Chapter 12: Proactive release and publication


Reform: justification, impacts and options

Justification for a legislative provision

We strongly believe that it is desirable for agencies progressively to take steps to proactively release official information where appropriate. Our considered view is that the official information legislation, as the central legislation promoting freedom of information, should include a clear statement about the use of proactive release as a disclosure method. The official information legislation is our preferred vehicle for expressing the concept of proactive release in legislative terms. It would ensure that proactive release serves the broadest range of purposes for accessing and releasing public information. The official information legislation does not create any conditions on disclosure based on the purpose for which the information is sought and is therefore a suitable legislative framework for proactive release.

This is in line with the purpose of the legislation to make official information more freely available. Legislating for proactive release would further strengthen the central pillars of the official information legislation such as the principle of availability603 and the purpose of progressively increasing the availability of official information to the people of New Zealand.604

It is also congruent with the objectives of both the Declaration on Open and Transparent Government and NZGOAL. A legislative obligation would provide a legislative push and a statutory mandate for the open government agenda to ensure that it reaches its potential. A civil servant interviewed for a study of the UK open data experiences said that:605

There’s no legal obligation to publish open data, and until then it’s not going to happen uniformly or successfully. Until that happens, we won’t see the real benefits. That’s where we should be focussing.

Given the broad purpose of the legislation, it would seem odd if it continues to be structured primarily around individual requests as the key release mechanism, leaving proactive release to be dealt with solely at a policy level. While proactive release could be dealt with primarily as a matter of government policy without being specifically addressed in the official information legislation, we believe that this would be a missed opportunity. If the legislation lags behind government policy, there is the potential for confusion as to expectations.

Expressly bringing proactive release under the official information legislation would provide a more comprehensive framework as it would help both public agencies, and members of the public, to understand the connections and distinctions between the two disclosure methods. Some of these issues we discuss later in this chapter. An integrated legislative framework could also provide consistent oversight of agency practice in this area.

The openness of government information, subject to appropriate protections, is a highly relevant contextual cornerstone for the various cross-government information strategies such as the Digital Continuity Action Plan606 and the Justice Sector Information Strategy.607 An explicit proactive release provision would therefore be of value as a linkage between information policy and the official information framework.

We note the trend in overseas jurisdictions for proactive release to be included as a disclosure method in freedom of information legislation. There is a variety of proactive release provisions ranging from publication schemes608 to broader provisions authorising proactive release.609 A study of open data policies in the United Kingdom concluded that open data and its objectives should be addressed as a part of the freedom of information continuum.610

Finally, one of the suggested indicators for measuring government openness is whether officials have a legal obligation to proactively publish information and documents.611 An express legislative provision would therefore meet this aspect of good legislative design to promote open government.

Potential impacts of reform

The arguments in favour of proactive disclosure are clear. The ideal of open government is brought closer in that all citizens have the opportunity to be better informed about the workings of government. They all have equal and contemporaneous opportunity to access the information and are spared the need to ask for it. Indeed, they may receive more information than they would under a request, because the proactive disclosure may contain information they were unaware existed. Furthermore agencies are spared the trouble of having to respond to requests, perhaps many requests on the same matter. They are also relieved of the need to copy documents and transmit them to a requestor. Moreover proactive disclosure enables planned release, whereas requests can lead to unplanned workload. There are economic benefits resulting from such planning and the minimisation of duplication.

Proactive release may also help to reduce some of the difficulty associated with “due particularity” and fishing requests as greater proactive release of official information may help to crystallise for requesters any specific additional information they are seeking and provide a framework for these requests.612 The strategy, management and decision-making processes involved in proactive release may also provide a clearer framework for dealing with requests. If the issues relating to withholding versus release (including inter-agency consultation) have been assessed and canvassed within agencies at the point of proactive release, the subsequent process for handling requests should be clearer and facilitate more streamlined decision-making.613

Yet, while proactive release may be a means of reducing the administrative burden on agencies responding to requests for official information, it is clear that proactive release could never remove the workload associated with reactive release entirely. While it may well be reasonable to expect many reports, Cabinet papers and discussion documents to be published proactively, this will certainly not be all the information held by the agency. There will also be much correspondence, minutes of meetings, documents providing advice, internal memoranda and preliminary drafts. It would be unrealistic, and indeed undesirable, to expect all of this to be freely available on the agency’s website. So the traditional process of requesting under the OIA and LGOIMA will always constitute a significant activity.

Proactive release can lead to supplementary requests for background information and for information that has been withheld from proactively released documents.614 And, particularly for a small agency, the requirement to proactively release large quantities of information carries its own not insubstantial compliance costs. We have also heard an argument that an obligation to release information might further inhibit “free and frank” advice. In other words, documents might be written with an eye to safety, and assume a blandness so as not to invite controversy.615

In our assessment however, there are likely to be observable improvements in the management of the official information workload through greater proactive release. We would expect routine requests for official information to be reduced, as the Acts provide that information that has been proactively released does not need to be provided separately to requesters.616 Proactive release should therefore replace reactive release in relation to many cases, but still leaving others to be handled as reactive requests.617

Using proactive release to successfully reduce the current burden of dealing with OIA requests will also depend on the larger issues of improving interaction between the disciplines of records management, information technology and data publishing, and clarifying roles and responsibilities within information management. Enabling proactive release may require some additional investment in organisational systems, planning and strategy development to the extent that current systems are suboptimal. Resourcing in these areas however, could be expected to reduce some of the burden currently falling on senior staff in responding to individual requests for the reasons outlined above.

Proactive release will give rise to ancillary issues and challenges for agencies such as helping individuals to find relevant information across multiple websites through indexing and search tools. Another challenge is ensuring that the information released is understandable and readily useable by the public (in terms of the quality of the content of the information, associated metadata, and the format of the information).618 In addition, are the challenges of ensuring that information published on the web is accessible to everyone, including people with disabilities.619 Further policy work assisting agencies to assess their information and data holdings and to make and be accountable for release assessments will be needed.620 These issues will require education and guidance.

Legislative options

We have no doubt that proactive release is the way of the future. We have noted the initiatives already in place and the progress already being made. The question is how the shift towards proactive release should now be reflected in the official information legislation. The principal options are:

(a)Including a level of prescription as to what information agencies should release proactively; or

(b)A more general “best efforts” type of provision that would require agencies to take what steps they can to proactively release official information, tailored to departmental circumstances; or

(c)A publication scheme approach, where agencies list the type of information that they will proactively release.

In preference to a provision mandating proactive release in any particular way, we favour the second option, a statutory provision that would place a duty on agencies to take all reasonably practicable steps to proactively make information publicly available, tailored to departmental circumstances. Although this approach would place an obligation on agencies to develop a release strategy, agencies would retain the discretion to determine the priorities for proactive release, taking into account matters such as the type of information held by the agency and the public interest in it, the resources of that agency, and any relevant government policy such as the Declaration on Open and Transparent Government which directs, invites or encourages the agency to release information. A duty to take reasonable steps would allow agencies the flexibility to develop their own proactive release strategy that is particular to the agency’s role, functions and resources. Guidance in this area will also be needed, as we discuss further below.

While a legislative duty as to proactive release was supported by some submitters on the basis that this is the obvious next step in the evolution of freedom of information and open government, and as being preferable to more bureaucratic approaches, the majority of submissions from agencies that would be subject to the duty did not endorse this proposal in the issues paper.621 There were concerns about whether this sort of provision is necessary to encourage greater proactive release, the financial implications for agencies and how such a provision might be enforced. The proposal did receive support however from submitters representing requesters and freedom of information interests such as the media.

We have noted that proactive release is not without its costs, and one cannot expect all agencies large and small to move at the same pace. Nevertheless we believe an “all reasonable steps” provision would incentivise agencies to move progressively towards more open availability. We have also noted that it aligns with current government policy as expressed in the Declaration on Open and Transparent Government and NZGOAL. The Better Public Services Advisory Group Report noted that the government’s commitment to releasing high value public data as reflected in the Declaration “is a good start that can be built from.”622 A positive duty to take a planned and systematic approach towards proactive release, would, in our assessment, fit this objective to build on and support the government’s demonstrated commitment to the release of public sector information.

Although the proposed statutory provision to take all reasonably practicable steps towards proactive release is not a particularly strong one as it does not mandate any particular requirements, we think it strikes the appropriate balance between government and public expectations that agencies will progressively release useful official information, on the one hand, and allowing agencies the flexibility and autonomy to create their own proactive release strategies as priorities, resources and other circumstances allow, on the other hand. We also believe that agencies will be best placed to assess the value of the information they hold, to assess public demand for it and to prioritise proactive release accordingly.

We further recommend that agencies include proactive release strategies and progress reporting in their annual accountability documents (i.e. Statement of Intent, Annual Report or equivalent). This aligns with the Declaration on Open and Transparent Government which asks agencies to report regularly to their Ministers on their progress in releasing high value public data for re-use.

R85A new provision in the OIA and LGOIMA should place a duty on agencies to take all reasonably practicable steps to proactively make official information publicly available, taking into account matters such as the type of information held by the agency and the public interest in it, the agency’s resources and any relevant government policy.

R86Agencies should include proactive release strategies and progress reports in their annual accountability documents.


Which agencies should be subject to a proactive release duty?

One threshold question is which agencies should be subject to a proactive release duty. We see the policy choice in relation to legislative coverage as being between:

(a)An umbrella provision that would apply to all agencies within the legislation’s ambit; or

(b)A more staged approach with a provision targeted to some key agencies initially, with a view to expanding coverage to other agencies at some future point.

Agencies subject to the OIA cover a wide range, from Ministers and Government Departments at one end to small entities such as School Boards of Trustees at the other. In the issues paper we were inclined to think that the duty should be confined to Departments, Crown entities and local authorities in Part 1 of the first schedule of LGOIMA to begin with.623 Some submitters agreed with this, although a smaller number thought that the same rules should apply to all. It was suggested that it may be easier for small agencies to comply and important that they do so where they play an important role in their communities (for example, school boards).

The new provision we recommend is a flexible one, so that each agency will be able to develop its own reasonable standard of release, rather than having to meet an externally imposed requirement. This means that some larger central agencies will be required to take meaningful steps to implement a proactive release strategy, in light of the government directive, while some smaller agencies such as school boards may not have to do much at all in present circumstances.

An umbrella provision would essentially provide a statement of principle as to the desirability of proactive release, which agencies could implement as their particular circumstances allow. It would send a clear signal to all public agencies about the expectation that proactive release will be increasingly used as a channel to release official information and encourage agencies to do what they can to improve the availability of official information in this way.

In legislative terms, an umbrella provision may be less complex than differentiating between agencies under a staged approach, as it would be clear that the legislation applies to all agencies without carve-outs, although the strength of the obligation may vary depending on the circumstances of the particular agency and the information they hold. An umbrella provision would also ensure that there are no gaps in coverage between the official information legislation as it relates to proactive release and the Declaration on Open and Transparent Government or NZGOAL. An additional factor that supports an umbrella provision is ensuring that New Zealand does not fall behind comparable overseas jurisdictions that have opted to introduce mandatory proactive release requirements.

We are now persuaded that an umbrella provision that places a proactive release duty on all agencies is a principled basis on which to introduce the duty. We consider the provision that we recommend is sufficiently flexible to take account of agency concerns that it could impose an undue administrative burden.

Should there be a high level of agency concern, one option would be to defer the provision coming into force for a period of six or 12 months. This would allow agencies a lead time to plan for the implementation of the new requirement. It would also allow the oversight agency a period of time to explain the provision to agencies and provide support to agencies in the implementation of the new requirement.

Any deferment of the new provision taking effect should only be in relation to particular types of agency where such a deferment is necessary. A general deferment is not required given that government departments have now reported on their adoption of the Declaration on Open and Transparent Government as directed by the Cabinet.624

R87The new statutory duty to proactively release information should apply to all agencies that are subject to the OIA and LGOIMA.

Contingent measures

A duty to take reasonable steps to proactively release official information may in the end not work as well as we hope. In that case it may be necessary to resort to stronger legislative compulsion of some kind. In the issues paper, we asked what contingent provision should be made in the legislation in case the “reasonably practicable steps” provision proves inadequate.625 One option would be to require review of the new provision after a period of, say, three years with a view to seeing whether stronger mandatory requirements should be inserted.

Another would be to include a provision in the present legislation empowering the making of regulations prescribing certain types of specific information which must be published. This would be not unlike the provision in the Crown Entities Act 2004 containing a power to add by regulation to the items which must be included in an entity’s annual report.626  This way, if ever circumstances arise making the public availability of certain specific items of information strongly desirable, the matter could be attended to by creating, and adding to, a list in regulations.

We favour the option of a statutory review in the first instance. This was also the most widely supported option amongst submitters, with no-one supporting a regulation making power.

A key advantage of a review is that this option would have the flexibility to look at agency progress in using proactive release in terms of both the official information legislation and the Declaration on Open and Transparent Government. The review could include consideration of the uptake and impact of the Declaration amongst agencies, the general effectiveness of the new legislative requirement to take all reasonable steps to proactively release official information, whether the legislative requirement has worked to improve levels of proactive release, and, if not, whether more stringent mandatory disclosure provisions are required.

The review should be undertaken by the oversight office (discussed in chapter 13) in the exercise of its review function.

R88The new statutory duty to proactively release information should be reviewed three years after it comes into force.

Publication schemes and disclosure logs

One of the policy options would be to require each agency to publish, at regular intervals, a publication scheme whereby the agency lists the types of document that it will proactively release to the public via the internet or in some other way. In the issues paper we asked whether agencies should be required to have explicit publication schemes for the information they hold627 as they do in other jurisdictions such as the United Kingdom. In Australia, the Information Publication Scheme (IPS) began on 1 May 2011 and requires government agencies to publish an agency plan, publish specified categories of information and consider proactively publishing other government information.628

There was very little support for mandatory publication schemes among submitters. We too lean against this somewhat bureaucratic solution at the present time. The preparation of such a scheme involves yet more time and effort for agencies which may not be adequately resourced for it. We also note that the scheme solution has not been without difficulty in the United Kingdom.629 There we understand that different departments have taken different approaches, to the point that the Information Commissioner’s Office has mandated a standard type of scheme for all agencies. So our present position is not to support the idea of a publication scheme. However this is an issue that could be reconsidered at the time of the recommended three year statutory review.

A number of overseas jurisdictions including Australia require agencies to keep “disclosure logs” showing what items of information they have released in response to requests. This then enables the general public to know that the information is available to be disclosed and how they might obtain it; in some cases the “log” provides a direct link to the information.

While not inclined to propose a requirement for disclosure logs as a mandatory requirement for New Zealand, we asked for the view of submitters.630 There was almost no support for introducing such a requirement. Once again we are conscious of the resource pressures under which many agencies work, and are reluctant to impose further administrative burdens on them unless it is clear that such a move is necessary or highly desirable. Again, we think this is a topic that could be reconsidered in the recommended three year statutory review.

Another option would be for disclosure logs and publication schemes to form part of an agency’s proactive release strategy under the proposed duty to take reasonable steps we recommend above. For example an agency may consider establishing a process under which responses to certain requests (such as requests for datasets) are made available to the wider public. This would be consistent with the Declaration on Open and Transparent Government. These tools could be adopted by agencies on a voluntary basis where they are perceived to have value. We support this as a matter of good practice.

Wider release of official information must not be automatic however. Agencies need to exercise discretion about how much information is published. The content should be restricted to information that has a wider public interest and should generally exclude personal information. There may also be questions about whether requesters that initiated the release should be able to ask that their request not be disclosed.

Mandatory disclosure of categories of official information

In addition to discretionary proactive release by public agencies, a related issue is whether the official information legislation should mandate that certain categories of information be released proactively.

Various statutes and regulations require public sector organisations to publish specific types of information.631 Some Acts contain detailed requirements as to the types of information that must be published in annual reports: for instance the Crown Entities Act requires information about remuneration and severance payments, and details of insurance cover.

The Local Government Act 2002 requires local authorities to prepare and make available local governance statements. In addition, local authorities must include specified information in their annual reports, including information about the remuneration of councillors and chief executives, and severance payments. Part 7 of the LGOIMA (the part that deals with local authority meetings) also requires local authorities to make available for inspection, free of charge, agendas and associated reports circulated to local authority members for meetings, and minutes of local authority meetings.632


Directory of Official Information

In relation to central government, there is a requirement for the Ministry of Justice to publish a Directory of Official Information.633 In the days of hardcopy there was point in such a register, but we doubt the need for it in an age where the internet allows immediate access to the websites of each and every agency. We believe the OIA should require that each agency publish on its own website the information specified in section 20.634 There would then be no need for the Directory.

When we asked about this in the issues paper, more submitters agreed than disagreed.635 Submitters in favour noted that it would easier for the information to be kept up to date, it would be more accessible and consistent with how users now expect to find information, and it may result in more requests going to the correct agency in the first place and therefore reducing the numbers of transferred requests.

The Ombudsmen agreed that the existence and location of the Directory is not currently well known and that the accuracy and accessibility of the information it contains is likely to improve if individual agencies are responsible for maintaining and publicising it. The Ombudsmen also saw potential in a centralised repository for the information if its profile and accessibility was boosted, possibly on the website.636

Some submissions queried the continued need for section 20. One option would be to repeal section 20 in favour of a generic proactive disclosure duty. Guidance could then cover the sorts of information covered by section 20. Our preference is to retain the section 20 requirement but create an obligation on agencies to publish their own information, in place of the current obligation on the Ministry of Justice to publish the Directory. This issue could be re-examined if necessary as part of the three year statutory review that we recommend.

Other rights of access

In addition to the Directory, Part 3 of each Act contains a mechanism to provide the public with rights of access to certain types of official information based on a categories approach. This mechanism is of a fairly limited and specific kind and has never been expanded through the promulgation of regulations as it might have been. The rights of access relate to:

(a)Internal rules affecting decisions about people (subject to some of the withholding grounds);637 and

(b)Reasons for decisions affecting people (subject to some of the withholding grounds).638

In each case a request needs to be made to exercise the right of access, although the Directory of Official Information has been made available on the internet. The Ombudsmen, in their submission, identified the information to which there is a right of access under section 22 of the OIA639 as a category of information that should be released proactively rather in response to a request, noting that some agencies such as the Department of Corrections, Immigration New Zealand and Work and Income New Zealand already release their manuals and procedures proactively.

Other categories of official information

Beyond this, however, we do not favour legislating for further categories of information which must be proactively published. This is partly for the same reasons that we reject a categories approach to decision-making in favour of the case by case approach,640 but also because once one gets beyond non-contentious governance statements it would be very difficult accurately to define the categories of document which would have to be disclosed. Different organisations hold different types of information. It would also need to be determined how far the good reasons for withholding would apply to any information contained in the prescribed documents. Difficult questions of timing would also arise: whether, for example, certain documents should be released immediately they are issued, or whether in some cases there should be a delay before those documents are published.

One of the agencies which submitted to our survey questionnaire put the matter thus:

While supporting open government, there needs to be some consideration of the level of public benefit to be gained against the public loss of spending taxpayer funded time preparing and publishing large amounts of information. This is considered to be more appropriately an organisational rather than legislative decision.

The large majority of submitters to the issues paper agreed that proactive disclosure of certain categories of information should not be required,641 noting the potential burden and cost on agencies, potential risks to “free and frank advice” if information is automatically released without due consideration of relevant withholding grounds, and the range of disclosure provisions that already apply.

Some considered that given the trend towards proactive release, it ought to be allowed to evolve naturally, and that agencies should retain the discretion to decide what to release, both to protect information which should be withheld, but also to ensure that efforts are put into releasing information that meets the needs of users and is of interest to the public. Others suggested that this should be dealt with as a matter of guidance. The Council for Civil Liberties suggested that the Ombudsmen should maintain a list of categories of information that should be released unless there are good reasons not to, and this list should be reviewed periodically with a view to expanding it where possible.

We agree that guidance is the preferable approach to mandating the proactive release of particular categories of information. We think that guidance should prove a fairly powerful tool in providing examples to agencies of the sorts of information that should be eligible for proactive release and in promoting consistency in release between similar types of agency.

We therefore recommend the development of guidance in this area by the oversight office (discussed in chapter 13). A project should be undertaken to identify categories of information that agencies should ordinarily publish proactively. These categories will need to be targeted to different types of organisation, rather than trying to develop a “one size fits all”. The guidance should be seen as a work in progress with updates issued as additional categories are added to the guidance.

R89Section 20 of the OIA should be amended to require every agency to publish on its own website the information specified in that section, in place of the obligation on the Ministry of Justice to publish the Directory of Official Information.

R90The new statutory duty to proactively release information should not mandate particular categories of information that must be proactively released. Rather, guidance should be developed for agencies including examples of information that should be released unless there are good reasons not to. This list should be reviewed periodically with a view to expanding it where possible.

Access impact assessment / Open by default

An important issue is the question of agencies’ technology infrastructure and whether there are adequate incentives in place to encourage agencies to ensure that their information technology systems will support the trend towards proactive release. If the technology makes it difficult as a practical matter to release information, then this potentially reduces the effectiveness of placing a positive duty on agencies to take steps towards increased proactive release.

An expert on official information has suggested a requirement:642

that there be access impact assessments (just as there are privacy impact assessments) before new databases are constructed by governments eg. will the database be configured to allow reasonable access to data fields? That is especially important with contractor- supplied database programmes. Does the procured software anticipate public access as one of the business needs for the database?

The United Kingdom government is investigating the possibility of introducing an “Open by Default” presumption for procurement of government information and communications technologies (ICT) systems.643 The Australian Information Commissioner has noted that practical strategies are required to ensure that public sector information is “open by default” which it is working to provide to Australian agencies.644

One of the implications for agencies noted in the Cabinet paper supporting the Declaration on Open and Transparent Government was that agencies will need to develop a methodology for incorporating regular release of data into their core business planning and operations.645 One relevant agency planning document is an information systems strategic plan (ISSP). The Data and Information Re-use Chief Executives Steering Group is to provide guidance and advice on adoption of the Declaration and the Data and Information Management Principles into core business activities.646 We expect that such guidance and advice will support agencies to assess their technology infrastructure and identify steps to improve systems to meet the goals of the Declaration.

We think that agency ISSPs should be provided to the oversight office that we recommend in chapter 13 so that it is informed about the state of play on this issue and the extent to which there are obstacles in agency systems to improving performance in the area of proactive release. This would put the oversight office in a position to provide advice and guidance to agencies and to report to government. We are informed that the format of agency ISSPs varies widely and that some are particularly technology-centric and do not deal with information management issues to any large extent. The oversight office may wish to encourage agencies to include an information management component to their ISSP or to provide this as a separate strategy.

We also note the Open Door to Innovation trial being undertaken by the Government ICT Supply Management Office within the Department of Internal Affairs, which aims to engage with suppliers of information and communication technologies (ICT) to government in order to improve ICT investment and management.647 This may provide an opportunity to encourage innovation in ICT that supports agency obligations to maintain and release information and data under the official information legislation and the Declaration.

R91Agencies that produce information systems strategic plans (ISSPs) should provide them to the oversight office.

OIA, s 5; LGOIMA, s 5.

OIA, s 4; LGOIMA, s 4.

Halonen, above n 542, at 101–102.

Archives New Zealand Digital Continuity Action Plan (2009) <>.

Ministry of Justice, New Zealand Police, Department of Corrections and Ministry of Social Development Justice Sector Information Strategy 2006–2011 <> at 18. An enabling principle under Theme 5 is for justice sector agencies to be as open as possible in terms of information provision, while working within the constraints imposed by law.

See for example Freedom of Information Act 1982 (Cth) Part II.

See for example Government Information (Public Access) Act 2009 (NSW), s 7 (authorised proactive release of government information); Right to Information Act 2009 (Tas), s 12(3) (providing that disclosure in response to a request for it is the disclosure method of last resort and that agencies must ensure that there are adequate procedures in place so that there is appropriate proactive disclosure).

Halonen, above n 542. See also Cabinet Office (UK) “Making Open Data Real: A Government Summary of Responses” (30 January 2012).

Karin Gavelin, Simon Burall and Richard Wilson “Open Government: Beyond Static Measures” (Involve, paper produced for the OECD, July 2009).

Due particularity and fishing requests are discussed in chapter 9.

See Halonen, above n 542, at 84.

In the United Kingdom, initial findings on the publishing of expenditure data indicate that this has not increased the number of freedom of information requests as some feared it would do; those who are interested are likely to request the information regardless of whether the data is published proactively or not: Halonen, above n 542, at 77–78.

See R95, recommending that the OIA withholding grounds should be taken into account in making proactive release decisions. See also Chris Yiu “A Right to Data: Fulfilling the Promise of Open Public Data in the UK” Policy Exchange Research Note (March 2012) at 24–25.

OIA, s 18(d); LGOIMA, s 17(d).

The White House, above n 554, at 25–26.

See Dr James Popple, Australian Freedom of Information Commissioner “Freedom of Information: A Government Perspective” (2011) 19 ALL 4, 256, at 260; David S. Levine “The Social Layer of Information Law” (2012) 90 N. C. L. Rev 101 <>.

Popple, at 260. See NZ Government Web Standards 2.0 <>.

See John Wonderlich “The Missing Open Data Policy” (22 March 2012) <>; Tom Lee, above n 553.

Issues Paper at Q86.

Better Public Services Advisory Group Report, above n 575, at 35.

Issues Paper at [12.61].

Data and Information Re-use Chief Executives Steering Group “Report on Agency Adoption of the New Zealand Declaration on Open and Transparent Government” (June 2012).

Issues Paper at Q88.

Crown Entities Act 2004, s 173(1)(a).

Issues Paper at Q89.

Freedom of Information Act 1982 (Cth) Part II; Popple, above n 618, at 260.

Robert Hazell, Ben Worthy and Mark Glover The Impact of the Freedom of Information Act on Central Government in the UK: Does FOI Work? (Palgrave Macmillan, Basingstoke, 2010) at 94–96.

Issues Paper at Q90.

There are obligations to report publicly under the Public Finance Act 1989, the Crown Entities Act 2004, the State-Owned Enterprises Act 1986 (and the State-Owned Enterprises Continuous Disclosure Rules), the Crown Research Institutes Act 1992 and the Local Government Act 2002, among other pieces of legislation.

LGOIMA, ss 46A, 51. In practice, local authorities now routinely make this material available on their websites.

OIA, s 20. The equivalent provision in the LGOIMA was repealed by the Local Government Act 2002 and effectively replaced by section 40 of that Act which requires local authorities to prepare and make available local governance statements.

OIA, s 20 requires publication of a description of each organisation’s structure, functions and responsibilities, the categories of documents it holds, all manuals and documents that contain policies, principles, rules, or guidelines in accordance with which decisions or recommendations are made in respect of any person in their personal capacity. This is essentially information about official information.

Issues Paper at Q84.

The Department of Internal Affairs is currently working on several Rethink Online initiatives, including the collaboration with other agencies on common approaches to web services to allow agencies managing information-based websites to cluster around a smaller number of web publishing platforms or content management systems. See <>.

OIA, s 22; LGOIMA, s 21.

OIA, s 23; LGOIMA, s 22.

OIA, s 22; LGOIMA, s 21: any document that contains policies, principles, rules or guidelines in accordance with which decisions or recommendations are made in respect of any person or body of persons in their personal capacity.

See chapter 2.

Issues Paper at Q85.

Rick Snell (acknowledging Alasdair Roberts) “Realising the Potential of FOI: Making the Transition from FOI version 1.0 to Version 2.0” (work in progress, University of Tasmania, November 2008) <>.

United Kingdom Government, above n 543, at 25.

Office of the Australian Information Commissioner Annual Report 2010–11 at ch 4.

Cabinet Paper, above n 587, at [38].

At [33].

See Government ICT Directions and Priorities “Getting Innovation into Government ICT” <>.