Frequently asked questions about publication of OIA and LGOIMA complaints

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Background

The publication of official information complaints data is driven by the Chief Ombudsman’s desire to increase transparency around the operation of the official information legislation. He believes that greater transparency will lead to improvements in agency performance and compliance with the law.

Since January 2017, the Chief Ombudsman has been publishing data on Official Information Act 1982 (OIA) complaints received on a six-monthly basis. In July 2019, the data was expanded to include data on Local Government Official Information and Meetings Act 1987 (LGOIMA) complaints. The publications cover all Ministers and agencies against which an official information complaint has been received or completed by the Ombudsman during the reporting period.

For a complaint to be included in this data set, the Ombudsman must have jurisdiction under the official information legislation to investigate and review the decision.[1] Complaints not set out in these sections, such as about transfers or administrative processing, are considered under the Ombudsmen Act and, therefore, not included in the complaints data.

At the same time as the Chief Ombudsman releases data on official information complaints, Te Kawa Mataaho Public Service Commission (PSC) releases data on OIA requests completed by departments and statutory Crown entities.

Complaints received

The dataset for complaints received includes all official information complaints received by the Ombudsman within the relevant six month time frame. The data includes the nature of the complaint made and the type of complainant.

Completed complaints

The data set for complaints completed includes all official information complaints closed by the Ombudsman within the relevant six month time frame. The data includes the outcome of the complaint, the reason for that outcome, and, if relevant, any deficiency in decision making found or remedies achieved as a result of the Ombudsman's intervention.

 

[1]     As set out in sections 28 and 35 of the OIA and sections 27 and 38 of the LGOIMA.

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