Tag Archives: OIA requests

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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█ 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

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

Chief Ombudsman | OIA review

“The effective operation of the OIA is crucial to our system of open and democratic government, and this review will scrutinise how things are currently operating and set out a framework for systemic improvement where deficiencies are identified.” –Beverley Wakem, Chief Ombudsman

Beverley Wakem 1 [nbr.co.nz]### NZ Herald Online 2:11 PM Tuesday Dec 16, 2014
Government offices selected for OIA review
By Isaac Davison – NZ Herald political reporter
The Chief Ombudsman says a major review of the Official Information Act will scrutinise all 27 government ministers’ offices.
Dame Beverley Wakem today began her review of the way the public sector used the OIA, which she first announced in August.
Twelve government agencies have been selected for formal review, based on their size, number of OIA requests, complaints, and other criteria.
A further 63 agencies and all ministers’ offices have been asked to complete a detailed survey. At least one agency cited for good OIA practice would be included in the review.
The Ombudsman’s office would also seek input from past and present public servants, Opposition parties, journalists, academics and others.
Dame Beverley said the goal was to assess the quality and integrity of OIA practice in the public sector and to address any issues that were found.
Read more

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█ For more, enter terms such as *corruption*, *fraud*, *whistleblowers*, *dia*, *department of internal affairs*, *stadium*, *gambling*, *auditor general*, *oag*, *audit nz*, *orfu*, *nzru*, *sfo*, *pokies*, *ttcf*, *racing* or *rugby* in the search box at right.

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

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John Key’s Godzone and the OIA

Dirty Politics - Cameron Slater Nicky Hager [master - tvnz.co.nz] 1

A very experienced political journalist told me: “The whole culture of the Wellington public service towards the OIA is governed by two things – the need not to embarrass your minister or your department (putting your chances of promotion or even your job at risk ) and the need to uphold the law, which public servants are more conscious of than you might think. The result is that public servants block requests for as long as they can and delete as much as they can using whatever section of the OIA act that they can.” –David Fisher, NZ Herald

Link received Thu, 23 Oct 2014 at 8:15 p.m.

### NZ Herald Online 2:56 PM Thursday Oct 23, 2014
David Fisher: OIA a bizarre arms race
NZ Herald journalist David Fisher gave the following speech to an audience of public officials in Wellington on October 15. We republish it here to help the public understand the systematic difficulties faced by those seeking information on their behalf.

Good afternoon everyone. I am David Fisher, a reporter with the NZ Herald. I have worked as a journalist for 25 years, mainly in New Zealand but across a number of other countries.
I think there’s some value before I start in placing a context around the current situation in relation to the media and the OIA. In doing so, it should be said each of the following allegations is denied.
At the moment, there is an inquiry underway into whether a blogger gained some advantage in receiving information from the SIS for political purposes. There are also allegations of preferential treatment over the OIA involving the same blogger and the former Justice Minister.
The police are also facing allegations of trying to cover up juked stats by burying an OIA. And a former Customs lawyer has said his organisation preferred to let requests languish in the Ombudsman’s office than dealing with them.
In the 25 years I have worked as a journalist, there have never been so many questions, or such a loss of faith, all at once.
Read more

Comment by Russell Garbutt
Submitted on 2014/10/24 at 10:40 am

167968722PW011_John_Key_HolI see that the mighty NZ Police have now decided to prosecute Nicky Hager over the fact that as a journalist he will not reveal who gave him copies of the emails that implicated so many of the National Party in downright crude manipulation and God only knows what else. Even that very friendly Speaker of the House has been forced to find that Key is a devious, slippery sod by not revealing his relationship with that scumbag Cameron Slater (watch the interesting exchange at yesterday’s question time here. http://www.inthehouse.co.nz/video/34526)
Isn’t it extraordinary that the NZ Police – such an independent body of public servants – jump so quickly whenever Donkey Jonkey and his mates want action, yet they are pleading under-resourcing for really serious crimes? Remember the infamous John Banks (you know, the little forgetful coot from Auckland) cup of tea PR stunt with Key? Key lays a complaint about the recording and the cops jump immediately. Collins, Key and others are shown to be dirty manipulators in Hager’s book and the cops immediately follow up. And how many others could say that their well-documented complaints have been diligently followed? I know of a few for starters, but let’s start with the Crewe murders and the bent cops who planted evidence. Did the cops diligently pursue anyone else when Thomas was pardoned? Not even when Rochelle Crew asked them to do so. The two bent cops were praised for their integrity and diligence by the very top cop after they died.
I could go on, but the perception out there is that the cops are politically driven.

[ends]

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Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

*Images: tvnz.co.nz – Dirty Politics: Cameron Slater, Nicky Hager; newstalkzb.co.nz (Getty) – John Key PM looking tired

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Public service causing “paralysis of democracy” with OIA requests

The following article is reproduced here in full, in the public interest.

### NZ Herald Online 5:30 AM Thursday Mar 21, 2013
Ombudsman to investigate OIA response
By David Fisher
The agency charged with reining in the power of government is to investigate the way public bodies are releasing information as citizens complain of being shut out. The Office of the Ombudsman is to begin its own investigation into the way the public service is responding to the Official Information Act as allegations are made of a “paralysis of democracy”.

The office is struggling to cope with a large increase in complaints from the public who have sought help. Deputy Ombudsman Leo Donnelly has begun writing to those who have complained saying it doesn’t have enough staff to handle the work load.

In response to a complaint from The Herald, Mr Donnelly said the office had 450 complaints it had been unable to assign to investigators because of the volume of work. He said staff were dealing with 2800 complaints.

In contrast, the Ombudsman’s office told a parliamentary select committee it finished the 2011 year with 1359 complaints and the 2012 year with 1746 complaints. Mr Donnelly said this will be a factor in an investigation into the way the act was handled across the public service.

He said the inquiry would aim to discover if the delay was caused by the way public agencies responded to requests.
He said the law stated information should be released unless there was good reason to withhold it.

A recent investigation into the Ministry of Education’s handling of requests to do with Christchurch schools raised questions about the processes used by government agencies to deal with requests.

Constitutional lawyer Mai Chen said the problems raised questions about how well public servants understood a law intended to give balance to the “David and Goliath” inequality between citizen and government. “I am concerned that officials sometimes reflect their ministers. I’m concerned some of the reticence may reflect the priorities that ministers give to compliance with legislation.” She said the government expected citizens to comply with laws and it should do so with the act. “If they don’t mean to do it, they should repeal it.”

Both the Green Party and Labour Party have spokeswomen for open government – with Labour’s Clare Curran, saying it would become a ministerial responsibility when the party was next in office. “There is an emerging crisis with our watchdog agencies,” she said. “It is a paralysis of democracy.”
NZH Link

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

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DScene – OIA requests about stadium endless?

### DScene 2-12-09
Editorial: Staying open (page 3)
By Mike Houlahan
On Monday Dunedin City Council adopted a policy of charging for handling Official Information Act requests. Section 13 of the legislation already provides a charging mechanism. Council has now formalised that into a policy, where the first three hours processing will be free, while subsequent time can be charged at $38 per half hour.
{continues}

Register to read DScene online at http://fairfaxmedia.newspaperdirect.com/

Extra bin recommended (page 4)
By Wilma McCorkindale
An extra bin, probably yellow, is the only major recommended change to Dunedin City Council’s kerbside rubbish and recycling collection.
The kerbside recycling hearings panel wants a basic service comprising the current black rubbish bags and a two-crate recycling option – the blue crate for recycling unbroken glass, jars and bottles and another coloured crate for recycling plastic graded 1-7, steel and aluminium.
{continues}

Your say: Letters to the editor (page 8)
‘Stadium costs’ by Dave Witherow, Stop The Stadium President
Other letters with stadium mentions by [Marjan] Lousberg, Eli Kerin (Dunedin), Dennis Dorney (Calton Hill)

What’s on offer (page 13)
By Michelle Sutton
The spotlight is on Dunedin’s cruise ship industry, with planning for the way ahead already under way.
{continues}

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

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