Christchurch schools and access to information Loading Comments…
November 8, 2012
An update on the Ombudsman's consideration of complaints about access to information concerning Christchurch schools.
Ombudsman David McGee has been considering the way in which requests for information relating to the Christchurch schools amalgamation consultations have been handled. The Ombudsman became aware of concerns having been expressed by principals and parents of affected schools. He has also received 5 specific complaints about refusals by the Ministry of Education and the Minister to release information that had been requested by individuals and the media.
The Ombudsman and senior staff met with Ministry of Education officials on 26 October. On 30 October the Ministry provided a report and supporting information about how they have responded to particular requests for information during the consultation process. This led the Ombudsman to make enquiries of Christchurch City Council and the school principals involved in particular requests drawn to our attention. The information received is now being assessed and is likely to require further discussion with the Ministry.
The Ombudsman expects to release his conclusions on the issues raised under the Official Information Act in the near future when his consideration is completed.
The Ombudsman is also considering whether there are wider issues about consultation procedures, both in regard to the current Christchurch schools amalgamation consultation process and school closures generally, that may justify closer examination. If this proves necessary, the Ombudsman will consider invoking the “own motion” powers under the Ombudsmen Act to carry out a more detailed investigation and report on any recommendations for administrative improvement that are warranted.Back to top ↑