MINISTRY OF BUSINESS,
- l�NOVATION & EMPLOYMENT
8 May 2019
fyi-reguest-10126-53a 7 aa66@reg uests. fyi.o rg. nz
Dear Geoffrey Roberts
Thank you for your email of 15 April 2019 to the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (the
Ministry) requesting, under the Official Information Act 1982 (the Act), the following information:
Please provide a breakdown of costs to produce the chatbot "Nancy" on the Tenancy Services
The Tenancy Chatbot Nancy (the Chatbot) was developed to allow for 24/7 access for customers seeking
advice and guidance on Tenancy and Bond Services information. Tenancy and Bond enquiries make up to
45 per cent of all current Service Centre call and email volumes. As such, it presents the best opportunity
to assess and measure ongoing benefits both for Tenancy and Bond customers, Service Centre workforce
management, and any other Ministry service that could be supported by a Chatbot channel.
The Chatbot is an opportunity to provide better services to Tenancy and Bond customers by
implementing a digital Virtual Assistant (the Chatbot) on a Conversational Artifical Intelligence platform.
As at 8 April 2019, the Chatbot has cost a total of $207,522. The Ministry is unable to provide you with a
breakdown of this figure as if released, it would be likely to prejudice the commercial position of the
person who supplied or who is the subject of the information. As such, your request is refused under
section 9(2)(b)(ii) of the Act. The greater public interest is in ensuring that the commercial position can be
In making my decision to withhold information under section 9(2) of the Act, I did not consider the
withholding of this information was outweighed by public interest considerations in making it available.
You have the right to seek an investigation and review by the Ombudsman of this decision. Information
about how to make a complaint is available at www.ombudsman.parliament.nz or freephone 0800 802
National Manager Service Centres