Missing documents from Privacy Act requests

S. Rowe made this Official Information request to Southern Response Earthquake Services Limited

The request was refused by Southern Response Earthquake Services Limited.

From: S. Rowe

Dear Southern Response Earthquake Services Limited,

In July 2018 Southern Response was informed by a claimant that the way it created Privacy Act bundles was flawed and meant that documents could be excluded from the bundles. A request was made to investigate this.

It wasn’t until June 2019 that Southern Response looked into the issue and found that there was a fault with the extraction method.

At this time it was stated that “Southern Response is currently trialling the changes to Southern Response’s document extraction process suggested on the final page of the attached report. We anticipate that this will reduce the risk of the issue that occurred with your discovery request in 2018 from occurring again in future.“

Information requested:

Did Southern Response adopt the trailed method of making sure that Privacy Act bundles are complete?

Since June 2019 has Southern Response used methods of document extraction, for every request, to ensure complete responses to Privacy Act requests?

What did Southern Response do to correct previous Privacy Act bundles that had missing documents?

Has Southern Response made public the fact that the system of extraction for Privacy Act requests was faulty from 2012? Please provide the details, and methods of how this was made public.

How many claimants has Southern Response directly advised that they may be missing documents in their Privacy Act bundles?

Please provide the details of current practices, including any training material, reference material, and technical details, relating to how documents are extracted that ensure that no documents are missing from the final bundle.

Yours faithfully,

S. Rowe

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From: OIA Requests
Southern Response Earthquake Services Limited


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This is An Automated Message, Do Not Reply To This Email.

 

 

We acknowledge receipt of your e-mail to [1][Southern Response request email].

 

If your e-mail contains a request for official information under the
Official Information Act 1982 (the “OIA”), we will advise you of our
decision no later than 20 working days after the date on which we received
your request. 

 

Please note that if we need to extend this timeframe, we will notify you
prior to the 20 working days expiring in accordance with section 15A of
the OIA.

 

If your e-mail does not contain a request for official information, we
will re-direct it to the appropriate department within Southern Response
(which, depending on the substance of your e-mail, may respond
accordingly).

 

Kind regards

 

Southern Response

 

 

[2]cid:image001.jpg@01D21297.05913610

 

Southern Response Earthquake Services Ltd is the government-owned company
responsible for settling claims by AMI policyholders for Canterbury
earthquake damage which occurred before 5 April 2012 (the date AMI was
sold to IAG).

 

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From: OIA Requests
Southern Response Earthquake Services Limited

Dear S. Rowe,

Thank you for your requests for information under the Official Information Act 1982 (Act) received on 2, 12 and 13 October 2020. We are responding to all three of your requests with this communication.

As you have contacted Southern Response via an intermediary website and not provided us with your first name or any other contact details, we do need to check whether you meet the eligibility requirements in section 12 of the Act for requesting official information from us.

In particular, we need check whether you are:
a. a New Zealand citizen or permanent resident; or
b. actually present in New Zealand; or
c. a body corporate (that is, a company or an incorporated society) that is incorporated in New Zealand or has a place of business in New Zealand.

Please contact us directly to discuss the types of evidence that would be acceptable for your particular situation. You can email us directly at [Southern Response request email] to discuss this or to set a up a private telephone discussion with a staff member.

Once your eligibility to request official information from us has been established, we would also like to discuss with you directly how we may be able to help you to amend your information request so that it is more likely to be granted.

Unfortunately, some parts of your original requests are unlikely to be granted as they are currently drafted. For example, some parts of your original information requests seek the private insurance claim information of individual policyholders. Southern Response will not provide private policyholder information to you unless you obtain signed privacy waivers from the individuals concerned. (Please also note that if you wish to be provided with private insurance claim information via the FYI website, the privacy waivers you obtain from each policyholder will need to expressly authorise the publication of their private information on the internet.)

In light of the above, we look forward to hearing from you directly as soon as possible to both:
a. verify your eligibility to request official information from us; and
b. discuss with you how your original requests for information could be amended so that they are more likely to be granted.

Kind regards,
Kelsey

OIA Team
Southern Response Earthquake Services Ltd

PO Box 9052
Christchurch
www.southernresponse.co.nz
 

 
 
Southern Response Earthquake Services Ltd is the government-owned company responsible for settling claims by AMI policyholders for Canterbury earthquake damage which occurred before 5 April 2012 (the date AMI was sold to IAG).
  

This email and any attachments contain confidential information which may be subject to legal privilege and copyright.
If you are not the intended recipient you must not peruse, use, distribute or copy the email or attachments.
If it has been received in error please notify us immediately by return email and then delete the message and any accompanying attachments.
Emails are not secure, can be intercepted and altered.
Southern Response Earthquake Services Limited (“Southern Response”) accepts no responsibility for changes made to this email or to any attachment after it has been transmitted.
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Southern Response cannot guarantee this message or attachment(s) are free from computer viruses or other defects
and will not accept liability for any loss, damage or consequence resulting directly and/or indirectly from their use.

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From: S. Rowe

Dear OIA Requests,

No personal information has been requested. Please explain where you think that personal information would be exposed and why redacting the information wouldn't be sufficient to address privacy concerns.

Please feel free to contact the individuals you have stated would be affected by the request to establish eligability of this OIA request.

Yours sincerely,

S. Rowe

Link to this

From: OIA Requests
Southern Response Earthquake Services Limited


Attachment image001.jpg
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This is An Automated Message, Do Not Reply To This Email.

 

 

We acknowledge receipt of your e-mail to [1][Southern Response request email].

 

If your e-mail contains a request for official information under the
Official Information Act 1982 (the “OIA”), we will advise you of our
decision no later than 20 working days after the date on which we received
your request. 

 

Please note that if we need to extend this timeframe, we will notify you
prior to the 20 working days expiring in accordance with section 15A of
the OIA.

 

If your e-mail does not contain a request for official information, we
will re-direct it to the appropriate department within Southern Response
(which, depending on the substance of your e-mail, may respond
accordingly).

 

Kind regards

 

Southern Response

 

 

[2]cid:image001.jpg@01D21297.05913610

 

Southern Response Earthquake Services Ltd is the government-owned company
responsible for settling claims by AMI policyholders for Canterbury
earthquake damage which occurred before 5 April 2012 (the date AMI was
sold to IAG).

 

show quoted sections

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Mark Hanna left an annotation ()

Southern Response is lying when they tell you that they need to confirm that you meet the eligibility requirements under the OIA. This is a purely discretionary process that most agencies ignore entirely, and it is typically only used to discourage or block unwanted OIA requests.

I recommend you lay a complaint with the Office of the Ombudsman.

You may also like to read the guideline produced by the Office of the Ombudsman on requests made online. This part is particularly relevant to your request:

"Agencies are entitled to make reasonable enquiries to satisfy themselves that a requester is eligible to make a request under the OIA. However, the eligibility requirement is not about imposing unnecessary barriers to legitimate requests. Agencies should only query eligibility if there is a genuine need to do so, and they should be mindful of their obligation to provide reasonable assistance to requesters."

https://www.ombudsman.parliament.nz/reso...

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From: OIA Requests
Southern Response Earthquake Services Limited

Dear S. Rowe

Thank you for your 20 October 2020 communication.

Please contact us directly to discuss whether you meet the eligibility requirements in section 12 of the Official Information Act and the supporting evidence you may be able to provide.

You can email us directly at [Southern Response request email] to discuss this or to set a up a private telephone discussion with a staff member.

Kind regards
OIA Team

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From: S. Rowe

Dear OIA Requests,

I am still waiting for you to provide the specific questions that you believe will expose personal information so that I may amend any that may actually cause Privacy Act issues. Please provide these as soon as possible.

Regarding the Official Information Act (the OIA).

Section 13 of the OIA sets forth a duty for Southern Response to provide reasonable assistance.

Please see the New Zealand Ombudsman’s “The OIA for Ministers and agencies” section “Eligibility to request official information” subsection “What if a requester is not eligible?” for information on the Ombudsman still retaining jurisdiction even if you do not establish eligibility to the level Southern Response deems appropriate.

Please see the New Zealand Ombudsman’s “Requests made online” section “Establishing eligibility under the OIA“ which states:

“Agencies are entitled to make reasonable enquiries to satisfy themselves that a requester is
eligible to make a request under the OIA. However, the eligibility requirement is not about imposing unnecessary barriers to legitimate requests. Agencies should only query eligibility if
there is a genuine need to do so, and they should be mindful of their obligation to provide
reasonable assistance to requesters.“

and:

“Time taken to confirm eligibility may mean less time is available for processing a request that is subsequently confirmed to be valid. With that in mind, agencies should endeavour to resolve any doubts about a requester’s eligibility as soon as possible.“

However, I have provided a method for you to make a determination of eligibility. You have not taken up this method of verifying the eligibility. Please make use of this method, and please be mindful of the 20 working day requirement from when this request was submitted.

Yours sincerely,

S. Rowe

Link to this

From: OIA Requests
Southern Response Earthquake Services Limited


Attachment image001.jpg
7K Download


This is An Automated Message, Do Not Reply To This Email.

 

 

We acknowledge receipt of your e-mail to [1][Southern Response request email].

 

If your e-mail contains a request for official information under the
Official Information Act 1982 (the “OIA”), we will advise you of our
decision no later than 20 working days after the date on which we received
your request. 

 

Please note that if we need to extend this timeframe, we will notify you
prior to the 20 working days expiring in accordance with section 15A of
the OIA.

 

If your e-mail does not contain a request for official information, we
will re-direct it to the appropriate department within Southern Response
(which, depending on the substance of your e-mail, may respond
accordingly).

 

Kind regards

 

Southern Response

 

 

[2]cid:image001.jpg@01D21297.05913610

 

Southern Response Earthquake Services Ltd is the government-owned company
responsible for settling claims by AMI policyholders for Canterbury
earthquake damage which occurred before 5 April 2012 (the date AMI was
sold to IAG).

 

show quoted sections

Link to this

From: OIA Requests
Southern Response Earthquake Services Limited

Dear S. Rowe,

Thank you for your email.

We again request that you contact us directly to discuss whether you meet the eligibility requirements in section 12 of the Official Information Act and the supporting evidence you may be able to provide.

We can assist you with this aspect of your request but will not make enquiries of third parties until your eligibility to make requests under the Act has been confirmed.

We look forward to hearing from you as soon as possible. If you are unable to provide us with acceptable evidence of your eligibility within the 20 day timeframe, we will have to decline your request.

Kind regards,
OIA Team

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Mark Hanna left an annotation ()

It doesn't look like they're going to budge. I recommend you lay a complaint with the Office of the Ombudsman, as there is no clear genuine need for Southern Response to query your eligibility, and it seems clear to me that they are attempting to use the OIA's eligibility rules to impose an unnecessary barrier to your legitimate request.

https://www.ombudsman.parliament.nz/what...

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From: S. Rowe

Dear OIA Requests,

I again request the list of questions that you believe will expose private information. You raised this concern on 14 October 2020, but have yet to provide any information that would allow me to take corrective action.

You have raised the concern that you do not wish to make contact with a third party, however can you please confirm that if the third party (who you already know to be eligible) made contact with you that you would then accept that this request meets the eligibility criteria?

Further, can you please provide the reasoning why Southern Response believes that there is a genuine need to query eligibility?

Yours sincerely,

S. Rowe

Link to this

From: OIA Requests
Southern Response Earthquake Services Limited


Attachment image001.jpg
7K Download


This is An Automated Message, Do Not Reply To This Email.

 

 

We acknowledge receipt of your e-mail to [1][Southern Response request email].

 

If your e-mail contains a request for official information under the
Official Information Act 1982 (the “OIA”), we will advise you of our
decision no later than 20 working days after the date on which we received
your request. 

 

Please note that if we need to extend this timeframe, we will notify you
prior to the 20 working days expiring in accordance with section 15A of
the OIA.

 

If your e-mail does not contain a request for official information, we
will re-direct it to the appropriate department within Southern Response
(which, depending on the substance of your e-mail, may respond
accordingly).

 

Kind regards

 

Southern Response

 

 

[2]cid:image001.jpg@01D21297.05913610

 

Southern Response Earthquake Services Ltd is the government-owned company
responsible for settling claims by AMI policyholders for Canterbury
earthquake damage which occurred before 5 April 2012 (the date AMI was
sold to IAG).

 

show quoted sections

Link to this

From: OIA Requests
Southern Response Earthquake Services Limited


Attachment 331 Response to S Rowe 2 Nov.pdf
158K Download View as HTML


Dear S Rowe,

Please find attached our response to your request.

Kind regards,
OIA Team

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Mark Hanna left an annotation ()

You should absolutely complain about this response to the Office of the Ombudsman: https://www.ombudsman.parliament.nz/what...

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Things to do with this request

Anyone:
Southern Response Earthquake Services Limited only: