Written By: - Date published: 7:03 am, June 17th, 2017 - 18 comments
Simon Bridges tried to block the release of a report on a Kiwirail proposal. The Ombudsman warns against flouting the Official Information Act. But it’s a well established pattern of behaviour with this government.
Written By: - Date published: 10:03 am, June 24th, 2016 - 63 comments
Rebstock’s report into into leaks from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade has been absolutely torn apart by the Ombudsman, with multiple serious flaws identified. This morning Key expressed his continuing confidence in Rebstock. Of course.
Written By: - Date published: 9:16 am, April 8th, 2016 - 15 comments
One of the few things the Nats normally excel at, is selecting a suitably unqualified flunkey to ensure an office they have no regard for is suitably undermined – witness the Race Relations Commissioner. Why then Boshier, whose only previous was an eight year stretch as a highly competent and effective Principal Family Court Judge? […]
Written By: - Date published: 8:15 am, December 9th, 2015 - 14 comments
Yesterday saw the release of the Obmudsman’s review of the operation of the OIA. I think it makes clear an unacceptable level of political interference in the process – albeit not at the level that was rampant in Dirty Politics.
Written By: - Date published: 7:33 am, November 27th, 2015 - 38 comments
The Official Information Act is now moribund and access to information beyond its scope is granted only to a chosen few and under strict conditions.
Written By: - Date published: 10:44 am, October 15th, 2015 - 23 comments
The High Court recently found that Government and Tim Groser improperly considered Prof. Jane Kelsey’s application for information concerning the TPPA negotiations. The Nats aren’t happy. The Ombudsman isn’t happy. Tough.
Written By: - Date published: 8:13 am, September 19th, 2014 - 104 comments
The words of the title of this post are those of the Ombudsman, reflecting on yet another typical Nat government scandal as broken by David Fisher in The Herald this morning.
Written By: - Date published: 10:00 am, July 2nd, 2014 - 9 comments
The Office of the Ombudsman has budgeted to deal with 800 Official Information Act (OIA) complaints. Last year it got 1913. Other areas of its operations are also underfunded. The Ombudsman is our watchdog against the government. If we want it to do that job effectively, it needs to be funded properly. Watching government departments drag out OIA requests may be fun for ministers, but it doesn’t help the transparency that our democracy needs.
Written By: - Date published: 2:20 pm, April 3rd, 2014 - 3 comments
Last month, we learned that Judith Collins had taken time off a taxpayer-funded trip to China to endorse her husband’s company – a company which had also donated significant sums of money to the National Party. The endorsement appeared to violate the Cabinet Manual, but John Key stepped up and claimed that the Cabinet Office said it was all OK. Then, just a few days later, he admitted that he’d lied about that. In the process, he implicitly raised serious questions about the quality of the Cabinet Office’s advice.
Written By: - Date published: 7:17 am, September 28th, 2012 - 31 comments
The Chief Ombudsmen has attacked the government’s moves to keep official information secret, calling them “highly dangerous”. The ongoing GCSB and John Banks scandals show just how important it is to be able to hold the government – at all levels – to account.
Written By: - Date published: 6:04 pm, December 30th, 2011 - 25 comments
We have a government department which has acted deliberately to thwart judicial and Ombudsman oversight, for reasons of its own convenience, apparently in violation of New Zealand law. The question is whether the Minister will act – or whether he will effectively endorse this situation with his silence.