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  • Request for copy of competitor’s licence deed

    Case notes
    Ferry service operator requested copy of competitor’s licence deed from ferry terminal facility owner—request refused under s 7(2)(b)(ii) LGOIMA on basis release would prejudice commercial position of licensee—licensee argued that it had originally negotiated licence in atmosphere of complete commercial confidentiality with then port authority at a time when neither party was subject to LGOIMA—Ombudsman considered s 8 LGOIMA and s 75 Local Government Act 2002—neither Act contains transitional or saving provisions concerning information held by private bodies that later become subject to this legislation—request for such information should therefore be considered in same way as any other LGOIMA request—Ombudsman found no commercial prejudice likely and strong public interest in release—facility owner released information.
  • Request for names and email addresses of people consulted on draft speech

    Case notes
    Recipients and senders of emails consulted—disclosure would not inhibit senior public servants from expressing free and frank opinions in future—however others would be inhibited
  • Request for comments on early draft cabinet papers

    Case notes
    Request for documents regarding Kyoto Protocol—information contained initial Treasury comments on draft versions of cabinet paper—part of informal consultation early in policy making process—concern that release would result in officials being less co-operative and formalise the process—withholding necessary to maintain effective conduct of public affairs
  • Request for land exchange agreement and valuations

    Case notes
    NZDF exchanging land with private land owners under the Public Works Act 1981—OIA request made to NZDF for copies of the exchange agreement and valuations of respective properties—NZDF refused under s 9(2)(i)—Ombudsman noted majority of information in standard form and already publicly available—unable to identify ‘commercial activity’—rather transaction was for defence purposes within the terms of the Public Works Act—NZDF released the information subject to the withholding of some information under s 9(2)(j) and s 9(2)(b)(ii)
  • Department of Corrections required to state reasons for security classification

    Case notes
    Prison inmate complained that his security classification had been unreasonably assessed and Ombudsman concluded the Department failed to provide ‘strong reasons’ (which must be stated)—Ombudsman found the Prison officers had based their classification on uncorroborated, unrecorded, verbal statement made by another inmate—Ombudsman upheld complaint based on inequitable situation that would result if prison relied solely on this information, however, the inmate released before any recommendation could be made
  • Department of Corrections revises guidelines on implications for visitors possessing drugs

    Case notes
    Prison banned inmate’s family members from visiting for 12-months after small amount of cannabis found in their possession—the inmate complained that the duration of ban was unreasonable but the Department of Corrections noted it had zero tolerance policy for drugs with an automatic 12-month prohibition order to be placed on anyone found with them on prison property—Ombudsman concluded blanket ban unreasonable and the Department agreed each case to be considered on merits and prepared guidelines for prisons—Ombudsman advised inmate to apply for a review of prohibition order under the new guidelines
  • Department of Corrections accepts obligation to consider inmates’ circumstances when deciding work and educational paroles

    Case notes
    Refusal of work and educational paroles before inmate appeared before National Parole Board—inflexible policy inconsistent with concept of individual case management—review resulted in detailed case management plan for inmate
  • Request for documents prepared for Minister regarding Treaty of Waitangi claims

    Case notes
    Due particularity and duty to provide reasonable assistance—s 12(2) and 13
  • Request for amount of Government Securities beneficially owned by three major banks

    Case notes
    Amount of government securities beneficially owned by three major banks as at the end of January 1990—information supplied pursuant to s 36 of the Reserve Bank of New Zealand Act 1989—importance of timely and accurate supply of data—s 9(2)(ba)(i) applied—holdings of Government Stock at specified dates important indicator of liquidity—s 9(2)(b)(ii) applied—public interest in protecting the investing public addressed by the provisions of the Reserve Bank of New Zealand Act relating to prudential supervision
  • Request for sale and purchase agreement and deed of lease

    Case notes
    Request for NZ Post property agreements—ss 9(2)(b)(ii), 9(2)(i) and 9(2)(j)—no good reason to withhold either the deed of lease or the agreement for sale and purchase.
  • Request by unsuccessful tenderer for copies of tender submissions for removal of bodies

    Case notes
    Format of the tender in this particular case was such that disclosure of the prices would be likely to prejudice the successful tenderer’s commercial position—s 9(2)(b)(ii) applies
  • Request for price of successful tender to supply disposable syringes and needles

    Case notes
    Sections 9(2)(b)(ii) and 9(2)(i) do not apply—public interest in release to promote integrity and transparency of tender process
  • Request for information disclosed during confidential Ministerial briefing to sector group

    Case notes
    Request by Opposition for information disclosed during confidential Ministerial briefing to sector group—s 9(2)(g)(i)—effective conduct of public affairs—public interest balancing—accountability—need for transparency in Minister’s dealings with financial sector
  • Request for information relating to the setting up of the Special Committee on Nuclear Propulsion

    Case notes
    Request for information relating to the setting up of the Special Committee on Nuclear Propulsion—given the sensitivity of the nuclear propulsion issue and the context in which the information had been generated, the withholding of the information was necessary under ss 9(2)(f)(iv) and 9(2)(g)(i)—at the time of the review the balance of public interest favoured withholding the information requested—the overall public interest was better served in allowing the Special Committee to complete its review in an orderly manner
  • Request for Court Registrar’s report

    Case notes
    Report on aborted trial released with deletions—‘free and frank expressions of opinion’ by Registrar—no public interest override
  • Request for a copy of paper presented to Cabinet Strategy Committee

    Case notes
    Information deleted from position paper on pricing issues presented by ECNZ to Cabinet Strategy Committee—ss 9(2)(g)(i) and 9(2)(j) applied to some of the information—interest in withholding information in certain sections of the paper outweighed by strong public interest in disclosure—s 9(1)—electricity pricing has a direct widespread impact on a large number of New Zealanders
  • Request for quotation submitted by a Government Department

    Case notes
    Requester sought quotation information—amount apportioned by the department as royalties and copyright charges formed part of the department’s marketing and pricing strategy within a competitive market—also in circumstances of this case release of quotation would enable a calculation of how the quotation was made up
  • Request for price of successful tender to supply medical product

    Case notes
    No unreasonable prejudice—public interest in release to promote integrity and transparency of tender process
  • Request for amounts paid to private sector consultants for asset sale advice

    Case notes
    Request for amounts paid to private sector consultants for asset sale advice—initially refused under ss 9(2)(b)(ii) and 9(2)(j)—not possible to deduce individual fee structures or methodology from the information at issue—s 9(2)(b)(ii) did not apply—information at issue would be, at most, of a background nature (since it related to a different transaction) and was at a high level of generality—s 9(2)(j) did not apply—while the information might be considered by firms in deciding whether to pitch a proposal for a particular advisory contract, s 9(2)(i) not satisfied—argument that disclosure may result in a reduction in number of advisors willing to undertake Government work not persuasive due to the vigorous competition for the contracts—strong public interest in release to permit scrutiny of the level of expenditure and questions to be asked about the use of advisers and the decisions that have been taken
  • Request for communications between Taranaki Harbours Board and Topside Construction Joint Venture

    Case notes
    Request for communications between Harbours Board and TCJV concerning difficulties in the sharing of costs of preparatory work on consents for a reclamation—Board ‘neither confirms nor denies the existence or non-existence’ of the information—reference to s 7(2)(b)—Ombudsman not satisfied that confirming the existence of information relevant to the request would be likely unreasonably to prejudice the commercial position of TCJV—Board continued to refuse the request under s 7(2)(i)—good reason to withhold only some of the information—Board agreed to release information and to reconsider the balance when the negotiations over the dispute had been completed
  • Request for gradings awarded to funding applications to Foundation for Research, Science and Technology

    Case notes
    Request for gradings of funding applications to Foundation for Research, Science and Technology—information withheld under s 9(2)(b)(ii)—commercial position of applicants would be prejudiced by identifying grades awarded to each application—Foundation’s agreement to provide numbers of gradings without identifying information adequately met the public interest in disclosure