Citizenship applications in Jan 2023, and the fairness for the applicants whose applications failed/will fail automated checks

Kaizu made this Official Information request to Department of Internal Affairs

Currently waiting for a response from Department of Internal Affairs, they must respond promptly and normally no later than (details and exceptions).

From: Kaizu

Dear Department of Internal Affairs,

1. Could I please request the following data for citizenship application by grant (submitted online in January 2023 only)?

1.1 Total applications submitted
1.2 Number of applications passed the automated checks
1.3 Number of applications failed the automated checks and percentage breakdown (e.g. 20% failed photo, 30% failed presence requirements, etc.)
1.4 Number of applications that have been approved
1.5 Number of applications that are being processed
1.6 Number of applications that are waiting to be allocated to a case officer
1.7 Number of applications in each bucket

2. Regarding the buckets

"Bucket 1 – Applications from Bucket 2 that were not automatically able to go to Buckets 3, 4, 5 or 6, and that have been pre-assessed by an administrator for completeness.
Bucket 2 – All applications begin in this queue and are filtered to other queues using system logic. Applications that have not automatically able to go to Buckets 3, 4, 5 and 6 remain in this queue until they are picked up by an administrator and pre-assessed for completeness, before then being moved to Bucket 1."

2.1 Does this mean applications that aren't able to go to bucket 3, 4, 5 or 6 will go to bucket 1?
Or only applications that are incomplete will go to bucket 1.
2.2 Can applications in bucket 1 be moved to another bucket (for some reasons, e.g. system error that has been fixed/corrected by an administrator) or will remain in bucket 1 until a case officer is assigned?
2.3 Are applications in bucket 1 checked by the automated checks every week (like the ones in bucket 2)?

3. Sharing the results of automated checks

Before the implementation of the automated checks, applications were process based on the principal of "first come first served".
However, now the ones that pass the automate checks will be processed/approved fast (within one month or every faster). The ones that fail will have to wait for around 10 months to be allocated.
This reduces the process time for many applications by sacrificing the ones that failed the automated checks.

3.1 Can you please confirm if the above is correct?
If so, do you care about the fairness for the applicants whose applications failed (or will fail) the automated checks?
Or it doesn't matter as long as DIA can process the vast majority of the applications fast to make DIA look good.

3.2 By sharing the results of the automated checks (e.g. failed photo requirements) the applicant would be able to submit a new one, which might speed up the process.
Why is this (sharing the results of the automated checks) not considered by DIA?

Yours faithfully,


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From: OIA
Department of Internal Affairs

Tçnâ koe Kaizu

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 19 June 2023

Please note that 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.

Nâku, nâ

Michelle Reed (she/her)
Lead Advisor Official Correspondence | Information Management and Privacy
He Ringa Manaaki | Workplace Services Group
He Pou Aronui | Organisational Capability and Services
Te Tari Taiwhenua | Department of Internal Affairs
Level 3, 45 Pipitea St | PO Box 805, Wellington 6140, New Zealand |

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