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Reasons for not performing a Privacy Impact Assessment on the Data and Statistics Bill

New Zealand Council for Civil Liberties made this Official Information request to Statistics New Zealand

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From: New Zealand Council for Civil Liberties

Tēnā koutou Statistics New Zealand,

This is a request under the Official Information Act.

The New Zealand Council for Civil Liberties is trying to understand why no Privacy Impact Assessment (PIA) was produced for the Data and Statistics Bill, and why Part 5 of the Bill creates a regime for accessing information. We therefore request a copy of the following information held by Statistics New Zealand:

1. briefings, advice, aide memoire, or similar, that considers or analyses the issue of producing a Privacy Impact Assessment (PIA) for both the policy proposals underlying the Data and Statistics Bill, and the Data and Statistics Bill itself;

2. any request for legal advice on production of a PIA for the Data and Statistics Bill or the underlying policy proposals, and the advice received in response to such a request;

3. the minutes, and officials handwritten notes, of any meetings at which the decision was made to not produce a PIA;

4. if the decision not to produce a PIA was taken by an individual, rather than in a meeting, the record of that decision produced by the decision-maker;

5. correspondence (by email or other means) with any other government department about producing or not producing a PIA for the proposals and Bill;

6. correspondence (by email or other means) and notes of meetings with the either the Privacy Commissioner or anyone working in or for the Privacy Commissioner about (i) the interaction of the Data and Statistics Bill with the Privacy Act and (ii) producing or not producing a PIA on the Bill or underlying policy; and

7. correspondence (not including that relating to a formally notified investigation) with the Ombudsman or any of his staff relating to the Data and Statistics Bill and notes of any meeting with the Ombudsman or his staff.

Under section 16 of the OIA, our preferred means of receiving the information is as an attachment to your response to this request. Under section 16 we would also prefer to receive the information in its original file format (presumably Microsoft Word), or a PDF of any emails. If only a PDF of the information has been retained, our second preference would be to receive it as a text-searchable PDF. We also prefer to receive the information without it being watermarked with ‘released under the OIA’ (or similar) over the text. The OIA does not require departments to place such markings over information they disclose. The OIA limits reasons for these preferences not to be complied with.

In view of the duty on Chief Executives under section 12 of the Public Service Act to foster a culture of open government, and the section 4 participation and accountability purposes of the OIA, the Council expects Statistics NZ to take constructive and inclusive approach to interpreting our request.

If you need to clarify anything about this request, please reply to the email address from which you received this request.

Ngā mihi,

Steven Ensslen 

Secretary 

New Zealand Council for Civil Liberties

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From: Laura Christen
Statistics New Zealand

Tēnā koe Mr Ensslen

I am writing to acknowledge receipt of your official information request of 21 March 2022 for information held by Statistics New Zealand relating to Privacy Impact Assessment (PIA) with respect to the Data and Statistics Bill, and the requirements under Part 5 of the Bill, including:

1. briefings, advice, aide memoire, or similar, that considers or analyses the issue of producing a Privacy Impact Assessment (PIA) for both the policy proposals underlying the Data and Statistics Bill, and the Data and Statistics Bill itself;

2. any request for legal advice on production of a PIA for the Data and Statistics Bill or the underlying policy proposals, and the advice received in response to such a request;

3. the minutes, and officials handwritten notes, of any meetings at which the decision was made to not produce a PIA;

4. if the decision not to produce a PIA was taken by an individual, rather than in a meeting, the record of that decision produced by the decision-maker;

5. correspondence (by email or other means) with any other government department about producing or not producing a PIA for the proposals and Bill;

6. correspondence (by email or other means) and notes of meetings with the either the Privacy Commissioner or anyone working in or for the Privacy Commissioner about (i) the interaction of the Data and Statistics Bill with the Privacy Act and (ii) producing or not producing a PIA on the Bill or underlying policy; and

7. correspondence (not including that relating to a formally notified investigation) with the Ombudsman or any of his staff relating to the Data and Statistics Bill and notes of any meeting with the Ombudsman or his staff.

We received your request on 21 March 2022. We will endeavour to respond to your request as soon as possible and in any event no later than 20 April 2022, being 20 working days after the day your request was received.

If we are unable to respond to your request by then, we will notify you of an extension of that timeframe. Your request is being handled by the Executive and Government Relations team in the Office of the Government Statistician and Chief Executive. Please feel free to contact me if you have any queries. If any additional factors come to light which are relevant to your request, please do not hesitate to contact us so that these can be taken into account.

Apologies for the delay in sending this acknowledgement.

Ngā mihi

Laura Christen (pronouns: she/her/hers)
Senior Advisor – Executive and Government Relations, Office of the Government Statistician and Chief Executive | Kaitohutohu Matua – Tari o Te Kaitatauranga Matua Me Te Pouārahi Matua
Stats NZ | Tatauranga Aotearoa | stats.govt.nz | +64 27 291 1369
About Aotearoa, for Aotearoa
Data that improves lives today and for generations to come
 
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From: Laura Christen
Statistics New Zealand

Dear Steven Ensslen
 
Notice of an extension to your Official Information request re: ‘Reasons
for not performing a Privacy Impact Assessment on the Data and Statistics
Bill’
 
I refer to your official information request dated 21 March 2022 for
information to assist with an understanding of “why no Privacy Impact
Assessment (PIA) was produced for the Data and Statistics Bill, and why
Part 5 of the Bill creates a regime for accessing information”.
 
The OIA requires that we advise you of our decision on your request no
later than 20 working days after the day we received your request.
Unfortunately, it will not be possible to meet that time limit and we are
therefore writing to notify you of an extension of the time to make our
decision, to Thursday 12 May 2022 (an additional fourteen working days).
We will endeavour to respond to you as soon as possible within the
timeframe of this extension.
 
This extension is necessary because consultations necessary to make a
decision on your request (including with the external stakeholders named
in relevant documents) are such that a proper response cannot reasonably
be made within the original time limit.
 
You have the right to seek an investigation and review by the Ombudsman of
this decision. Information about how to make a complaint is available at
[1]www.ombudsman.parliament.nz or freephone 0800 802 602.
 
If you wish to discuss any aspect of your request with us, including this
decision, please feel free to contact Laura Christen, Senior Advisor
Executive and Government Relations, on [2][email address].
 
Yours sincerely
       
Laura Christen (pronouns: she/her/hers)
Senior Advisor – Executive and Government Relations, Office of the
Government Statistician and Chief Executive | Kaitohutohu Matua – Tari o
Te Kaitatauranga Matua Me Te Pouārahi Matua
Stats NZ | Tatauranga Aotearoa | [3]stats.govt.nz
About Aotearoa, for Aotearoa
Data that improves lives today and for generations to come
 
[4]Facebook | [5]Twitter | [6]LinkedIn
 

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From: New Zealand Council for Civil Liberties

Tēnā koe Laura Christen,

Thank you for your email of 20 April 2022, informing us that Statistics NZ is extending the time for making a decision on the Council’s request of 21 March.

Please provide the following information to help us make a decision on whether to make a complaint to the Ombudsman about Statistics NZ’s decision to extend the timeframe:

1) Who are the external stakeholders referred to in your email of 20 April?

2) On what date did Statistics NZ realise it would need to consult external stakeholders in relation to the Council’s request of 21 March 2022?

3) On what date did Statistics NZ substantively initiate the consultation with these external stakeholders - that is, provide them with the information on which it wanted their views?

4) How long a period did Statistics NZ give these external stakeholders to respond to its request for comments on potential disclosure of the information?

The date that Statistics NZ is now proposing to communicate its decision on our request (12 May 2022) is after the date on which the Governance and Administration select committee is due to report back on the Data and Statistics Bill (9 May).

It would therefore assist the Council if the department can make decisions on, and provide the Council with, such information as it can - possibly by severing it from the material it is consulting external stakeholders on - as soon as possible.

Ngā mihi,

Steven Ensslen
Secretary
New Zealand Council for Civil Liberties

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From: Kate Satterthwaite
Statistics New Zealand

Tēnā koe Steven,

Thank you for your email requesting information on our decision to extend the time limit to respond to your official information request.

Section 15A of the Official Information Act 1982 allows agencies to extend the time limit for making and communicating a decision to a requester, so long as the requester is advised of this decision within 20 working days after the day on which our agency received the request.

You were advised that consultations necessary to make a decision on the request are such that a proper response to the request cannot reasonably be made within the original time limit. This decision, including the period of the extension, was considered reasonable having regard to both the current circumstances and any interferences on our operations.

Responding to each of your points made, while we work to process your request for information (in addition to other business) will likely impact on our ability to meet the extended timeframe, or provide the information any sooner.

You were advised of your rights to make a complaint to the Ombudsman if you are dissatisfied with this decision. Stats NZ is comfortable with responding to the Ombudsman, should you wish to make a complaint, as this will enable us to respond to your request as soon as possible, and by no later than Thursday, 12 May, 2022.

Nāku noa, nā

Kate

Kate Satterthwaite (she/her and Ms)
Senior Manager - Executive and Government Relations, Office of the Chief Executive
Kaiwhakahaere Matua, Rautaki me te Mahi Haumi
Stats NZ | Tatauranga Aotearoa | stats.govt.nz |
About Aotearoa, for Aotearoa
Data that improves lives today and for generations to come

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From: New Zealand Council for Civil Liberties

Tēnā koe Ms Satterthwaite,

Thank you for responding to the Council’s request for information. Unfortunately, it seems that in spite of this being the 40th anniversary year of the Official Information Act being passed into law, Statistics NZ does not know how to recognise a request for official information that it must respond to in accordance with the Act.

Our email to the department of 28 April 2022 was a fresh request for information under section 12 of the Act. It specified with due particularity the information the Council is seeking from the department.

Accordingly, Statistics NZ is required by the law to respond to this request as soon as reasonably practicable and no later than the 20th working day. We suggest that if the four small items of information sought in our request of 28 April cannot be supplied to us within one working day, and in any case well before the 20th working day, then Statistics NZ's record keeping, processes and systems for managing, prioritising and responding for OIA requests must be so delinquent that we should invite the Ombudsman’s Official Information Practice Investigations team to initiate an own motion investigation of the department.

The department’s response of 28 April 2022 - signed by you - does not comply with the permitted grounds of refusal under sections 18 and 19 of the OIA.

The department therefore has a choice. It can rapidly provide the information sought in our request of 28 April for information about its extension of our 21 March request, or we can make a complaint to the Ombudsman about the department's improper refusal of our request. We are also considering whether it is necessary for us to write both to the department’s minister, Dr David Clark, and to Mr Ian McKelvie, chair of the Governance and Administration Select Committee, as the department’s conduct in responding to our OIA requests appears to be deliberately designed to frustrate our ability to participate in the democratic process (see section 4 of the OIA regarding participating effectively in the making and administration of laws and policies).

If you, or the department’s legal advisors, doubt our statements about the legal obligations incumbent on it to respond to our request of 28 April 2022, we suggest you telephone the Office of the Ombudsman’s Strategic Advice Team for advice on this matter. The telephone number for the Ombudsman’s office is 0800 802 602.

We look forward to Statistics New Zealand’s swift and complete response to our request of 28 April, and to our initial request of 21 March.

Nāku noa, nā,

Steven Ennslen
Secretary
New Zealand Council for Civil Liberties

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From: Kate Satterthwaite
Statistics New Zealand

Kia ora, I am on annual leave, returning to the office on 16 May 2022. I
will not be monitoring my emails while on leave. Please contact General
Manager, [email address] if your matter is urgent and needs
attention before my return. Nga mihi, Kate

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From: New Zealand Council for Civil Liberties

Tēnā koe Statistics New Zealand,

The Council received an out-of-office message from the official we sent our reply to (Ms Satterthwaite), so we are re-sending to your main email address:

Thank you for responding to the Council’s request for information. Unfortunately, it seems that in spite of this being the 40th anniversary year of the Official Information Act being passed into law, Statistics NZ does not know how to recognise a request for official information that it must respond to in accordance with the Act.

Our email to the department of 28 April 2022 was a fresh request for information under section 12 of the Act. It specified with due particularity the information the Council is seeking from the department.

Accordingly, Statistics NZ is required by the law to respond to this request as soon as reasonably practicable and no later than the 20th working day. We suggest that if the four small items of information sought in our request of 28 April cannot be supplied to us within one working day, and in any case well before the 20th working day, then Statistics NZ's record keeping, processes and systems for managing, prioritising and responding for OIA requests must be so delinquent that we should invite the Ombudsman’s Official Information Practice Investigations team to initiate an own motion investigation of the department.

The department’s response of 28 April 2022 does not comply with the permitted grounds of refusal under sections 18 and 19 of the OIA.

The department therefore has a choice. It can rapidly provide the information sought in our request of 28 April for information about its extension of our 21 March request, or we can make a complaint to the Ombudsman about the department's improper refusal of our request. We are also considering whether it is necessary for us to write both to the department’s minister, Dr David Clark, and to Mr Ian McKelvie, chair of the Governance and Administration Select Committee, as the department’s conduct in responding to our OIA requests appears to be deliberately designed to frustrate our ability to participate in the democratic process (see section 4 of the OIA regarding participating effectively in the making and administration of laws and policies).

If the people processing this OIA request, or the department’s legal advisors, doubt our statements about the legal obligations incumbent on it to respond to our request of 28 April 2022, we suggest you telephone the Office of the Ombudsman’s Strategic Advice Team for advice on this matter. The telephone number for the Ombudsman’s office is 0800 802 602.

We look forward to Statistics New Zealand’s swift and complete response to our request of 28 April, and to our initial request of 21 March.

Nāku noa, nā,

Steven Ennslen
Secretary
New Zealand Council for Civil Liberties

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From: Romaine Solomona
Statistics New Zealand

Tēnā koe Steven,

We apologise for the delay in responding to your email, received this morning.

I am responding in Kate's absence, and would like to advise you that we are working at pace to respond to your original request, received on 21 March 2022, which is being prioritised as a matter of urgency.

With regard to the email we received by you on 28 March 2022, we apologise for our oversight and thank you for clarifying that you wished to make a new request for official information. As such, this email acknowledges receipt of your new request made under the Official Information Act 1982.

We will endeavour to respond to your request as soon as possible and in any event no later than 28 May 2022, being 20 working days after the day your request was received. If we are unable to respond to your request by then, we will notify you of an extension of that timeframe.

Your request is being handled by the Office of the Government Statistician and Chief Executive. If you have any queries, please feel free to contact me using the details in the signature below. If any additional factors come to light that are relevant to your request, please do not hesitate to contact us so these can be taken into account.

Ngā mihi, nā

Romaine Solomona

Kaitohutohu Matua | Senior Advisor
Tari O Te Kaitatauranga Matua Me Te Pouārahi Matua | Office of the Government Statistician and Chief Executive
Tatauranga Aotearoa | Stats NZ | stats.govt.nz | 027 205 6324

About Aotearoa, for Aotearoa
Data that improves lives today and for generations to come
 
Facebook | Twitter | LinkedIn

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From: Romaine Solomona
Statistics New Zealand

Tēnā koe Steven,

My apologies. Correction to the below date referencing your recent email - it was 28 May 2022 (not 28 March 2022).

Ngā mihi,
Romaine

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From: Romaine Solomona
Statistics New Zealand

Tēnā koe Steven,

Sincerest apologies for the below further error - I note it was in reference to your email received on 28 April 2022.

Have a lovely day.

Ngā mihi,
Romaine

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From: Laura Christen
Statistics New Zealand


Attachment OIA0346 Steven Ensslen Reasons for not performing a Privacy Impact Assessment on the Data and Statistics Bill 12052022.pdf
599K Download View as HTML

Attachment OIA0346 Steven Ensslen Material released under the OIA in response to request.pdf
2.0M Download View as HTML


Kia ora Steven Ensslen

 

Please find attached a response from Stats NZ to your Official Information
request regarding “why no Privacy Impact Assessment (PIA) was produced for
the Data and Statistics Bill, and why Part 5 of the Bill creates a regime
for accessing information”.

 

We received this request from you on 21 March 2022 and notified you on 20
April 2022 of an extension to the time to make our decision to 12 May
2022.

 

Ngā mihi

 

Laura Christen (pronouns: she/her/hers)

Senior Advisor – Executive and Government Relations, Office of the
Government Statistician and Chief Executive | Kaitohutohu Matua – Tari o
Te Kaitatauranga Matua Me Te Pouārahi Matua

Stats NZ | Tatauranga Aotearoa | [1]stats.govt.nz

About Aotearoa, for Aotearoa

Data that improves lives today and for generations to come

 

[2]Facebook | [3]Twitter | [4]LinkedIn

 

_____________________________________________
From: Laura Christen <[5][email address]>
Sent: Wednesday, 20 April 2022 5:07 pm
To: [6][FYI request #18942 email]
Subject: Notice of an extension to your Official Information request -
Reasons for not performing a Privacy Impact Assessment on the Data and
Statistics Bill

 

 

Dear Steven Ensslen

 

Notice of an extension to your Official Information request re: ‘Reasons
for not performing a Privacy Impact Assessment on the Data and Statistics
Bill’

 

I refer to your official information request dated 21 March 2022 for
information to assist with an understanding of “why no Privacy Impact
Assessment (PIA) was produced for the Data and Statistics Bill, and why
Part 5 of the Bill creates a regime for accessing information”.

 

The OIA requires that we advise you of our decision on your request no
later than 20 working days after the day we received your request.
Unfortunately, it will not be possible to meet that time limit and we are
therefore writing to notify you of an extension of the time to make our
decision, to Thursday 12 May 2022 (an additional fourteen working days).
We will endeavour to respond to you as soon as possible within the
timeframe of this extension.

 

This extension is necessary because consultations necessary to make a
decision on your request (including with the external stakeholders named
in relevant documents) are such that a proper response cannot reasonably
be made within the original time limit.

 

You have the right to seek an investigation and review by the Ombudsman of
this decision. Information about how to make a complaint is available at
[7]www.ombudsman.parliament.nz or freephone 0800 802 602.

 

If you wish to discuss any aspect of your request with us, including this
decision, please feel free to contact Laura Christen, Senior Advisor
Executive and Government Relations, on [8][email address].

 

Yours sincerely

             

Laura Christen (pronouns: she/her/hers)

Senior Advisor – Executive and Government Relations, Office of the
Government Statistician and Chief Executive | Kaitohutohu Matua – Tari o
Te Kaitatauranga Matua Me Te Pouārahi Matua

Stats NZ | Tatauranga Aotearoa | [9]stats.govt.nz

About Aotearoa, for Aotearoa

Data that improves lives today and for generations to come

 

[10]Facebook | [11]Twitter | [12]LinkedIn

 

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From: New Zealand Council for Civil Liberties

Tēnā koe Statistics New Zealand,

The Council notes that the department has failed to respond to our request of 28 April 2022 for information. This concerned the department's decision to extend the time for responding to our 21 March request until after the Governance and Administration Select Committee was due to report back on the Bill.

Since the four small items of factual data about the processing of our 21 March request should have been immediately to hand, we do not believe the department has complied with the OIA's requirement that requests be responded to 'as soon as reasonably practicable'.

If not sooner, the information could easily have been incorporated in the department's substantive response to our 21 March request, sent on 11 May and dated 12 May.

Please provide the information by the close of business today, 13 May 2022.

Ngā mihi,

Steven Ensslen
Secretary
New Zealand Council for Civil Liberties

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From: Romaine Solomona
Statistics New Zealand


Attachment 20220526 OIA response letter ENSSLEN.pdf
232K Download View as HTML


Tçnâ koe Steven Ensslen,

 

Please find attached Stats NZ’s response to your Official Information Act
1982 (OIA) request regarding its decision to extend the maximum time limit
to make a decision on your previous OIA request.

 

Ngâ mihi,

 

Romaine Solomona
Kaitohutohu Matua | Senior Advisor

Tari O Te Kaitatauranga Matua Me Te Pouârahi Matua | Office of the
Government Statistician and Chief Executive
Tatauranga Aotearoa | Stats NZ | [1]stats.govt.nz | 027 205 6324

About Aotearoa, for Aotearoa

Data that improves lives today and for generations to come

 

[2]Facebook | [3]Twitter | [4]LinkedIn

 

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