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Media release

Chief Ombudsman publishes OIA and LGOIMA complaints information January 2023 - June 2023

Issue date:

The Chief Ombudsman Peter Boshier has published his half-yearly data on Official Information Act (OIA) and Local Government Official Information and Meetings Act (LGOIMA) complaints.

The data covers the number of complaints received under each Act for the period 1 January 2023 to 30 June 2023, as well as the number of complaints completed by the Ombudsman during this period.

The number of complaints received about government agency handling of requests under the OIA was 848, an increase from 808 in the last six-month period. The top three types of complaints were refusals in part (220), refusals in full (218) and delays in making a decision (173). Of the total received, 662 were from individuals, 116 from media and 70 from other sources.

School Boards were the subject of 84 OIA complaints made to the Ombudsman. This number includes two ‘bulk’ complaints comprising multiple complaints, relating to the handling of identical requests made to a number of schools. Of the total, 33 complaints were about delays in decisions, 22 were about full refusals and 17 about incomplete or inadequate responses.

There were 174 complaints under LGOIMA in the same period, up slightly on the last six-monthly period when 164 complaints were received. The top three types of complaints were about refusals in part (49), delays in making decisions (47) and refusals in full (34). Of the 174 complaints received, 142 were from individuals, 18 from media and 14 from other sources.

During this period, the Chief Ombudsman has maintained his rigorous approach to investigating delays in responding to OIA and LGOIMA complaints.

“Agencies need to respect both the spirit and the letter of the law when it comes to the OIA and the LGOIMA,” says Mr Boshier. “They must make sure that information is made available unless there is a good reason to withhold it. It must also be provided in a timely manner. This is critical to maintaining transparency and accountability across central and local government.”

A new self-assessment tool has been developed recently by the Ombudsman to help government agencies improve their compliance with the OIA by assessing their own strengths and areas they need to work on. The Chief Ombudsman is intending to develop a similar tool for local government agencies in the future.

At the same time as the Office published its complaints and outcomes data, the State Services Commission published its data on OIA requests received by agencies and their response times.

Complaints received

Complaint type  LGOIMA  OIA 
Received  174  848 
Individual  142  662 
Media  18  116 
Other [1]  14  70 

Reasons for complaints

Complaint type  LGOIMA  OIA 
Delay in decision  47  173 
Refusal in full  34  218 
Refusal in part  49  220 
Incomplete / inadequate response  25  72 
Extension  55 
Other [2]  15  110 

Complaints completed

Complaint type  LGOIMA  OIA 
Completed  151  790 
Individual  119  594 
Media  23  124 
Other [3]  72 

About the data

The data released by the Ombudsman concerns both OIA and LGOIMA complaints received and completed from 1 January 2023 to 30 June 2023. It includes information on the number of complaints received by Minister or agency, the nature of the complaint and type of complainant (media, private individual, etc). For the complaints completed, the data also includes the outcome of the complaint.

The data does not enable a direct comparison among agencies, as complaints data on its own does not give the full picture. The number of complaints received by the Ombudsman may be a very small proportion of the total number of OIA or LGOIMA requests received by an agency.

See the Ombudsman's complaints data


[1] This includes all city, district and regional councils, as well as council-controlled organisations, community boards, domain boards, public reserves boards and licensing trusts among others. See Schedules 1 & 2 LGOIMA for more detailsReturn to text

[2] For the LGOIMA, this comprises decisions not made as soon as practicable, charge, manner or form of release, delay in releasing information, refusal - personal information about body corporate, Privacy Act request, extension, and other.

For the OIA, it comprises Privacy Act requests, charges, delay in releasing information, decisions not made as soon as reasonably practicable, refusal - statement of reasons, refusal – internal rules and guidelines, refusal - personal information about body corporate, manner or form of release, and other. Return to text

[3] For the LGOIMA, this comprises special interest groups and companies, associations, and incorporated societies.

For the OIA, this comprises departments, government organisations, or local authorities; companies, associations, incorporated societies; political party research units; special interest groups; trade unions; researchers; Members of Parliament; and review agencies (eg: HDC, IPCA). Return to text

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