Review of OIA practices - surveys of requesters and government workers
October 23, 2015
In December 2014, the Chief Ombudsman started a wide-ranging review of Official Information Act (OIA) practices in central government departments and agencies. You can read more about the aim of the review and how we are doing it in our earlier news item. So far the review has concentrated on gathering information from departments, through surveys and interviews.
User experiences of the OIA
The Chief Ombudsman now wants to hear from users of the OIA, including members of the public, journalists, Members of Parliament and their staff, people working for interest groups, and academics. We also want to hear from current and former employees and contractors in government departments and agencies.
To do this we have created three different surveys to learn about your experiences and perceptions of how the OIA is working in practice. This will help us determine where improvements are most needed.
Completing the surveys online will be quicker for you, and more efficient for us to capture and analyse this information. But for those who would prefer to respond to the surveys offline, there are versions of each survey available in Word format that can be posted back to us.
All the information provided to us in the surveys will be held in confidence, as required by the Ombudsmen Act. Only aggregate information will be included in any report.
The surveys can be completed online between 23 October and 5 November 2015, inclusive. Surveys completed offline should be received by the Office of the Ombudsman no later than 4 November 2015.
Survey 1 - Review agencies
This survey asks about your experiences of making requests to the 12 agencies that the Chief Ombudsman is focusing her investigation on. These agencies are:
- Accident Compensation Corporation
- Department of Corrections
- Ministry of Education
- Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade
- Ministry of Health
- Ministry of Justice
- New Zealand Customs Service
- New Zealand Defence Force
- New Zealand Transport Agency
- Ministry of Social Development
- Ministry of Transport
- State Services Commission
You should only take this survey if you have made OIA requests to these particular agencies.
Survey 2 - General survey of OIA users
This survey asks about your experiences of making requests to central government departments and agencies that are not amongst the 12 review agencies listed above. It also asks about your perceptions of departments' approaches to openness in general. You can complete both Survey 1 and Survey 2 if you like.
Survey 3 - OIA experiences of current and former workers in government agencies
This survey asks about the experiences and perceptions of those people currently or previously working in government agencies - both employees and contractors. If you work, or have worked, in a government agency and have also made OIA requests yourself, you can also complete both Survey 1 and Survey 2 if you like.
Address to send completed surveys or supporting information
If you choose to complete a survey in Word offline, or you have information to send the Chief Ombudsman in support of one of your answers to a survey question, please send these to:
We have deliberately sought submissions through tailored surveys as this helps maximise the amount of useable information about people's experience of OIA practice. At the end of each survey is an opportunity to raise any matters that are not otherwise covered in the survey questions. However, if you wish to make a submission to us about a specific issue of OIA practice, which you consider is not adequately accommodated by the survey format, please feel free to email us confidentially at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Chief Ombudsman will not treat any information received in responses to the surveys as a complaint that should be investigated by her. If you wish to make a complaint about an agency's response to an OIA request, please contact the Office in the usual manner.
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