Christchurch schools and access to information Loading Comments…
October 26, 2012
On TV3’s Campbell Live last night there were reports of people having difficulty accessing information about the Ministry of Education's consultation process on possible school closures in Christchurch (watch here).
The Ombudsman was concerned to hear about allegations that:
- Christchurch City Council had been advised to refuse a request for official information on the basis that it was not held, when apparently it was.
- A requester had been advised to withdraw their OIA request because it would mean they would get the information sooner.
- Requests had been refused in part because the information would eventually be public knowledge anyway.
The Ombudsman met with Ministry officials today to discuss the allegations, and to seek some information about the conduct of the consultation process under the Education Act 1989.
Officials have agreed to provide the Ombudsman with a response to these issues by Tuesday 30 October 2012, after which the Ombudsman will consider what further action is necessary.
The Ombudsman has also received a number of complaints in relation to these issues, which are currently being assessed.
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