OIA complaints data
The Chief Ombudsman publishes data on OIA complaints received against Ministers and agencies on a six-monthly basis.
The data is grouped into two spreadsheets - one for complaints received, and one for complaints completed.
This data lists the Minister or agency 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. Data on complaints received is also available in CSV format.
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 complaints received by the Ombudsman, not OIA 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 an OIA 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 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. See SSC's data here.
The next publication, covering the period 1 January 2017 to 30 June 2017, will be in early September 2017. Ministers and the agencies listed in that data are given the opportunity to see it first.
OIA complaints received 1 July - 31 December 2016
OIA complaints completed 1 July - 31 December 2016
CSV - OIA complaints received with outcomes 1 July - 31 December 2016
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