Request for political consultation emails

Free and frank opinions
Legislation:
Official Information Act 1982
Section 9
Legislation display text:
Official Information Act 1982, ss 9(2)(f)(ii), 9(2)(f)(iv), 9(2)(g)(i)
Agency:
State Services Commission
Ombudsman:
Peter Boshier
Issue date:
Format:
PDF,
Word
Language:
English

The Minister of State Services refused to provide two emails that revealed the comments provided by the Green Party in response to consultation on a proposed Cabinet paper. The information was refused on the basis that withholding was necessary to maintain the constitutional convention protecting the confidentiality of advice to Ministers (section 9(2)(f)(iv) of the Official Information Act 1982 (OIA)).

The Chief Ombudsman's final opinion is that the Minister was entitled to refuse the request in order to maintain the effective conduct of public affairs through the free and frank expression of opinions (section 9(2)(g)(i) of the OIA), and that section 9(2)(f)(iv) is not applicable in the circumstances of this particular case.

Last updated: