Request for papers presented to Government leading to decision to withdraw troops from Bosnia

Security or defence
Legislation:
Official Information Act 1982
Section 6
Legislation display text:
Official Information Act 1982, ss 6(a), 6(b)
Agency:
Minister
Ombudsman:
Sir Brian Elwood
Case number(s):
W35756
Issue date:
Language:
English

Request for papers presented to Government leading to decision to withdraw troops from Bosnia—extensive deletions made under ss 6(a) and 6(b)—some further information released following the investigation and review

A journalist asked the Minister of Foreign Affairs for papers presented to Government by officials containing advice leading to New Zealand’s decision to withdraw its troops from Bosnia, including reports from the Secretary of Defence on his discussions with British and American officials. The Minister made certain information available but much of it was subject to extensive deletions under sections 6(a) and 6(b) of the OIA.

The information at issue in this case was examined. It comprised reports from officials of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, the Ministry of Defence and the New Zealand Defence Force and included a report from the Chairman of the Bosnia Watch Group, as well as a report from the Secretary for Defence on his visit to Washington and a paper from the Ministers of Foreign Affairs and Trade and Defence to the Cabinet Strategy Subcommittee on Defence and External Relations. Following an examination of the information, it was concluded that although sections 6(a) and 6(b) applied to most of the information which had been deleted on the basis that the predicted prejudice was likely, some further information could be disclosed without prejudicing the interests protected by those provisions. The Minister made this further information available.

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.

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