Appendix A: Recommendations

Chapter 13 – Oversight OF OFFICIAL INFORMATION LEGISLATION

Functions of the Ombudsmen

R105The Ombudsmen should continue to have the statutory function of investigating complaints under section 28 of the OIA and section 27 of the LGOIMA.

R106The Ombudsmen should have the statutory function of providing guidance on the official information legislation, as recommended in R1.

Oversight functions

R107The OIA and LGOIMA should include the following functions so as to provide leadership and whole-of-government oversight, and to promote the purposes of the legislation: policy advice; review; statistical oversight; promotion of best practice; oversight of training; oversight of requester guidance and annual reporting.

R108The policy advice function should cover all official information related policies and legislation and should include:

(a)co-ordinating official information policy and practice with other government information management and pro-active information release policies;

(b)advising on the regulation of official information as appropriate and as referred by government;

(c)advising on official information aspects of new legislation and the establishment of new public agencies; and

(d)advising on any matter affecting the operation of the official information legislation.

R109The operational review function should include:

(a)receiving and investigating complaints about the operation of the legislation;

(b)reviewing agency practice in relation to certain aspects of the legislation;

(c)undertaking a five year review of the operation of the official information legislation, aligned with reviews of the Privacy Act 1993 and the Public Records Act 2005.

R110The statistical oversight function should include ensuring essential statistics about the operation of the official information legislation are collected and maintained. A new statutory provision should state that regulations may be made specifying which statistics must be kept by agencies.

R111The promotion of best practice function should include developing best practice models and cross-agency guidelines.

R112The oversight of training function should include providing and co-ordinating assistance to agencies to deliver training.

R113The oversight of requester guidance function should include ensuring that appropriate assistance is available to requesters, such as by way of a dedicated website.

 

R114The annual reporting function should include making an annual report to the relevant Minister on the operation of official information legislation.

R115The oversight function should be established in accordance with the following five principles:

(a)Responsibility for oversight of the OIA and LGOIMA should be vested in a single office or office holder.

(b)The office or office holder should be established by statute.

(c)The statutory office or office holder should be accountable to the purposes of the official information legislation when providing advice to government.

(d)The statutory office or office holder should be integrated into the wider strategic management of government-held information.

(e)The statutory office or office holder should be established on an ongoing, not short-term, basis.