Dunedin City Council
More transparent official information
This item was published on 26 Oct 2012.
A New Zealand first has been launched on the DCC website with Local Government Official Information and Meetings Act 1987 (LGOIMA) responses now published at www.dunedin.govt.nz/oia
Mayor Dave Cull is thrilled with this significant step towards improved transparency of the DCC’s information.
“We are constantly looking for ways to make our information and our processes more transparent. Alongside recent changes, such as releasing previously non-public committee items, this will be another step towards ensuring open and transparent local government.”
Not every request will be placed on the site, to ensure Privacy Act considerations are met (such as ensuring requesters cannot be identified if they do not wish to be). If requests are made that have no public interest, they won’t go up either.
Responses to media requests will always be published on the site as will responses to public organisations and Members of Parliament.
DCC Governance Manager Sandy Graham says, “The site is a first iteration and we invite users to provide feedback and suggestions, which can be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org .”
The site includes an online form for requesting information under LGOIMA. The form will enable staff to track and collate data more efficiently, to ensure the information requested is clear and accurate and help ensure responses are provided within the statutory time frame. A search tool will be added as the store of information grows, to ease the process of searching topics that may have already been requested.
The first three months of responses, from July – September of this year, have been made available and it is expected that the site will be updated monthly.
Contact Dave Cull, Mayor of Dunedin on 477 4000.
### radionz.co.nz Updated at 12:34 pm today
Dunedin council puts more information online
Dunedin City Council has begun publishing its responses to official information requests online – the first in the country to do so.
The Ombudsman, Beverley Wakem, says she is delighted with the council’s move and hopes it will spread to other councils.
Like all authorities, the council receives dozens of official information requests a month from ratepayers, the news media, public organisations and Members of Parliament. Many are multiple requests for the same information, creating double-handling for council staff, and are only selectively made public. The council’s governance manager, Sandy Graham, says from now on every response with a public interest will be available on the Dunedin City Council website. It is part of a wider transparency drive at the council which has already shifted large parts of its meetings from closed-door sessions to the public agenda, and will soon begin publishing its credit card spending records online.
Posted by Elizabeth Kerr