5 December 2019
By email: [FYI request #11558 email]
Official information request for information on the University's compliance
with the OIA & Public Records Act
I refer to your requests for information under the Official Information Act 1982 (the Act)
dated 30 October 2019.
Each of your requests, and the University’s response, is set out below.
“…please provide records for:
The business processes and training materials for servicing OIA Requests
Any Audits (internal or external) that relate to OIA compliance
The latest reporting (e.g. KPIs or Dashboard) that quantifies OIA
Ombudsman's decisions about OIA requests declined by VUW”
Staff members responsible for managing the University’s OIA request processes sit within
the University’s Legal Services team. The University’s usual process for OIA requests is
attached along with screenshots of information from the University intranet. Staff
servicing OIA requests also use the guidelines and other resources available on the
Ombudsman’s website https://www.ombudsman.parliament.nz/.
The University has not been subject to any internal or external audits related to OIA
compliance. However, the University conducts an annual legislative compliance survey,
and the most recent result relating to the OIA is as follows.
Instance of non-
One complaint to the Office
of the Ombudsman
discontinued following a
Information Act compliance response to the Ombudsman
was upheld by the
(with apology and
Ombudsman. One request
acknowledgement of failure
was not answered within
to meet the timeframe).
the 20-day timeframe.
“Status” Key: • = Resolved
A weekly report on OIA requests received is provided to the Senior Leadership Team.
Attached is the most recent report. The names of those who have made OIA requests have
been withheld under section 9(2)(a) of the Act.
Details of all Ombudsman complaints against the University since July 2016 can be found
on the Ombudsman’s website here: http://www.ombudsman.parliament.nz/resources-
“…please provide records for…
Public Records Act
The business processes and training materials for complying with the
Public Records Act
Any Audits (internal or external) that relate to Public Records Act
Any reporting or KPIs that detail what Retention and Disposal activities
have occurred in the last period reported on.”
The University’s Information and Records Management (IRM) team works with key
stakeholders to ensure that information and records are managed in accordance with our
legislative and business requirements. Please find the IRM Booklet, Guidance Documents
and screenshots from the University’s intranet attached. The University’s Records
Management Policy is on our website here:
The disposal of records is authorised by The New Zealand Universities General
Disposal Authority DA337 on the Archives NZ website here:
The University was audited in relation to its record keeping practices by Archives New
Zealand in 2011. Attached is a copy of the Audit Findings Report and accompanying
This University does not report on or have any key performance indicators related to the
disposal of records.
Please also note the definition of “public record” in section 4(c)(ii) of the Public Records
Act 2005 – “public record…does not include…records created by the academic staff or
students of a tertiary education institution, unless the records have become part of the
records of that institution.”
“…please provide records for…
High level information architecture document for VUW that describes the
main technologies, products and partners that are used - with the main
Record Search capability
Retention and Disposal capability”
The University does not have a high level information architecture document that
describes the main technologies, products, and partners used. Therefore, the information
is refused under section 18(e) of the Act on the basis “that the document alleged to
contain the information requested does not exist”
The University uses over four hundred systems that store information. These range from
student management systems and research management systems through to data storage
platforms. All University emails are stored in Office365. Unstructured 'business' data1 is
mainly stored in EMC Isilon. However, more use is being made of Office365 SharePoint
and Microsoft Teams. Unstructured research data2 is also mainly stored in EMC Isilon,
with some SharePoint sites used for collaboration.
The University uses Microsoft Office365 products for searches across Office365, this
includes the likes of Outlook, SharePoint, Microsoft Teams etc. There is nothing in place
to allow for searching across the unstructured data platforms apart from the standard
inbuilt capability these systems have. All of our larger systems like those used by our
Finance and Human Resources teams have inbuilt search capability.
The University uses the tools within Office365 in conjunction with Information
Architecture principles laid down by the Information and Records Management team.
You have the right to seek an investigation and review by the Ombudsman of the
University’s decision to withhold certain information. Information about how to make a
complaint is available at www.ombudsman.parliament.nz
or freephone 0800 802 602.
If you wish to discuss this decision with us, please feel free to contact me at [VUW request email].
Georgia Tawharu Adviser, Information Access and Copyright
1 Data stored in the University’s networks. This includes word processing documents and
2 Research data similar to unstructured business data.