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Confidential advice to government: A guide to section 9(2)(f)(iv) of the OIA

Constitutional conventions
Official Information Act 1982
Section 9
Issue date:

One reason for withholding official information is to ‘maintain the constitutional convention protecting the confidentiality of advice tendered by Ministers and officials’—section 9(2)(f)(iv) of the OIA.

This section usually applies where the release of confidential advice given to Ministers or Cabinet would prejudice the orderly and effective conduct of government decision making processes.

This guide covers:

  • When section 9(2)(f)(iv) applies
  • Assessing the need to withhold under section 9(2)(f)(iv)
  • The public interest in release

It includes a step-by-step worksheet and case studies of actual complaints considered by the Ombudsman.

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