New guide – the OIA and drafts
Office of the Ombudsman | September 27, 2018
Agencies can sometimes struggle with OIA requests for draft documents. There is no special exemption for drafts under the OIA, and none of the withholding grounds relate specifically to drafts. However, there can be legitimate reasons why it is sometimes necessary to withhold them. Our new guide explains these reasons, and sets out some general principles applying to OIA requests for draft documents. It has lots of case studies to illustrate the application of these principles in practice.
The Chief Ombudsman, Peter Boshier, said ‘this guide is something I saw a need for, and committed to do, during my Ombudsmen Act investigation in July 2018 in relation to Auckland Council’s processing of a LGOIMA request. It was clear that the draft nature of the document at issue in that case caused some difficulties for the Council, and it is not alone there. This new guide will help agencies to figure out when there is good reason to withhold a draft, and when it must be released’.
You can read our guide here.
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