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News / Agencies must respond as soon as possible to all requests - Chief Ombudsman

Agencies must respond as soon as possible to all requests - Chief Ombudsman

Agencies must respond as soon as possible to all requests - Chief Ombudsman

Posted September 08, 2020
Media Release

Media Release: Chief Ombudsman Peter Boshier

Chief Ombudsman Peter Boshier has released the latest Official Information Act (OIA) and Local Government Official Information and Meetings Act (LGOIMA) data.

The number of complaints about delayed OIA responses dropped slightly in the six months to 30 June 2020 from the same period the previous year, from 157 to 144.

‘This is a good result, especially considering agencies were facing COVID-19 challenges during this period,’ says Mr Boshier.

However the figures for the full year to 30 June 2020 were less encouraging, with complaints about delays rising five percent to 334.

‘These results show we still have a long way to go,’ says Mr Boshier.

‘Agencies must respond as soon as possible to all requests. It’s a legal requirement, not a target, and I am determined to see all agencies meet it.

‘On the other hand it is good to see complaints about refusals to respond to OIA requests dropped by five percent over the year, even though it’s too early to say if this is a trend.’

In the six months to 30 June 2020 the Ombudsman received 551 OIA complaints and 154 LGOIMA complaints.

‘As always, I would encourage agencies to pay attention to avoiding delays and be more transparent rather than reverting to releasing minimal amounts of information,’ says Mr Boshier.