It is totally unacceptable to delete information that is the subject of an OIA request. It is in fact illegal. A prosecution could be justified.

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23 Responses to “Auckland DHB thinks they are above the law”

  1. hubbers (139 comments) says:

    If they don’t prosecute someone then they will come across as toothless others who don’t want to obey the law will be emboldened.

    Like the electoral law sham …

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  2. Tookinator (221 comments) says:

    My biggest concern is what are they hiding that they go to such lengths to no let me see that information?
    Also the fact that they deleted it AFTER an investigation into whether it should be released or not had already started…

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  3. redqueen (562 comments) says:

    This is both illegal and now looks dodgy…but it’s ADHB and I doubt anyone will bother with a prosecution. Let’s face it, nobody really takes public prosecutions seriously…

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  4. Igotta Numbum (463 comments) says:

    If they’ve deleted it, how do they honour their commitment to publish it alongside the ODNZ Report?

    What a toothless response, this needs to be acted on now, prosecution needs to happen.

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  5. Lance (2,654 comments) says:

    Just like the Auckland council which is deciding wither or not to agree with the Dept Building and Housing over new plumbing regulations.
    Un-fucking-believable.

    Arrogance in the extreme.

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  6. Harriet (4,969 comments) says:

    Hiding stuff is an act of dishonesty – and when it involves such serious matters as governance of the country – then condemnation from the higest levels of law should be heard.

    In the above, if the public want what is actually ‘allowed public property’ and are obstructed by government employees in getting that – then nothing other than the accusation of corruption should be leveled at the public servant.

    The public service is not there do defend the tasks they do or defend the outcomes of those tasks. They are there to complete a task set by government. That’s all. There role is not to ‘justify’ tasks that are going wrong. Reporting the matter honestly is.

    Far too often we see people from departments, be they health, education, social services ect ‘defending’ matters. That’s not their job. Explaining matters honestly is their job when in a public role.

    It’s a fucken democracy. And democracy only works on honesty. The public servant should be made an example of.

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  7. wf (441 comments) says:

    Who is Andrew Tookey, and what did he want to use the information for?

    Who did he upset, that they didn’t want to give him the slides?

    Hmmm?

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  8. bc (1,367 comments) says:

    The police seem to think that they are above the law as well.

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11295283

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  9. burt (8,269 comments) says:

    Is Haussman on the Auckland DHB now ?

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  10. Ed Snack (1,872 comments) says:

    Should have had a computer crash, and then destroy the hard disk. Because we know from overseas experience that such actions are not in the slightest suspicious and happen all the time.

    Actually, I think it essential that whoever ordered the deletion of the requested data should be prosecuted and sentenced to some time in an actual prison, 6 months at least, for flagrant dishonesty. Pour encourager les autres and all that.

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  11. Tookinator (221 comments) says:

    Wf 10.56am

    I am a campaigner on improving organ donation (We have the lowest donor rates in the Western World)
    I am not the most favorite person of the organ donor service as I am often critical of their lack of action.
    In return they regularly try and block my requests for information (which I would need to prove there are systemic failures that contribute to the shortage.)

    There are links on this page to other articles on the matter.

    But one recent relevant one, where they refuse to be interviewed in the media if my name is even mentioned is in this link:
    http://www.kiwiblog.co.nz/2013/10/the_national_organ_donor_service_need_sorting_out.html

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  12. wf (441 comments) says:

    @ Ed Snack: you might find that transplant operations would stop for 6 months at least, too.

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  13. dime (9,972 comments) says:

    How dare they. They basically just pissed in the faces of every New Zealander. Someone should swing for this.

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  14. wf (441 comments) says:

    @ Tookinator: so, why are you out of favour?

    However, there are quite significant reasons for our donor rate being so low: declining road toll; cultural objections to giving organs – this applies especially to maori, who will not give organs, and relatively small demand. Plus of course, budgets.

    One of the sillier limitations is that the permission given on driving licences does not have authority and can be vetoed by relatives.

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  15. dime (9,972 comments) says:

    ” this applies especially to maori, who will not give organs, ”

    Really? Do they accept them?

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  16. PaulL (5,981 comments) says:

    @dime and @wf: that should have a qualifier: _some_ Maori, who will not give organs.

    Israel had a similar problem, many ultra orthodox Jews don’t donate. They have largely fixed that problem by instituting a programme where organ donors get priority if they need a donated organ (not absolute priority, but if there are two people who are potential matches, the person who has registered as a donor gets priority). And if you register as a donor, that means you are a donor, not that it’s an indication that your family should be asked if maybe you could donate. Their donation rate has leaped.

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  17. wreck1080 (3,905 comments) says:

    This is outrageous contempt for the law and it is clear the authorities just do not care. The letter is absolute bullshit too– if it happens again see me. …. Omg, how could it be worse than this and why are the media not all over this!

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  18. aquataur (56 comments) says:

    Have had a quick look and not sure what offence in law has been committed – its an outrage if there is no offence or penalty for failing to comply with the OIA

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  19. aquataur (56 comments) says:

    Have had another look – paltry fine of up to $200 for ignoring/impeding Ombudsman -what a joke.

    30Offences
    Every person commits an offence against this Act and is liable on conviction to a fine not exceeding $200 who—
    (a)without lawful justification or excuse, wilfully obstructs, hinders, or resists an Ombudsman or any other person in the exercise of his powers under this Act:
    (b)without lawful justification or excuse, refuses or wilfully fails to comply with any lawful requirement of an Ombudsman or any other person under this Act:
    (c)wilfully makes any false statement to or misleads or attempts to mislead an Ombudsman or any other person in the exercise of his powers under this Act:
    (d)represents directly or indirectly that he holds any authority under this Act when he does not hold that authority.

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  20. Tookinator (221 comments) says:

    Aquataur – Looks like the offence is not under the Ombudsman – but the Public Records Act 2005.

    It’s a fine of $5,000 for an individual, $10,000 for others.

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  21. Tookinator (221 comments) says:

    Was just thinking…
    According to the letter it was James Judson who presented the slides. Presumably from his laptop (Powerpoint?)
    Most people back up their files for archive, who deletes them these days?
    Faced with a possible personal $5000 fine im sure he would manage to ‘Undelete’ them?

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  22. andypat (2 comments) says:

    I cannot believe that organ donation New Zealand have again come up in the media with reports of disappointing results (lowest donor numbers in he OECD), lacking integrity (refusing to participate in any interviews that even mention the name Andy Tookey – FFS they are a NATIONAL organisation – how dare they…) and poor/arrogant management/leadership (we’ll just delete information we don’t want you to see)
    @wf the organ donation annual reports are clear about breakdown of donors, pro rata the maori population donate at roughly the same rate as non-maori.
    As a Nation the NZ donor rates are nothing less than abysmal… Internationally donor rates are increasing year-on-year and yet here we are DECREASING. Last year there were only 36 donors for NZ – when you consider there are 4 donor coordinators employed as specialist nurses (approx $100k each p.a.) equates to just nine days work each harvesting organs throughout the year… Not a bad earner in my eyes!!! What else are they doing through the year to justify such huge pay for such little returns??
    How the leadership of odnz can justify not speaking to anyone publicly because they “don’t like them” – tookinator… That’s you!!

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  23. andypat (2 comments) says:

    @tookinator. Surely with such “sensitive” information being stored on his laptop – James Judson MUST have his laptop backed up to the ADHB servers every time he is in the office?? If so, wouldn’t the data be recoverable from their IT department or should we assume he is NOT backing up and therefore taking home non-secure confidential patient sensitive information which would (presumably) be breaching the DHB Confidentiality of Information protocols??
    Just a thought…

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