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  • Decision to implement locked cell policy

    Case notes
    Complaint about the negative effects of implementing a locked cell policy in the Kaaka North and South pods at Northland Region Corrections Facility – Chief Ombudsman found that the implementation was unreasonable – the significant consequences (lack of
  • Decision to release tender information in response to Official Information Act request

    Case notes
    Complaint about a decision to release information under the Official Information Act—Ministry consulted adequately with affected party—Ministry took into account affected party’s submissions, all relevant considerations, principle of availability, legis
  • Extension of time limit to enable kanohi ki te kanohi consultation

    Case notes
    Extension to enable kanohi ki te kanohi consultation on OIA request reasonable in the circumstances
  • Request for information about death in custody

    Case notes
    Request for all correspondence about death in custody—unreasonable to rely on sections 9(2)(a) and 9(2)(ba)(i) without compiling and reviewing the information—subsequent reliance on section 18(f) (substantial collation or research) also unjustified—
  • Report on issues involving the criminal justice sector

    Systemic investigations
    The following is my report consequent on a reference directed to me by the Prime Minister to investigate the administration of the criminal justice system. The Terms of Reference directed to me are attached as Appendix A. By agreement the reporting date was extended to 1 December 2007. I note that my report is to be tabled in Parliament. My investigation has been conducted in accordance with the provisions in the Ombudsmen Act 1975.
  • Request for costs of advertising campaign

    Case notes
    Release would undermine strategy to increase advertising revenue—s 9(2)(i) applies
  • Request for draft report on Department of Labour internal controls prepared by KPMG

    Case notes
    Document labelled ‘draft’ really a final—author was a consultant who would not be deterred from expressing free and frank opinions in future—s 9(2)(g)(i) does not apply
  • Request for composition and active ingredients of veterinary medicine

    Case notes
    Early release of product formulation would inform competitors of what will be brought to market, enabling them to impede the product’s entry or bolster their own marketing—the likely degree of impact would be unreasonable—public interest in promoting public participation does not outweigh the need to withhold—s 9(2)(b)(ii) applies
  • Charge for supply of information about Maori interests in the management of petroleum

    Case notes
    Charge avoided by allowing inspection subject to conditions
  • Request for TVNZ footage of court case

    Case notes
    Footage could be used by other producers and so disadvantage TVNZ in carrying out its commercial activity as a broadcaster of news, current affairs and documentaries—s 9(2)(i) applies
  • Request for transcripts of Police communications in relation to emergency calls

    Case notes
    No blanket protection for operational discussions between Police officers—need for withholding had to be assessed with regard to the content of the actual communications at issue—opinions expressed were ‘free and frank’ but were not ‘necessary’ for effective conduct of public affairs—details about the communications already publicly available—s 9(2)(g)(i) did not apply and even if it did it was outweighed by strong public interest in release
  • Request for draft responses to OIA requests

    Case notes
    Releasing draft OIA responses would be likely to inhibit the future free and frank expression of opinions—s 9(2)(g)(i) applies
  • Corrections unreasonable not to pay for inmate’s glasses for re-integration programme

    Case notes
    Long serving prison inmate required glasses to participate in reintegration programme and work in prison tailor shop—Department of Corrections refused to pay for glasses unless inmate would refund them through his prison earnings—inmate later found out Department had paid for another inmate’s glasses in full—Ombudsman sustained complaint that inmate was not treated fairly—refund to inmate of money paid recommended.
  • 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
  • Extension of time limit to consult Minister

    Case notes
    Extension of time—not necessary for the department to consult with the Minister in order to make a decision on the request
  • 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