December 17, 2015
New Chief Ombudsman Judge Peter Boshier launches comprehensive new guides on making and processing official information requests
December 15, 2015
An opinion regarding the refusal of the Police to allow a media requester to view camera footage of all persons who had been tasered by the Police has been released. The then Chief Ombudsman Dame Beverley Wakem concluded that, in the absence of consent, the material was appropriately withheld under section 9(2)(a), to protect the privacy of the persons concerned. There was no overriding public interest in release of the information. However there was a strong public interest in release of related information about Police guidance and monitoring of the use of tasers. You can read the opinion here.
Dame Beverley Wakem | December 8, 2015
The Chief Ombudsman has released her report on central government agencies' compliance with their obligations under the Official Information Act when responding to requests for information. This is the most in-depth review of the Act's operation ever undertaken by the Office of the Ombudsman. You can view the full report here and the Office's media release here.
November 30, 2015
The Spring edition of the Ombudsman Quarterly Review is now available.
November 27, 2015
The Chief Ombudsman has released an opinion about the refusal of the Ministry of Justice to release information to a journalist about David Bain's claim for compensation for wrongful conviction. Dame Beverley held that a communication concerning deliberations of the jury at David Bain's retrial, and a reference to that communication in a letter, was protected by section 6(c) of the Official Information Act. She further found that the Ministry was entitled to rely on section 9(2)(f)(i), which protects confidential communications with the Governor-General, to withhold Mr Bain's petition for mercy and supporting information. She considered there was sufficient information in the public domain to satisfy any s 9(1) public interest in knowing the essential basis of Mr Bain's petition. You can read the opinion in the Resources & publications/Opinions/Official information opinions tab on our website.
November 25, 2015
New Zealand's Independent Monitoring Mechanism (comprising the Office of the Ombudsman, the Human Rights Commission and the Convention Coalition Monitoring Group) has published a guide on reasonable accommodation of persons with disabilities. The guide is aimed at assisting persons with disabilities to understand their rights to request reasonable accommodation. It also aims to inform employers, state sector agencies, and other persons providing services to the public, of their obligation to provide reasonable accommodation to persons with disabilities in particular circumstances.
We hope that this guide will provide useful and practical guidance on the concept of reasonable accommodation to a broad audience. We believe that the guide echoes the principles of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, and advocates for human rights and fundamental freedoms of persons with disabilities.
The guide is available in pdf and Microsoft Word formats. It will also be available in easy read format shortly, and is available in Braille on request. You can read the full guide on our home page at Resources & Publications/Guides/Good Administration Guides.
November 2, 2015
The Chief Ombudsman, Dame Beverley Wakem, has renewed her call for requesters to tell her about their experience of accessing official information from government agencies. The surveys, which can be accessed from our website, close at midnight on Thursday 5 November. Dame Beverley says "I strongly urge requesters to use this opportunity to provide me with their views, so I have the strongest possible evidence for my review." Read the full media release here.
October 23, 2015
As part of the Chief Ombudsman's review of OIA practices, we are now asking people to complete surveys for requesters and government workers.
October 19, 2015
The Ombudsman has today released a case note on the status of Needs Assessment and Service Co-ordination agencies (NASCs) under the Official Information Act (OIA). NASCs are held to be independent contractors engaged by the Ministry of Health, and information held by them in their contractual capacity is deemed to be held by the Ministry for the purposes of the OIA. You can read the case note here.
October 15, 2015
The Office of the Ombudsman's Annual Report for the year 1 July 2014 to 30 June 2015 was tabled in Parliament this afternoon, which recorded that it had received the second highest amount of work ever and was able to complete 92% of complaints and other work within six months. You can read the full report here and the Office's media statement here.
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