Analysis of submissions received on whether to conduct a review of the Official Information Act (OIA)

Andrew Ecclestone made this Official Information request to Ministry of Justice

Currently waiting for a response from Ministry of Justice, they must respond promptly and normally no later than (details and exceptions).

From: Andrew Ecclestone

Dear Ministry of Justice,

In May 2019 the Ministry submitted to the State Services Commission a report on progress with Commitment 7 of the Open Government Partnership National Action Plan. This can be accessed from here:

http://www.ogp.org.nz/assets/New-Zealand...

On page 3 of this progress report, the Ministry states that:

"The Ministry of Justice is currently analysing submissions, noting emerging themes, such as scope, compliance, timeliness, and oversight."

This is an Official Information Act (OIA) request to be supplied with a copy of the analysis of the submissions, and all other related documents (including emails, memos, etc) that note the 'emerging themes'. If the analysis is incomplete, I request to be supplied with the analysis that has been conducted to date, along with the related information. Please note I am not seeking the advice to Ministers on how to proceed.

Under section 12(3) of the OIA, I ask that my request be treated as urgent. My reason for doing this is to ensure that the Ministry's analysis is in the public domain as soon as possible, to enable myself and others interested in reform of the OIA and agency practices to read and digest the Ministry's analysis in advance of the Government announcing its decision on whether to initiate a review of the OIA. Urgent disclosure of this information will directly contribute to achieving two of the purposes of the OIA set out in section 4 of the Act: enabling people to "more effectively" participate in the making and administration of laws and policies; and promoting the "the accountability of Ministers of the Crown and officials". More effective public participation in the debate around reform of the OIA and agency practices will clearly result from people's ability to read the Ministry's analysis of submissions prior to the announcement of the Government's decision on whether to initiate a review of the OIA. This factor is discussed on pages 11-12 to the Ombudsman's Guide on the public interest, which can be accessed here: http://www.ombudsman.parliament.nz/syste...

Pursuant to section 16 of the OIA, my preferred method of receiving this information is as electronic attachments to an email sent to the address from which the Ministry received this request. Also pursuant to section 16 of the OIA I request that the attachments are provided in the original file format in which they were created, and not as image-only (rasterised) PDF documents, and that they are not watermarked with ‘Released under the OIA’ or similar text, as the law does not require the Ministry to do this.

Under section 19(a)(ii), if the Ministry decides to withhold any of the requested information I have requested, I further request that it provides me with the grounds in support of any reasons for withholding that it has asserted. I also ask that it list each of the public interest factors favouring disclosure that it has considered when making its decision.

I look forward to hearing from the Ministry as soon as reasonably practicable.

Kind regards,

Andrew Ecclestone

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From: correspondence, official
Ministry of Justice

Good afternoon Mr Andrew Ecclestone,

Acknowledging receipt of your Official Information Act request on analysis of submissions received on whether to conduct a review of the Official Information Act (OIA) received on 29th August 2019.

We have passed this on to the relevant business unit for response.

You can expect a response on or before 26th September 2019.

Kind Regards,
Lorna

Official Correspondence
Ministry of Justice
[email address] | 
Justice Centre  |  19 Aitken Street  | DX Box SX 10088
Wellington  | New Zealand |  justice.govt.nz

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