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  • Request for advice and ‘think piece’ on reprioritisation or savings in Vote Education

    Case notes
    Disclosure of internal discussion documents and advice to Ministers would prejudice ongoing decision making process—disclosure of internal ‘think piece’ would inhibit future expression of free and frank opinions by officials—ss 9(2)(f)(iv) and 9(2)(g)(i) provide good reason to withhold
  • Request for draft briefings to the incoming government

    Case notes
    Disclosure of draft briefings to the incoming government would make officials reluctant to be so free and frank in expressing their initial and untested views and cause them to prefer less efficient and transparent verbal exchanges—section 9(2)(g)(i) applies
  • Request for details of risk management processes

    Case notes
    Request for details of risk management processes—relevant documents provided apart from the ‘risk register’—register consisted of free and frank expressions of opinion—release might undermine risk management strategy—public interest met by release of Risk Management Policy
  • Serious Fraud Office decision to withhold information under the SFO Act found not to be unreasonable in Ombudsmen Act terms

    Case notes
    The secrecy provisions of Serious Fraud Office Act 1990 and its relationship with Official Information Act were considered in an investigation involving the Serious Fraud Office—a complaint had been made to that agency about an allegation of fraud by a bank official and the agency found no evidence of fraud—the complainant pursued the matter in court, requesting information from the SFO which was declined on the basis of the SFO’s discretion to withhold information—the Ombudsman concluded the OIA did not apply to the information at issue but under the Ombudsmen Act the withholding of the information could be considered (being a decision in terms of the Ombudsmen Act)—the Ombudsman found the SFO’s use of discretion was not unreasonable
  • Department of Conservation resolves impasse concerning ivory-key piano held by New Zealand Customs

    Case notes
    Refusal to release piano imported from United Kingdom—family heirloom from 1920s—need for approval of Department of Conservation under CITES because of ivory content—conflict between New Zealand legislation implementing CITES and European Community Regulations—impasse resolved by acceptance of statutory declaration by family—conflict to be raised with CITES Secretariat