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  • Request for information about senior employee’s departure and personal expenses

    Case notes
    Section 9(2)(a) OIA applied—privacy and confidentiality in employment context—s 9(2)(ba)(ii) OIA applied—settlement agreement contained express obligation of confidence—release would be likely to damage the public interest by making it more difficult to
  • Request for information about Police investigation into complaint against Minister

    Case notes
    Section 6(c) OIA did not apply—no prejudice to the maintenance of the law in circumstances where the investigation had concluded and no charges had been laid—s 9(2)(a) applied—high privacy interest given the nature of the allegations and the fact that n
  • Request for information about investigation of ECan’s performance

    Case notes
    Section 9(2)(ba)(i) OIA did not apply to interview notes in their ‘totality’—however, it applied to names and identifying details—express obligation of confidence—release would be likely to prejudice the future supply of similar information—it is in the
  • Request for information about Half Moon Bay Marina arbitration

    Case notes
    Section 7(2)(c)(ii) LGOIMA applied—obligation of confidence under Arbitration Act 1996—release would be likely to damage the public interest in maintaining the integrity of the arbitral process, and reduce the effectiveness of arbitration as a means for
  • Request for policy advice behind merger of Archives and National Library

    Case notes
    Release of formal advice to Ministers about abandoned options after decisions had been made would not inhibit the free and frank expression of opinions by officials—s 9(2)(g)(i) does not apply
  • Investigation of the Department of Corrections in relation to an incident of self-harm at Christchurch Women’s Prison and the issuing of strip gowns to prisoners at risk of self harm

    Systemic investigations
    In July 2009, in accordance with the Protocol made pursuant to section 160 of the Corrections Act, I received notification from the Department of Corrections of an incident of prisoner self-harm that had occurred in the At-Risk Unit (ARU) of Christchurch Women’s Prison (CHWO).
  • Investigation of the Department of Corrections in relation to an incident of self-harm at New Plymouth Prison and the Department’s disposable safety razor policy

    Systemic investigations
    On 11 May 2009, the Department of Corrections instituted a new national policy on razor blades for prisoners. The purpose of the policy was to reduce the number of incidents involving razor blades. It applied to those prisoners accommodated in High Security, Remand and Youth Units. These prisoners would no longer be allowed to stockpile or keep issue razor blades. The aim of the policy was interpreted as intending to limit the opportunity for self-harm by misuse of razor blades.
  • Request for complaint against a health provider

    Case notes
    Privacy interest balanced against public interest in ensuring natural justice—public interest met by release of summary information
  • Department of Corrections made errors in documentation but parole hearing set correctly

    Case notes
    Whether Department of Corrections staff failed complainant with respect to a Parole Board hearing—Ombudsman found errors in documentation but complainant not disadvantaged
  • Department of Corrections unreasonable to place prisoner with mental illness in mainstream unit

    Case notes
    Whether the Department of Corrections was unreasonable to place prisoner in mainstream unit given specific medical condition of mental illness—Ombudsman upheld complaint
  • Request for Police prosecution file

    Case notes
    Section 9(2)(a) OIA applied—low privacy interest in information that was either known to the requester or publicly available was outweighed by the public interest in the requester knowing the full details of the accident that led to her mother’s death—r
  • Request for audit information regarding JobPlus scheme

    Case notes
    Draft audit report was identical to final audit report—no good reason to withhold the final audit report so no good reason to withhold the draft—good reason to withhold auditor’s informal and early working papers under s 9(2)(g)(i)—disclosure of the working papers would make auditors more circumspect in what they record, and when and how they record it
  • Request for Minister/Chief Executive discussions

    Case notes
    Disclosure of full record of recollection of discussion between Minister and Chief Executive would inhibit future expression of free and frank opinions—summary of recollection released
  • Request for all information about an audit

    Case notes
    Section 9(2)(ba)(i) OIA applied to staff interview records—implied obligation of confidence—release would be likely to prejudice the future supply of information to auditors—it is in the public interest for staff members to cooperate with audits—s 9(2)(
  • Request for auditor’s working papers

    Case notes
    Disclosure of auditor’s scoping discussions and working papers would make auditors more circumspect in what they record, and when and how they record it—good reason to withhold under s 9(2)(g)(i)
  • Request for offender’s photo on police file

    Case notes
    Rape victim sought photograph of attacker whose face she had never seen—Police refused the request to protect the privacy of the offender—s 9(2)(a) applied—public interest in assisting victims of crime to recover from trauma and move on with their lives—balance of competing privacy and public interest considerations needed to be made—appropriate to make photograph available for viewing subject to appropriate conditions
  • Request for qualifications and work history of staff at Polytechnic Department

    Case notes
    Request for details about staff at Polytechnic—withheld under s 9(2)(a) to protect privacy—public interest in ensuring employment practices of Polytechnic are transparent and fair—met by summary release of staff details and selection process
  • 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
  • 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
  • Request for DHB draft annual plan

    Case notes
    District Health Board—draft annual plan—need for Board and Minister of Health to reach agreement on plan prior to release—New Zealand Public Health and Disability Act 2000
  • Request for answers to Parliamentary questions

    Case notes
    Request to Housing New Zealand Limited for alternative Parliamentary answers prepared for Minister of Housing—request refused under s 9(2)(g)(i)—ss 9(2)(f)(iv) and 9(2)(ba)(ii) discussed—meaning of ‘officials’—obligation of confidence applied—s 9(2)(ba)(ii) applied—parliamentary process satisfied public interest
  • Request for hydrological data

    Case notes
    Request for hydrological data—supplier of information to local authority opposed to release to the requester—prejudice to future supply
  • Request for list of persons banned from entering New Zealand

    Case notes
    Request for list of persons banned from entering New Zealand—privacy considerations—public interest in disclosure did not outweigh reason to withhold
  • Request for results of disciplinary investigation

    Case notes
    Request for results of disciplinary investigation undertaken by Fire Service Commission and related correspondence—significant privacy interests not outweighed by countervailing public interest, subject to release of an appropriate balanced statement
  • Request for information about potentially contaminated sites

    Case notes
    Request for information about potentially contaminated sites—Regional Council held information not known to District Council—privacy interests requiring protection—Land Information Memoranda—public health interests recognised—information withheld from requester but released to owner/occupier and District Council—complaint settled by agreement
  • Request for a report about the escape of a psychiatric patient from a secure forensic unit

    Case notes
    Request for report prepared by Capital and Coast District Health Board after escape by psychiatric patient from the secure forensic unit—information withheld—clinical information about patient protected—public interest identified in accountability of CCDHB for escape and steps taken to prevent future escapes—short statement released
  • Request for information about action taken by a university after a student was convicted of fraud

    Case notes
    Request by journalist for information about action taken by a university after a student was convicted of fraud in relation to applications for aegrotat passes—s 9(2)(a) applied—public interest satisfied by release of media statement explaining action taken
  • Request for report of misappropriation of funds and fraud by employee

    Case notes
    Request for internal investigation report into allegations of misappropriation of funds and fraud by senior employee of Fire Service Commission—information withheld to protect privacy—legitimate concern about the expenditure of public monies—summary released
  • Department of Corrections failed to meet requirements before placing inmate in restrictive regime

    Case notes
    Department of Corrections placement of inmate on restrictive regime designed for the most disruptive inmates unreasonable because criteria for placement not met—placement deemed unreasonable—inmate immediately returned to mainstream
  • Department of Corrections applies prison visiting rules too rigidly

    Case notes
    Special family visit to inmate denied—decision contrary to Department's national standard—prison agreed to review its local instructions to ensure consistency with spirit and intent of national standard