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  • Request for documentation about ‘Ageing in Place’ contract

    Case notes
    Release of detailed proposals and component prices would have an adverse effect on tenderers’ responses to future tenders issued by the DHB, which would damage the public interest—s 9(2)(ba)(ii) OIA applies—release would have an inhibiting effect in future on the quality of the documentation associated with the DHB’s contract negotiations and tender evaluation, which would be prejudicial to the future conduct of such tenders—s 9(2)(g)(i) applies
  • Request for discussions between Ministers on business before Cabinet

    Case notes
    Discussions between Ministers on business before Cabinet imbued with a presumption of confidentiality—s 9(2)(g)(i) provides good reason to withhold undocumented discussions
  • Request for draft public discussion document regarding auditor regulation

    Case notes
    Close-to-final draft containing limited evidence of opinion material—risk of public misunderstanding of the status of this draft document did not justify withholding and could be addressed by disclosure of contextual information—strong public interest in transparency of the policy development process given full-scale public consultation no longer intended
  • Inland Revenue Department not unreasonable to decline ex gratia payment

    Case notes
    Inland Revenue Department (IRD) refused to provide financial compensation for error—complainant not affected financially by error—Ombudsman concluded IRD reasonable to offer apology and instalment plan for repayment of money sent in error to complainant
  • Inland Revenue agrees to offer ex gratia payment for error

    Case notes
    IRD delayed advising student of loan liability—IRD agrees to offer complainant ex gratia payment representing the accrued interest for the period the loan repayment had been outstanding
  • 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
  • Inland Revenue Department agrees to review decision to withhold information under Tax Administration Act

    Case notes
    Inland Revenue withheld information requested by taxpayer relating to audit and prosecution and contained on taxpayer’s income tax review file and penal action file—the reason for withholding was pursuant to s 81(4)(I) of Tax Administration Act—the Department was encouraged to reconsider the discretion used in this case in light of Tax Disputes Resolution Procedures introduced subsequent to the decision having been made—IRD agreed and on review released most of the information, hence the investigation was closed as the complaint was resolved
  • Inland Revenue agrees to write-off Child Support debt in circumstances

    Case notes
    Woman was overpaid Child Support when the child was no longer in custodian’s care—despite advising the then Department of Social Welfare (now Ministry of Social Development) and the then Child Support Agency, Inland Revenue Department advised custodian she needed to repay payments—complainant custodian claimed she had no means of knowing payments were being made incorrectly—Ombudsman’s investigation indicated appropriate action had not been taken by the Department when the complainant made inquiries—as a result, IRD agreed to write-off the debt in accordance with s152 of the Child Support Act 1991 and apologise to complainant
  • 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