Communication with bloggers

Tristan Rossiter-Sheehy made this Official Information request to Prime Minister

The request was refused by Prime Minister.

From: Tristan Rossiter-Sheehy

Dear Prime Minister,

I wish to know which bloggers (who and how many times contacted) your office has had email contact with between the first of May this year and the 17th of August this year

Yours faithfully,

Tristan Rossiter-Sheehy

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From: J Key (MIN)
Prime Minister

On behalf of the Prime Minister, Rt Hon John Key, thank you for your
email.

 

Please note that although email increases the speed of delivery, it may
not be possible to provide you with the rapid response users of email may
anticipate.

 

The fact that you have taken the time to write is appreciated.  You can be
assured that your views will be noted.

 

 

Yours sincerely

The Office of the Prime Minister

 

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From: Tristan Rossiter-Sheehy

Dear J Key (MIN),

Good Afternoon

I am still waiting for a response to this OIA I note it is past the 20 days as required by law

Yours sincerely,

Tristan Rossiter-Sheehy

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From: J Key (MIN)
Prime Minister

On behalf of the Prime Minister, Rt Hon John Key, thank you for your
email.

 

Please note that although email increases the speed of delivery, it may
not be possible to provide you with the rapid response users of email may
anticipate.

 

The fact that you have taken the time to write is appreciated.  You can be
assured that your views will be noted.

 

 

Yours sincerely

The Office of the Prime Minister

 

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From: Sarah Boyle


Attachment 15092014165258 0001.pdf
157K Download View as HTML


 

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Tristan Rossiter-Sheehy left an annotation ()

I have complained to the ombudsmen about this response ..

http://pastebin.com/nFQPtmZw

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Luke left an annotation ()

I agree that if Sarah wants to make the argument that if the Office of the Prime Minister handles information relating to John Key in his other capacities then the Office of the Prime Minister does need a method of determining the capacity in which a letter/email/text, etc was sent.

As I've said with identical requests as yours (https://fyi.org.nz/request/1912-briefing...), I think you would have a chance of getting the information you seek if you narrowed down what bloggers you were seeking. You should putforward some names. Having said that, Sarah will know the names of well-known bloggers and she could of come up with a tentative list too.

I think you may want to proofread your correspondence to the Ombudsman as there is some ambiguity around the word "satisfactory".

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Luke left an annotation ()

I also think the way you worded your request to the Office of the Prime Minister could have been better. Sarah has had to interpret and summarise it.

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Tristan Rossiter-Sheehy left an annotation ()

Thanks for the advice first time submitter here. I think if I asked for spefic people rather than bloggers and asked for information from the prime minsters email address and from any staffers who are employed by the pm office it might help

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Luke left an annotation ()

I think if you asked for named individuals that would help. While also asking for correspondence sent to/from the Prime Minister's email address, I think you should leave it up to the staff member in the Prime Minister's office to decide what was sent in his Ministerial capacity. if they come back and say the volume of correspondence is still too high (after giving them a time period and named individuals) then you can narrower it further. The reason is that a text or email could be sent from a personal email address, but that does not necessarily mean it was sent in a parliamentary or party capacity. It might indicate it was, but you'd have to look at the context of the content.

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Tristan Rossiter-Sheehy left an annotation ()

The ombumsmen's office has replied to my complaint! almost 2 years after i made the complaint (not that I blame them for that)

here is their reply...

Dear Mr Rossiter-Sheehy

I refer to your complaint to this Office dated 15 Sptember 2014. You complained about the Prime Minister's response to your request dated 18 August 2014 for information on 'which bloggers (who and how many times contacted) your office has had email contact with between the first of May this year and the 17th of August this year'.

As you may be aware, this Office has a number of aged files (of which your complaint is one) which were not able to be progressed at the time the complaint was received. I acknowledge that this situation is far from ideal. However, the Chief Ombudsman is committed to eliminating this backlog. To this end, we are working towards a stream-lined complaints handling process that ensures such delays do not occur again in the future.

I am the Senior Investigator assigned to progress this matter. Before Chief Ombudsman, Peter Boshier, notifies the complaint, I would be grateful if you would advise whether there are any circumstances that have changed that are relevant to your complaint. I note from the discussion on the FYI site following the making of your complaint, that you were considering narrowing your request, for example, to specific people rather than bloggers and to specific people within the Office of the Prime Minister. This was to assist the searching process.

Accordingly, I would be grateful if your would advise whether you would like to narrow your request to a subset of that which was originally requested for the purposes of this investigation and review.

I look forward to hearing from you shortly.

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Tristan Rossiter-Sheehy left an annotation ()

and my reply

Thanks for taking up this complaint. I have had a look at my requests over this time and no I didn't ask for specific names subsequent to this request but I did submit a request asking about how often resources like email and phones are used in the Prime Minister’s office for non-ministerial purposes. (https://www.fyi.org.nz/request/2130-use-...) This was also refused.

The basic nature of my complaint is that the office of the prime minster does not 'tag' ministerial correspondence as being from John Key in his capacity as the Prime Minister (or any of his other Ministerial positions) so refuses information requests on the basis that it’s too hard to find correspondence amongst all the communication they receive/send as leader of the national party (or any other role he might have).

I think separating the PM and leader of the national party but using the same email address and phones is a clever way to get around having to provide information under the OIA.

I would like to see one of two outcomes from this complaint

1. The Prime ministers email and phones records should be subject to the OIA regardless of what capacity he uses them. If he has other roles he wishes to communicate under he should use private email address and separate phones

2. If the Prime minister’s office wishes to use these resources then all correspondence should be tagged as soon as it’s received or sent so that it becomes part of the public record and can be easily sought under the OIA

Once again thank you for looking into this complaint

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Tristan Rossiter-Sheehy left an annotation ()

another note from the office.. I also see that ZB complained at the time to...
(http://www.newstalkzb.co.nz/news/politic...)

Dear Tristan

I refer to our email discussion on 29 and 30 August 2016.

I am writing to advise that the Chief Ombudsman notified the Prime Minister of your complaint on 1 September 2016. Judge Boshier requested a report on the decision to refuse your request under section 18(f) of the OIA.

Judge Boshier noted:

In his complaint to this Office, Mr Rossiter-Sheehy has advised that he is happy for my investigation and review of this complaint to focus on the refusal of the information relating to contact with Cameron Slater (Whale Oil) and David Farrar (Kiwiblog) only. If this removes the reason for the refusal, please advise.

We will keep you updated on the progress of the investigation.

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Things to do with this request

Anyone:
Prime Minister only: