OIA complaints data
The Chief Ombudsman publishes data on Official Information Act (OIA) complaints received against Ministers and agencies on a six-monthly basis. Also published is a list of all complaints received with resolutions under the OIA for the past three years.
Data regarding the Local Government Official Information and Meetings Act (LGOIMA) is available from Jan-June 2019.
The data is grouped into two pairs of spreadsheets – one pair each for the OIA and LGOIMA for complaints received, and for complaints completed.
This data lists the Minister, agency or council involved, the nature of the complaint, and whether the complaint came from a private individual, the media, a political party or other type of organisation.
This data includes the information above and details about the outcome of the complaint. Where the Ombudsman formed a final opinion, you can see whether that upheld the Minister's or agency's decision, and if not, what they did wrong (eg, the request was refused when it shouldn't have been). Finally, you can see information about the remedies achieved as a result of the Ombudsman's intervention.
There are some important issues to bear in mind when looking at the data.
First and foremost, the data is about OIA and LGOIMA complaints received by the Ombudsman, not requests received by Ministers and agencies. Complaints data on its own cannot paint a complete picture of compliance with the law. The number of complaints may in fact be quite small in comparison to the number of requests an agency has dealt with.
You should also note that not all complaints received by the Ombudsman are notified to the Minister or agency. The data may include complaints an agency or Minister has no prior knowledge of.
The fact that a complaint has been received does not necessarily mean that an agency or Minister has done anything wrong. It is important to pay attention to the outcome of the complaint. Some complaints will not be investigated by the Ombudsman because they are outside jurisdiction, and some complaints that are investigated may not be upheld.
Finally, you should note that OIA complaints against Ministers are recorded against each Ministerial portfolio (eg, Minister of Immigration) not the individual holding that portfolio. If there has been a change in ministerial portfolios, complaints in the relevant period may be against the former or current Minister.
The State Services Commission (SSC) is also publishing data on the number of OIA requests received by some agencies (departments and statutory Crown entities), and the timeliness of responses to requests.
The next release of complaints data, covering the six months to December 31 2019, will be in March 2020. The agencies that are included in the data will be given an opportunity to comment before it is published.
Complaints received with outcomes July 2016 - June 2019 (csv)
OIA complaints received January - June 2019
OIA complaints completed January - June 2019
LGOIMA complaints received January - June 2019
LGOIMA complaints completed January - June 2019
OIA complaints received July - December 2018
OIA complaints completed July - December 2018
OIA complaints received 1 January - 30 June 2018
OIA complaints completed 1 January - 30 June 2018
OIA complaints received 1 July - 31 December 2017
OIA complaints completed 1 July - 31 December 2017
OIA complaints received 1 January to 30 June 2017
OIA complaints completed 1 January to 30 June 2017
OIA complaints received 1 July - 31 December 2016
OIA complaints completed 1 July - 31 December 2016
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