Use of examination powers

Alex Harris made this Official Information request to Office of the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment

The request was successful.

From: Alex Harris

Dear Office of the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment,

Section 19 of the Environment Act 1986 grants search powers to the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment, allowing them to obtain information and documents and examine people under oath. I would like to request the following information under the OIA:

* How many times in the last five years did the Commissioner exercise their powers under section 19(1) to obtain information or documents?
* How many times in the last five years did the Commissioner exercise their powers under section 19(2) to examine people under oath?

I would like a breakdown by year if available. In the unlikely event that a five year period would require substantial collation and research, I am willing to negotiate a shorter one.

I would prefer to receive an electronic response. Queries about this request will be automatically forwarded to me by the fyi.org.nz website.

With regards to s12 of the OIA, I am an NZ citizen and in NZ.

Yours faithfully,

Alex Harris

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From: Reception
Office of the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment

Dear Alex

 

I am replying on behalf of Mr Simon Upton, Parliamentary Commissioner for
the Environment, to acknowledge receipt of your email on 6.06.2019.

 

Your email will be forward to the appropriate person. 

 

Thank you for taking the time to write to us.

 

Kind regards

 

Marilyn Comber

Receptionist

 

Office of the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment

Level 4, Reserve Bank Building, 2 The Terrace

PO Box 10-241

Wellington New Zealand

Tel: [PCE main reception telephone number as published on PCE website - redacted at request of PCE's Chief Legal Advisor]

 

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From: Marilyn Comber
Office of the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment

Dear Alex

 

We do not use the FYI website because it publishes the personal details of
staff.

 

Could you provide an alternative address for reply.

 

Many thanks

 

PCE

 

 

 

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Oliver Lineham left an annotation ()

Hi Alex,

As I'm sure you know, your request is valid as-is, and under 16(2) you generally have the right to receive information in the way preferred - such as by email reply through FYI.org.nz.

It is of course your choice whether to allow them to bypass FYI, however we would appreciate you exercising your 16(2) right so that others benefit from seeing the response and to discourage these attempts in future.

Oliver
FYI.org.nz admin

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From: Alex Harris

Dear Marilyn Comber,

I would prefer my request to be handled through FYI, as is my right under s16(2) OIA. If you believe the privacy of staff is compromised by publication of information, then it is open to you to redact their details under s9(2)(a) where this is not outweighed by the public interest. If the concern is over staff names in request-related correspondence, I suggest that you have responses come formally from the Commissioner or an official account.

If you do not process my request lawfully within the required deadline, then that is an effective refusal and will result in a complaint to the Ombudsman. Given their guidance on "requests made online", I expect the Ombudsman to be unsympathetic to your position.

Yours sincerely,

Alex Harris

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From: Marilyn Comber
Office of the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment


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Kia Ora Mr Harris,

 

We refer to your request for information dated 6 June.

 

The answers to your questions are as follows:

 

·       How many times in the last five years did the Commissioner
exercise their powers under section 19(1) to obtain information or
documents?  None

·       How many times in the last five years did the Commissioner
exercise their powers under section 19(2) to examine people under oath? 
None

 

For future reference, please note that section 16 of the Act does not
apply unless the information requested is, ‘comprised in a document’. 
(For example, it did not apply to this particular request).

 

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
[1]www.ombudsman.parliament.nz or freephone 0800 802 602.

 

 

Nâku noa, nâ

 

 

[2]Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment

References

Visible links
1. http://www.ombudsman.parliament.nz/

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Things to do with this request

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