Request for information about staff grievances and allegations of bullying
Sam Sherwood, on behalf of Stuff, made a request to Selwyn District Council for information about staff grievances and allegations of bullying. The Council refused the request under section 17(b) of Local Government Official Information and Meetings Act 1987 (LGOIMA), neither confirming nor denying the existence or non-existence of the information requested.
Pursuant to sections 6(a) and 8 of LGOIMA, the Council explained that confirming or denying the existence or non-existence of the information requested would be likely to prejudice the maintenance of the law. The Council went on to advise Mr Sherwood that even if the information requested did exist, it would have good reason for withholding it under sections 7(2)(a), 7(2)(c)(ii), 7(2)(i) and 17(c)(i) of LGOIMA.
Based on the information before me, I have formed the opinion that it was unreasonable for the Council to rely on section 17(b) of LGOIMA to refuse the information requested; and that the ancillary withholding grounds that the Council would have otherwise relied on did not provide good reason for refusing the information requested in its entirety. I recommend that the Council release certain information about staff grievances and allegations of bullying. The Council complied with my recommendation.