Government agencies are committed to openness and transparency in the provision of public services to New Zealanders. The OIA gives New Zealanders the right to access information and is important for ensuring government is open and transparent.
This is why the State Services Commission publishes Official Information Act (OIA) statistics covering 111 different government agencies every six months. The Commission is working with the Office of the Ombudsman and government agencies to make more information publicly available and improve compliance with the OIA.
The Commission and the Office of the Ombudsman have published information on different aspects of compliance with the OIA.
OIA statistics for the State services
The Commission has published the third set of OIA statistics covering 111 different government agencies who are subject to the Act.
This third set of statistics captures five elements:
- the number of requests completed from 1 July 2017 to 31 December 2017
- the number and proportion of these requests where legislative timeliness requirements were met
- the number of responses proactively published on an agency’s website
- complaints to the Ombudsman
- Ombudsman final views issued against an agency.
Over time the information on performance that is gathered and published will be expanded to provide a more comprehensive picture of compliance with the letter and spirit of the Act.
The State Services Commission is working to create a consistent and comprehensive set of data for analysing agencies’ performance over time.
The Commission has published guidance and other materials for agencies to help them improve their capability and streamline their OIA processes. Further Guidance is planned.
This assists agencies to increase their understanding of their OIA workload and work-flow and enable better compliance with the Act.
The OIA applies to more agencies in the wider public sector, and over time the statistics we publish will extend to cover more agencies.
Complaints data published by the Chief Ombudsman
The Office of the Ombudsman publishes information on complaints about agencies’ OIA responses.
The OIA performance statistics released by the Commission provide important context for the complaints data, as the number of complaints received does not on its own provide an accurate picture of compliance with the OIA.
Agencies with high levels of engagement with New Zealanders also tend to receive the largest numbers of OIA requests. While larger numbers of OIA requests may be associated with higher numbers of complaints to the Ombudsman, the number of complaints as a proportion of requests received may be in line with, or even lower than agencies with smaller numbers of requests.
The Chief Ombudsman’s report is available on the Office on the Ombudsman’s website.