Charge for supply of animal usage statistics
Cannot charge for decision making time—charge reduced
The Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry (MAF) advised a charge of ‘at least $3,000’ for supplying animal usage statistics, and the requester complained to the Ombudsman. During the Chief Ombudsman’s investigation it was revealed that the bulk of the charge was for time required to consult with third parties affected by the request. The Chief Ombudsman formed the provisional opinion that this time—which related to the decision whether or not to release or withhold the information—could not be charged for. After considering the Chief Ombudsman’s provisional opinion, MAF reduced the charge to $583. The Chief Ombudsman concluded that this represented a reasonable charge for supplying the requested statistics.
This case note is published under the authority of the Ombudsmen Rules 1989. It sets out an Ombudsman’s view on the facts of a particular case. It should not be taken as establishing any legal precedent that would bind an Ombudsman in future.