OIA Review: Bev’s off, thank god! #politicallyblinkered #shakethattreesomemore

Updated post
Sat, 5 Dec 2015 at 1:17 p.m.

LIES and SPIN, Bev

Beverley Wakem 1 [nbr.co.nz]### NZ Herald Online 1:40 PM Wednesday Dec 2, 2015
Official Information Act review finds ‘no deliberate misuse’
By Isaac Davison – NZH political reporter
A high-level review of the Official Information Act will not uncover any widespread political interference in the release of information, its author says. The Ombudsman’s Office will release the findings from its comprehensive, year-long review next week. Chief Ombudsman Dame Beverley Wakem said today that the investigation had not discovered malicious or deliberate misuse of the Act by ministers’ offices or by Government departments.

“We’ve really shaken the tree over this and haven’t been surprised by what’s fallen out,” she told a Parliamentary committee this morning.

She admitted that she had suspected political interference, but had found no hard evidence of it. Dame Beverley said people who had complained to her office could be perceiving political spin or “bad behaviour” when it did not exist, and she could not make any findings “based on hearsay”.
Read more

█ The release of the report will be Dame Beverley’s last act as Chief Ombudsman after 10 years in the role. She is being replaced by former Principal Family Court Judge Peter Boshier next week.

Gun shy ? (broken record – your 10 limp-wristed years, inter-agency OBFUSCATION, or lose your privilege, your confidence, your connections, your office budget….)

DemiLovatoVEVO Published on Oct 9, 2015
Demi Lovato – Confident (Official Video)

Sharon Murdoch (@domesticanimal) 5.12.15 Dame Beverley [Stuff.co.nz]Sharon Murdoch, Dame Beverley December 5, 2015 [Stuff.co.nz]

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16.12.14 Chief Ombudsman | OIA review
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█ For more, enter terms such as *audit nz*, *auditor general*, *citifleet*, *corruption*, *courthouse*, *cst*, *dcc*, *delta*, *department of internal affairs*, *dia*, *dvml*, *fraud*, *gambling*, *kaipara*, *nzru*, *oag*, *orfu*, *pokies*, *racing*, *rugby*, *sfo*, *stadium*, *ttcf* or *whistleblowers* in the search box at right.

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

*Image: nbr.co.nz – Beverley Wakem


Filed under Business, Democracy, DIA, Economics, Events, Geography, Media, Name, New Zealand, OAG, Ombudsman, People, Police, Politics, Project management, SFO

20 responses to “OIA Review: Bev’s off, thank god! #politicallyblinkered #shakethattreesomemore

  1. Elizabeth

    Demi Lovato “Confident” lyrics

    Are you ready? ha

    It’s time for me to take it
    I’m the boss right now
    Not gonna fake it
    Not when you go down
    Cause this is my game
    And you better come to play

    I used to hold my freak back
    Now I’m letting go
    I make my own choice
    Yeah I run this show
    So leave the lights on
    No, you can’t make me behave

    (Oh oh, oh) So you say I’m complicated
    That I must be outta my mind
    But you’ve had me underrated
    Rated, rated

    (Ah ha) What’s wrong with being, what’s wrong with being
    What’s wrong with being confident? (Ah ha)
    What’s wrong with being, what’s wrong with being
    What’s wrong with being confident? (Ah ha)

    It’s time to get the chains out
    Is your tongue tied up?
    Cause this is my ground
    And I’m dangerous
    And you can get out
    But it’s all about me tonight (tonight, ha)

    (Oh oh, oh) So you say I’m complicated
    That I must be outta my mind
    But you’ve had me underrated
    Rated, rated

    (Ah ha) What’s wrong with being, what’s wrong with being
    What’s wrong with being confident? (Ah ha)
    What’s wrong with being, what’s wrong with being
    What’s wrong with being confident? (Ah ha)
    What’s wrong with being, what’s wrong with being
    What’s wrong with being confident? (Ah ha)
    What’s wrong with being, what’s wrong with being
    What’s wrong with being confident? (Ah ha)

    (Ah ha)
    La, la, yeah

    So you say I’m complicated
    But you’ve had me underrated

    (Ah ha) What’s wrong with being, what’s wrong with being
    What’s wrong with being confident? (Ah ha)
    What’s wrong with being, what’s wrong with being
    What’s wrong with being confident? (Ah ha)
    What’s wrong with being, what’s wrong with being
    What’s wrong with being confident? (Ah ha)
    What’s wrong with being, what’s wrong with being
    What’s wrong with being confident? (Ah ha)

    Source: directlyrics.com

    • The Cajun Version: “La! Harlow, how are you?/Im fakin’ it/not vraiment makin’ it/It is mon jeu/you better fermez bouche/parce que I hold Shriekback on Vinyl/they are rotten/La La Louisiana/4 feet of water in the streets of South Dunedin”.

  2. Cinimod

    What demented ramblings. What sort of drugs are you guys on?

    • Crimond, every time a bloke, or woman, gets a bit ‘alternative’, they’re accused of being ‘on drugs’. On Stuff.co.nz, we are advised to get ‘off the drugs’, immediately. This is just impressionism. It is quite mainstream in the UK and Europe. Impressionists are NOT stoned. We’re just not with The Straits Times.

  3. Elizabeth

    Link received from Lee Vandervis
    09/12/2015 8:28 pm (GMT+12:00)




  4. Peter

    The Ombudsman’s Office creates more work for themselves by their own bureaucratic pedantry as well as their failure to prosecute individuals who blatantly refuse to cooperate, who instead give them the two finger salute, whereby the Ombudsman’s Office turns the other cheek.
    No wonder they are falling behind in processing requests for information. It is no wonder most individuals throw in the towel, given the time and effort to get information that rightfully belongs to the public. It all lands back on the Ombudsman’s Office where their own competence is called into question. The process becomes bogged down because their bureaucratic training is so convoluted.
    It is about time the Ombudsman’s Office did its job efficiently. They should first and foremost work for the ones seeking information, not bend over backwards by giving the withholders of that information an extremely long leash to play games.

    • Elizabeth

      Their budget is under Key’s control is it not.

      The Ombudsman has authority to investigate approximately 4000 entities in the state sector, including:
      • government departments and ministries;
      • local authorities;
      • crown entities;
      • state-owned enterprises;
      • district health boards;
      • tertiary education institutions;
      • school boards of trustees; and
      • Ministers of the Crown (in relation to decisions on requests for official information).

  5. Elizabeth

    Review of OIA Practice: Project Summary

    This investigation was first signalled by Ombudsman David McGee in December 2012 in his report on the Ministry of Education’s response to an Official Information Act (OIA) request about proposed school closures in Canterbury. In that report, he found that the Ministry of Education was seeking to remove requests from their OIA process to enable more efficient responses. Dr McGee commented that it seemed this practice may be more widespread in the public sector, and he advised that the Chief Ombudsman intended to conduct an investigation of OIA processes in selected government agencies:

    “Such an investigation will examine whether the policies and practices of agencies under review are fit for purpose, in that they ensure timely and appropriate responses to all information requests, and that they are not circumvented in some instances.”

    Read more at http://www.ombudsman.parliament.nz/ckeditor_assets/attachments/332/oia_review_project_summary.pdf?1418681629


    Chief Ombudsman releases report on government OIA practices
    Dame Beverley Wakem | December 8, 2015

    The Chief Ombudsman has released her report on central government agencies’ compliance with their obligations under the Official Information Act when responding to requests for information. This is the most in-depth review of the Act’s operation ever undertaken by the Office of the Ombudsman. You can view the full report here and the Office’s media release here.


    • Hype O'Thermia

      I thought the whole point of establishing the Ombudsman position was to have a top authority with a big stick, whose role was to say, “This information is rightly available to members of the public who ask for it, now stop jerking them around and get on with it.”

      • Elizabeth

        Bev got too comfortable with her power and privilege, and lost her independence. Last night I read her last annual report, written before former judge Peter Boshier takes over the role of chief ombudsman. Worth a read.

        Annual Report 2014/15 (PDF, 2.04 MB)

    • Gurglars

      Far better to write a report than actually do the job.

      Bureaucrats love reports, they take up time, they employ printers, mail clerks, etc.

      They hate doing the job, ringing up another bureaucrat and asking him to do his job. How would that work? Someone might ring the ringer!

  6. Elizabeth

    Noting the hypocritical and most definitely out of tune claims of the ODT Editor – the old trouble of never printing news or comments that offend or disturb the Smiths’ view of the world as they know it (eg detailed criticism of the stadium, CST, DVML, DCHL, DCC and Cull et al) because of protectionist policy (made up on the hoof?) and or the parochial business interests of the newspaper owners and their cronies. No investigative journalism. Failure to take what NZ Herald expects ODT to publish for more thorough reporting across New Zealand. Pot, Kettle, Black.

    ### ODT Online Thu, 10 Dec 2015
    Editorial: No room for complacency
    The conclusions of Chief Ombudsman Beverley Wakem’s review of the Official Information Act are something of a mixed bag. […] For a gap between the ideals and the realities of transparent government clearly exists, when there should be no room at all for complacency.
    Read more

  7. Elizabeth

    ### ODT Online Fri, 15 Jan 2016
    OIA request charges worrying sign
    By Eileen Goodwin
    Making media organisations pay for official information is a worrying sign, a University of Otago public law specialist says. The ability to charge for information had always been in the law, but the “culture” around the Official Information Act was changing, Prof Andrew Geddis said.
    Read more

    Public awareness of the OIA – which can be used by anyone to try to extract official information – is higher in the wake of Nicky Hager’s 2014 book Dirty Politics, which revealed official information was sometimes used for political gain. (ODT)

  8. Elizabeth

    No plans to change the council’s approach to LGOIMA charges.

    ### ODT Online Sun, 17 Jan 2016
    Information policy for review
    By Chris Morris
    The Dunedin City Council has no plans to follow the Reserve Bank’s lead and start routinely charging media organisations for official information requests, a senior manager says. Council corporate services general manager Sandy Graham confirmed yesterday the council would, in the next few months, review its policy on charges for requests made under the Local Government Official Information and Meetings Act 1987.
    Read more

  9. Hype O'Thermia

    What’s the betting that LGOIMA users will widely share information about how much they’ve been asked for, and what info they’re asking for, should the DCC decide to use this method of raising funds and discouraging “transparency”? Remember transparency? Greater Dunedin were dead keen on it, before the second-last election, the one when Cull first became Mayor.

  10. Elizabeth

    “dead keen”
    first word: operative

  11. Elizabeth


    ### NZ Herald Online 7:14 PM Friday Feb 19, 2016
    Text decision ‘should make all journalists careful’
    By Claire Trevett
    A media law expert says the Ombudsman’s decision to make Prime Minister John Key release a text from a gossip columnist should make all journalists careful about “off the cuff” communications with ministers. The Ombudsman has told Mr Key to release the text from Rachel Glucina, formerly of the Herald, after her interview with the waitress at the centre of the ponytail-pulling saga. That overrode the PM’s objection to releasing communications with the media because of journalists’ source-protection concerns.

    [Canterbury University dean of law] Ursula Cheer said the OIA did contain similar protections to the Evidence Act provisions for journalists to protect their sources. It allowed information to be withheld which was genuinely confidential, where a promise of confidentiality had been given, or where releasing the information could prejudice the supply of similar information or cause the source to dry up. “So, yes, journalists should be careful about the off-the-cuff texts they send to ministers, and if they are worried at all, should make sure the text is the subject of an undertaking of confidentiality or at least labelled confidential.”
    Read more


    ### NZ Herald Online 3:03 PM Friday Feb 19, 2016
    Ponytail-gate text to PM revealed
    The text sent by gossip columnist Rachel Glucina to the Prime Minister reportedly described the waitress as a “piece of work” with a “massive political agenda.” Mediaworks has reported that the text said of waitress Amanda Bailey: “Just interviewed the waitress. Piece of work! Massive political agenda”. Mediaworks does not say how it obtained the text, which is yet to be released by the Prime Minister’s office. Ms Glucina is now employed by Mediaworks. […] Mr Key had 21 days to release the text and a formal case note on the decision was likely to be released next week.
    Read more

  12. Hype O'Thermia

    Ms Glucina’s reputation, including the regard in which she is held as a journalist, is nothing to write home about.
    “Piece of work! Massive political agenda.”

    Mirror Mirror, Sun and all
    Redtop ethics: journo’s fall

  13. Elizabeth

    This story has significance for matters like the SDHB and PCE, and of course, local governance generally.

    Sun, 17 Apr 2016 at 11:35 a.m.
    Message: And does this ring any bells?

    Watch the Stuff Video

    ### Stuff.co.nz Last updated 05:00, April 17 2016
    How an unemployed Westie discredited a key police report on cannabis
    By Tony Wall – Sunday Star Times
    The headline figures from a police intelligence report caught Steve Dawson’s attention. Cannabis was causing 2000 hospital admissions a year costing more than $30 million, the report claimed, and was the “cornerstone” of drug harm in this country.

    “I’d never met any of the 2000 a year who were clogging up the hospitals – you know, the stoned wandering the streets and A&Es saying ‘help me!’ – so I thought I’d look into it.”

    In 2010, using the Official Information Act, Dawson set about trying to get his hands on the hospital data used in the report. The Ministry of Health said it was unavailable and referred him to the NDIB. The NDIB provided a spreadsheet, but it was clearly not the raw data Dawson had requested, so he asked for the original file. It was lost, the bureau said, perhaps incorrectly saved. Dawson went back to Health, but it too claimed the data was lost. “I had to get pretty cross with Health to finally get the file in July, 2013.”
    Read more

    █ THE MAXWELL REPORT (via Stuff)
    Claim: There are more than 2000 cannabis-related hospital admissions each year.
    Fact: Between 200 and 250 people a year are admitted to hospital primarily because of cannabis.
    Claim: The cost of these admissions is $31m.
    Fact: The cost is more like $2.5m.

    The Maxwell report was 90% wrong….

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