Clarification - OIA, Judicial Function, and Crown Entities

Amy S Van Wey Lovatt (Account suspended) made this Official Information request to Office of the Ombudsman

Response to this request is long overdue. By law Office of the Ombudsman should have responded by now (details and exceptions). You can complain to the Ombudsman.

From: Amy S Van Wey Lovatt (Account suspended)

Dear Office of the Ombudsman,

I was so pleased to see that the Office of the Ombudsman wrote on FYI.org.nz in February of 2021 that the Ombudsman acts in the spirit of the OIA, even if the Office is not statutorily obliged. Thus, I am writing to the Office of the Ombudsman for clarification as to what information and documents are subject to the OIA.

The OIA States in section 2 (Interpretation), clause (6):
"For the avoidance of doubt, it is hereby declared that the terms public service agency and organisation do not include— (a) a court; or (b) in relation to its judicial functions, a tribunal; or (ba) in relation to its judicial functions, a Crown entity within the meaning of the Crown Entities Act 2004; or"

I am requesting information and documents which describe what "judicial functions" means in this context.

It seems to me this would mean evidence which was submitted to a court, tribunal or say a professional conduct committee. (e.g., evidence against a physician who is brought before the Medical Professional Conduct Committee). I can see the reason in this, as releasing this information could potentially breach other individuals privacy.

However, it seems to me that procedural documents, guidelines, or manuals held by courts, tribunals or Crown Entities would be subject to the OIA. It seems to me that these types of documents must be made available in order for parties to understand the process and to ensure that the principles of natural justice are adhered to.

Thus, I would also like to request information or documents which would inform the public as to what information and/or documents held by Crown Entities, Tribunals and Courts are subject to the OIA.

Than you again. I look forward to receiving the requested information. If there are any higher court rulings on this issue, I would really appreciate a reference to the rulings.

Kind regards,

Amy S Van Wey Lovatt

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From: Info
Office of the Ombudsman

Thank you for contacting the Office of the Ombudsman. This is an automated acknowledgement of your email.

If you have submitted a new complaint, we will write to you when it has been allocated a reference number.

If you have requested advice from this Office, we will respond to your request as soon as practicable.

If you have provided additional information relating to an existing complaint, we will add this to your complaint file.

Yours sincerely

Office of the Ombudsman | Tari o te Kaitiaki Mana Tangata

Phone 0800 802 602 (+64 4 473 9533)|Fax +64 4 471 2254
[Office of the Ombudsman request email] | www.ombudsman.parliament.nz
PO Box 10152, Level 7, SolNet House, 70 The Terrace, Wellington
IMPORTANT: The information contained in this email may be confidential or legally privileged. It is intended solely for the recipient or recipients named in this message. Please note that if you are not the intended recipient you are not authorised to use, copy or distribute the email or any information contained in it. If you have received this email in error, please advise the sender immediately and destroy the original message and any attachments.

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From: Info
Office of the Ombudsman


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Dear Dr Van Wey Lovatt,

 

Thank you for your email seeking clarification about what information is
subject to the Official Information Act (OIA). I understand you are
seeking to determine whether ‘procedural documents, guidelines, or
manuals’ held by courts or tribunals are classified as official
information.

You are correct, as outlined in the [1]guide for processing official
information requests, official information does not include ‘evidence,
submissions, or information given or made to the Judicial Conduct
Commissioner, a Judicial Conduct Panel, or the Judicial Complaints Lay
Observer.’ Past Ombudsmen have also published two additional case notes
that relate to official information and tribunals/judiciary functions that
may be of interest: [2]Address information for the purposes of civil court
proceedings and [3]W46821.

There is not an exhaustive list of the types of documents that are
classified as official information. It is not the role of the Ombudsman to
provide legal advice, so we are unable to respond to your query with legal
advice or with an opinion whether the specific information or types of
information is or is not subject the OIA.

However, it appears that you are specifically interested in information
held by the Medical Professional Conduct Committee. I note there is also a
[4]case note published on the Ombudsman website about former Ombudsman
John Robertson’s decision that information held by the Medical
Practitioner’s Disciplinary Committee is not ‘official information.’

I hope this information is helpful.

Yours sincerely,

 

Niki Wright

Senior Advisor

Office of the Ombudsman | Tari o te Kaitiaki Mana Tangata

 

Phone 04 473 9533 | Fax 04 471 2254

www.ombudsman.parliament.nz

PO Box 10152, Level 7, SolNet House, 70 The Terrace, Wellington

 

[5]image001-original

 

IMPORTANT: The information contained in this email may be confidential or
legally privileged. It is intended solely for the recipient or recipients
named in this message. Please note that if you are not the intended
recipient you are not authorised to use, copy or distribute the email or
any information contained in it. If you have received this email in error,
please advise the sender immediately and destroy the original message and
any attachments.

 

 

 

 

From: Amy S Van Wey Lovatt
<[6][FOI #16666 email]>
Sent: Wednesday, 8 September 2021 2:35 AM
To: Info <[7][Office of the Ombudsman request email]>
Subject: Official Information request - Clarification - OIA, Judicial
Function, and Crown Entities

 

Dear Office of the Ombudsman,

 

I was so pleased to see that the Office of the Ombudsman wrote on
FYI.org.nz in February of 2021 that the Ombudsman acts in the spirit of
the OIA, even if the Office is not statutorily obliged. Thus, I am writing
to the Office of the Ombudsman for clarification as to what information
and documents are subject to the OIA.

 

The OIA States in section 2 (Interpretation), clause (6):

"For the avoidance of doubt, it is hereby declared that the terms public
service agency and organisation do not include— (a) a court; or (b) in
relation to its judicial functions, a tribunal; or (ba) in relation to its
judicial functions, a Crown entity within the meaning of the Crown
Entities Act 2004; or"

 

I am requesting information and documents which describe what "judicial
functions" means in this context.

 

It seems to me this would mean evidence which was submitted to a court,
tribunal or say a professional conduct committee. (e.g., evidence against
a physician who is brought before the  Medical Professional Conduct
Committee). I can see the reason in this, as releasing this information
could potentially breach other individuals privacy.

 

However, it seems to me that procedural documents, guidelines, or manuals
held by courts, tribunals or Crown Entities would be subject to the OIA.
It seems to me that these types of documents must be made available in
order for parties to understand the process and to ensure that the
principles of natural justice are adhered to.

 

Thus, I would also like to request information or documents which would
inform the public as to what information and/or documents held by Crown
Entities, Tribunals and Courts are subject to the OIA.

 

Than you again. I look forward to receiving the requested information. If
there are any higher court rulings on this issue, I would really
appreciate a reference to the rulings.

 

Kind regards,

 

Amy S Van Wey Lovatt

 

-------------------------------------------------------------------

 

This is an Official Information request made via the FYI website.

 

Please use this email address for all replies to this request:

[8][FOI #16666 email]

 

Is [9][Office of the Ombudsman request email] the wrong address for Official
Information requests to Office of the Ombudsman? If so, please contact us
using this form:

[10]https://fyi.org.nz/change_request/new?bo...

 

Disclaimer: This message and any reply that you make will be published on
the internet. Our privacy and copyright policies:

[11]https://fyi.org.nz/help/officers

 

If you find this service useful as an Official Information officer, please
ask your web manager to link to us from your organisation's OIA or LGOIMA
page.

 

 

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From: Amy S Van Wey Lovatt (Account suspended)

Dear Info,
Thank you very much for your help and reference. I was more interested in the Medical Council rather than a committee. Since my posting, I did find a Human Rights Tribunal decision and High Court Decisions which separated judicial function from administrative function; which was my understanding. In these decisions, it appears that information about procedures or rules of practice of courts, tribunals and committees (or Crown Entities which also have judicial function) would come under administrative information) and thus would be accessible under the to the OIA.

Thanks again.

Yours sincerely,

Amy S Van Wey Lovatt

Link to this

From: Info
Office of the Ombudsman

Thank you for contacting the Office of the Ombudsman. This is an automated acknowledgement of your email.

If you have submitted a new complaint, we will write to you when it has been allocated a reference number.

If you have requested advice from this Office, we will respond to your request as soon as practicable.

If you have provided additional information relating to an existing complaint, we will add this to your complaint file.

Yours sincerely

Office of the Ombudsman | Tari o te Kaitiaki Mana Tangata

Phone 0800 802 602 (+64 4 473 9533)|Fax +64 4 471 2254
[Office of the Ombudsman request email] | www.ombudsman.parliament.nz
PO Box 10152, Level 7, SolNet House, 70 The Terrace, Wellington
IMPORTANT: The information contained in this email may be confidential or legally privileged. It is intended solely for the recipient or recipients named in this message. Please note that if you are not the intended recipient you are not authorised to use, copy or distribute the email or any information contained in it. If you have received this email in error, please advise the sender immediately and destroy the original message and any attachments.

Link to this

From: Info
Office of the Ombudsman


Attachment image001.jpg
8K Download


Dear Dr Van Wey Lovatt,

 

Thank you for your email. I understand you are seeking information
obtained during an investigation under the Ombudsmen Act 1975.

 

The Ombudsman’s functions are ‘to investigate any decision or
recommendation made, or any act done or omitted’ (see section 13(1) of the
Act). While the Chief Ombudsman may have formed an opinion about an act or
decision, endorsement is not a factor or consideration in the complaint
handling process.

 

You have chosen to submit your query through a public forum. However,
there is a legal obligation for the Chief Ombudsman and his staff to
maintain secrecy in respect of all information gathered in exercising the
Ombudsman’s function. A response, as appropriate, will be sent separately
to your personal contact details.

 

Yours sincerely,

 

Niki Wright

Senior Advisor

Office of the Ombudsman | Tari o te Kaitiaki Mana Tangata

 

Phone 04 473 9533 | Fax 04 471 2254

www.ombudsman.parliament.nz

PO Box 10152, Level 7, SolNet House, 70 The Terrace, Wellington

 

[1]image001-original

 

IMPORTANT: The information contained in this email may be confidential or
legally privileged. It is intended solely for the recipient or recipients
named in this message. Please note that if you are not the intended
recipient you are not authorised to use, copy or distribute the email or
any information contained in it. If you have received this email in error,
please advise the sender immediately and destroy the original message and
any attachments.

 

IMPORTANT: The information contained in this email may be confidential or
legally privileged. It is intended solely for the recipient or recipients
named in this message. Please note that if you are not the intended
recipient you are not authorised to use, copy or distribute the email or
any information contained in it. If you have received this email in error,
please advise the sender immediately and destroy the original message and
any attachments.

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From: Amy S Van Wey Lovatt (Account suspended)

Dear Info,

I am giving you permission to please provide me with a copy of the information I have requested to my private email address, which the Office of the Ombudsman has on file. You may contact Michael Cleary, or Acting Assistant Ombudsman Chloe Longdin-Prisk, for my private email address. Given I am a party to the matter Mr Paul White has referred to, the information cannot be held as private from me.

Yours sincerely,

Amy S Van Wey Lovatt

Link to this

From: Info
Office of the Ombudsman

Thank you for contacting the Office of the Ombudsman. This is an automated acknowledgement of your email.

If you have submitted a new complaint, we will write to you when it has been allocated a reference number.

If you have requested advice from this Office, we will respond to your request as soon as practicable.

If you have provided additional information relating to an existing complaint, we will add this to your complaint file.

Yours sincerely

Office of the Ombudsman | Tari o te Kaitiaki Mana Tangata

Phone 0800 802 602 (+64 4 473 9533)|Fax +64 4 471 2254
[Office of the Ombudsman request email] | www.ombudsman.parliament.nz
PO Box 10152, Level 7, SolNet House, 70 The Terrace, Wellington
IMPORTANT: The information contained in this email may be confidential or legally privileged. It is intended solely for the recipient or recipients named in this message. Please note that if you are not the intended recipient you are not authorised to use, copy or distribute the email or any information contained in it. If you have received this email in error, please advise the sender immediately and destroy the original message and any attachments.

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