Request for data gathered by Inland Revenue contractor
The Ombudsman formed the opinion that it was unreasonable for IR to rely on sections 18(e) and 18(c)(i) of the OIA in this case.
The Ombudsman recommended IR retrieve the political leanings data from the contractor before reconsidering the complainant’s request.
Regarding IR’s application of section 18(e) of the OIA to this request, the Ombudsman exercised his discretion under section 28(6) of the OIA and notified the Chief Archivist of this matter.
In respect of IR’s intention to have the information permanently destroyed, the Ombudsman advised IR that he expected it would be retained until the complainant had exhausted their rights of review to the Ombudsman regarding the release of the information.
IR accepted the Ombudsman’s opinion, actioned his recommendation, and then released some aggregated raw data to the complainant.
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.