The Chief Ombudsman, Peter Boshier, has published his half-yearly data on Official Information Act and Local Government Official Information Act complaints.
The data covers the number of complaints received and the number completed by the Ombudsman in the period 1 January 2022 to 30 June 2022.
The number of complaints about Official Information Act (OIA) responses received was 1,309. However, this included close to 550 from one complainant regarding responses from school boards of trustees.
“It is unusual to receive such a large number of complaints from just one person at the same time. This has created an anomaly in our data for this six-month period,” Mr Boshier says.
“The total number of complaints put a huge amount of pressure on the resources of my office but I applaud my staff for their hard work in being able to complete 1,141 OIA complaints in the past six months.”
“It has had an impact on other aspects of my work, however, and my office is still dealing with a very large workload.”
A total of 2201 OIA complaints were received in the year to 30 June 2022, and the number completed 1807.
In the six months to 30 June 2022, 206 complaints about Local Government Official information and Meetings Act (LGOIMA) responses were received by the Ombudsman, and 155 were completed.
For the year to 30 June 2022, the number of LGOIMA complaints was 358. The number completed was 266.
The biannual data published today covers complaints about both Acts for the period 1 January 2022 to 30 June 2022.
As well as the Ombudsman’s data, Te Kawa Mataaho Public Service Commission published its half-yearly data on OIA requests received by agencies, and their response times.
Mr Boshier has acknowledged the work of the Commission to increase the amount of data published on agency compliance with the OIA.
“I am reassured by the Public Service Commissioner Peter Hughes’ commitment to open and transparent government and ensuring agencies are meeting their obligations with the publication of this expanded data,” Mr Boshier says.
The data released by the Ombudsman concerns both OIA and LGOIMA complaints received and completed from 1 January 2022 to 30 June 2022. It includes information on the number of complaints received by Minister or agency, the nature of the complaint and type of complainant (media, private individual, etc). For the complaints completed, the data also includes the outcome of the complaint.
The data does not enable a direct comparison among agencies, as complaints data on its own does not give the full picture. The number of complaints received by the Ombudsman may be a very small proportion of the total number of OIA or LGOIMA requests received by an agency.