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OIA and PA requests

K Lambert made this Official Information request to Department of Internal Affairs

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From: K Lambert

Dear Department of Internal Affairs,

I have been following a stuff series on government departments flaunting the requirements of the OIA. I've done my own research as a result of this and so far it seems that some or maybe all agencies are doing this.
To help my research further I am needing to get some information to get a better idea of the volumes of these requests and also how they are managed.
As I suspect that the Privacy Act is probably being treated the same way my request includes that as well.

I have selected five of the largest government departments to begin with. I have not selected yours specifically for any reason other than that.

These requests pertain to the current year (2019) to date and the full three years prior (2016,17,18).It would be appreciated if this could be broken down year by year.

Part 1: Statistics
Please provide for each of the OIA and PA the numbers of the following:
-Requests received
-Requests acknowledged within 20 working days
-Requests in which the requested information or decision to decline was provided within 20 working days
-Requests in which the information was provided, declined or provided in part (obviously separate figures). In the case of declines or partials please identify the sections of each act relied upon to decline in whole or in part
-Requests that took more than three months to either fulfill or decline in whole or in part and the reason for the refusal and for the delay for each one
-Requests that were declined in whole or in part that were escalated to either the ombudsman or privacy commission

In the case of instances that were escalated to either privacy commission or ombudsman, please provide the numbers for:
-Cases in which the matter was found in favour of the applicant's position
-Cases that were found in favour of your position

Please provide the number of instances in which rulings have gone against you and you have arrived at a monetary supplement with the applicant. Please provide the total figure for each year that you paid out in these settlements.

Please also provide the numbers of both OIA and PA requests that at the time of this request, had been received by yourselves more than three months ago and that remain outstanding. Please provide a detailed an explanation for the length of time for each case.

Part 2: Policy, procedure, practice and personnel
Please provide copies of the following documents:
-Any manuals, policy or process documents that you have relating to your approach to OIA and PA requests

Please explain:
-Structures in your organisation dedicated to OIA and PA requests. For example, do you have a team dedicated to these functions? Do you have staff in other roles who are routinely brought in to carry out these functions?
In either case, please provide the number of FTE dedicated to OIA and PA functions
-Please explain how you maintain effective oversight of these functions
-Please explain what external organisations carry out oversight of these functions. For example, do you have an independent body carry out audits to ensure that the staff tasked with these functions are carrying them out in accordance with the law.

Yours faithfully,

K Lambert

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From: OIA
Department of Internal Affairs

Tçnâ koe K Lambert,

Thank you for your OIA request to the Department of Internal Affairs (included with this email)

The Department will provide its response to your request as soon as practicable and within twenty working days.  The 20th working day is 31 January 2020. Please note that this due date takes into account the legislative holiday closedown period of the Official Information Act from 24 December 2019 to 15 January 2020.

In cases where the Department’s response provides information that is identified to be of general public interest, the response may also be published on the Department of Internal Affairs website.  If the Department publishes its response to your OIA request, all personal information, including your name and contact details, will be removed.

Ngâ mihi

Michelle Reed | Lead Advisor – Official Correspondence 
Te Urungi - Organisational Strategy and Performance
Te Tari Taiwhenua - The Department of Internal Affairs
45 Pipitea St | PO Box 805, Wellington 6140, New Zealand |  www.dia.govt.nz

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