Official Information Act (OIA)
“At present, the Ombudsman was in charge of investigating complaints under the Act, but did not have any wider responsibilities. […] An information commissioner could be created, who would perform a similar role to the Privacy Commissioner or Human Rights Commissioner.”
### ODT Online Thu, 26 Jul 2012
Review recommends broader scope for OIA
Source: NZ Herald
The Law Commission has recommended that all publicly funded agencies should be subject to official information requests, including courts, universities and boards of trustees. The commission has made more than 100 recommendations in “The Public’s Right to Know”, a review of the Official Information Act (OIA) which was tabled at Parliament yesterday. Lead commissioner for the report Prof John Burrows said main principles of the 30-year-old Act were sound, but it needed to be upgraded for the digital age.
“We think there’s a case now for saying if a body is receiving public funding and is performing a public function it should be accountable under the OIA.”
The review also recommended re-drafting some of the grounds for withholding information – such as “good government” and “commercial sensitivity” – which were unclear.
The Justice Ministry and Department of Internal Affairs would consider the recommendations, and were expected to act on them within six months.
Posted by Elizabeth Kerr