Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Denying us official information

The Office of the Ombudsman has released its annual report and has noted that some public servants are playing games and using stalling tactics to delay requests under the Official Information Act.

Since April this year Beverley Wakem has been the Chief Ombudsman and she is taking a harder line on those who purposely stall OIA requests, particularly when the Ombudsman is involved. Although she hasn't named the Government departments concerned, next year she may. She will take a harder line and audit those departments and ministerial offices, such as Police, Social Development and Health, probably ACC too; and possibly naming them. One of them took a whole year to answer an OIA after it was referred to the Ombudsman. The statutory time limit is 20 working days.

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