Auckland Council says it will continue to have a mayoral staff member involved in official information requests, despite criticism from the Chief Ombudsman.
Peter Boshier in a new review of the council’s performance, suggested the move to avoid “any perception of political influence”, repeating a suggestion made a year ago in a finding highly critical of delays by the council in responding to a request by this journalist.
In his July 2018 decision Boshier found no wrongdoing but “an undesirable lack of clarity” over the role of the mayor’s principal political advisor in a five-month delay to the release of a report that had been commissioned by Mayor Phil Goff. …
The sticking point is the inclusion of a member of the mayor’s office staff on the council’s internal LGOIMA Review Group which meets each week to review all requests for information lodged under the LGOIMA legislation – local government’s equivalent of the Official Information Act.
“The Council’s view is that a mayoral office representative is well worth having on the review group, as they work right across the organisation and have knowledge of the location of information,” said Boshier.
“I acknowledge this point of view, but nonetheless urge Auckland Council to reconsider its position.”
So the Goffice is ignoring the Ombudsman. I would have thought someone from the CEO’s office would also be across all the work of the Council.