Request for draft public consultation document
Only minor differences between draft and final consultation document—final consultation document was publicly available—release would not inhibit the free and frank expression of opinions necessary for the effective conduct of public affairs
In response to a request for information about the SuperGold Card review, the Minister of Transport withheld a draft public consultation document under section 9(2)(g)(i). The requester complained to the Ombudsman.
The Ombudsman noted that the final public consultation document, with only minor wording changes from the withheld draft, was publicly available. In these circumstances, he was not persuaded that release would inhibit the free and frank expression of opinions necessary for the effective conduct of public affairs.
After considering the Ombudsman’s comments, the Minister agreed to release the draft public consultation document and the complaint was resolved.
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.