Ombudsman investigating Ministry of Education’s management of official information requests about the proposed closure of Christchurch schools
November 23, 2012
Ombudsman David McGee formally advised the Secretary for Education, Ms Lesley Longstone yesterday that he had decided to conduct an investigation of his own motion into matters that have been publicly raised relating to the Ministry of Education’s management of requests for information about the proposed closure of some Christchurch schools.
The three specific matters that are the subject of the Ombudsman’s investigation are as follows:-
- That the Ministry advised the Christchurch City Council to refuse a request for official information on the basis that the information was not held by the Council when the Ministry knew that it was held.
- That the Ministry advised a requester to withdraw a request for official information, suggesting that if he did so he would receive the information sooner.
- That a number of requests for official information were refused, at least in part, on the basis that the information concerned would eventually be made public in any case.
These matters were raised during the course of a TV3 broadcast of Campbell Live on 25 October 2012. The Ombudsman will be assisted by the Deputy Ombudsman and the Senior Advisor Wider Administrative Improvement. For more information on an Ombudsman’s self-initiated investigation under section 13(3) of the Ombudsmen Act read here
Alongside this investigation, the Ombudsman is also continuing his investigations into complaints from individuals and the media about refusals by the Ministry of Education and the Minister to release information in response to their specific OIA requests.
For further information, please contact Deputy Ombudsman Leo Donnelly 027 441 7357 or Leo.Donnelly@ombudsman.parliament.nz
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