Good move by Government on pro-active release

Chris Hipkins announced:

Cabinet papers will be proactively released, Minister of State Services Chris Hipkins announced today.

The Cabinet papers will be released no later than 30 business days after a Cabinet decision. This process will be in place for Cabinet papers lodged from 1 January 2019, Chris Hipkins – who is also responsible for Open Government – said.

“This change is about being an open and accountable government.

“It will also make it easier for the public to understand government decisions and bolster the accountability of decision makers and advisors.

“Cabinet papers will be released within 30 business days of the Cabinet decision unless there is good reason not to publish. If we can publish it, we will.”

This is a good step in the right direction and a welcome move by the Government.

Individual ministers will have responsibility for releasing Cabinet papers, which will be subject to an assessment to decide if there are good reasons to withhold any of the information. For privacy reasons Appointments and Honours papers will be excluded.

What would be good is if Cabinet agendas are published also, so one can see if there were any papers not released.

Also would be good if the papers were released centrally on a (for example) website. Having them on each agency’s website makes it harder to know what is out there.

But again a good decision by the Government.

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