Guidelines for processing information requests

Mark Hanna made this Official Information request to New Zealand Police

The request was partially successful.

From: Mark Hanna

Dear New Zealand Police,

Over the past week, I have seen NZ Police respond to two independent requests for official information made via fyi.org.nz with a request for proof of eligibility under Section 12 of the Official Information Act, such as a New Zealand postal address or telephone number. It seems the requests will not been processed further until NZ Police has received this confirmation.

- https://fyi.org.nz/request/5042/response...
- https://fyi.org.nz/request/5227-people-l...

In 2012 and again in 2014, NZ Police have released under the Official Information Act their internal policy document on responding to these requests, which has been titled "Guidelines for processing information requests". Both times I have seen this document, it has specified that:

"However, should Police receive a request for [official] information from an individual or organisation outside New Zealand, every endeavour should still be made to comply with the request."

- https://fyi.org.nz/request/493/response/...
- https://fyi.org.nz/request/1748/response...

This practice is also contrary to my personal experience with requesting official information from the NZ Police, as recently as September 2016. This has made me wonder if the relevant internal processes may have been changed recently.

Please release the current internal policy on responding to requests for official information, which I expect is still titled "Guidelines for processing information requests".

Please also release any other internal documents or communications pertaining to any guidance on requiring proof of eligibility under Section 12 of the Official Information Act as part of processing requests for official information.

I realise the second part of my request is quite broad. I'd be happy to discuss options for how it could be narrowed down, if you think that would be appropriate. I also anticipate it may require an extension of the standard deadline of 20 working days, if this appears likely to be the case I would appreciate if you could please release the "Guidelines for processing information requests" document before looking into the second part of my request.

I reside within New Zealand and am therefore eligible under Section 12 of the Official Information Act. As NZ Police have previously accepted my requests for official information (e.g. Ref 16/7758), I hope this assurance will be sufficient.

Sincerely,
Mark Hanna

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New Zealand Police

Good evening,
Your request has been forwarded on to the Ministerial Services.
Regards
Police Public Information

-----Mark Hanna <[FYI request #5237 email]> wrote:
-----
To: OIA/LGOIMA requests at New Zealand Police <[New Zealand Police request email]>
From: Mark Hanna <[FYI request #5237 email]>
Date: 19/01/2017 11:24PM
Subject: Official Information request - Guidelines for processing
information requests

Dear New Zealand Police,
Over the past week, I have seen NZ Police respond to two independent
requests for official information made via fyi.org.nz with a request for
proof of eligibility under Section 12 of the Official Information Act,
such as a New Zealand postal address or telephone number. It seems the
requests will not been processed further until NZ Police has received this
confirmation.
-
[1]https://fyi.org.nz/request/5042/response...
-
[2]https://fyi.org.nz/request/5227-people-l...
In 2012 and again in 2014, NZ Police have released under the Official
Information Act their internal policy document on responding to these
requests, which has been titled "Guidelines for processing information
requests". Both times I have seen this document, it has specified that:
"However, should Police receive a request for [official] information from
an individual or organisation outside New Zealand, every endeavour should
still be made to comply with the request."
-
[3]https://fyi.org.nz/request/493/response/...
-
[4]https://fyi.org.nz/request/1748/response...
This practice is also contrary to my personal experience with requesting
official information from the NZ Police, as recently as September 2016.
This has made me wonder if the relevant internal processes may have been
changed recently.
Please release the current internal policy on responding to requests for
official information, which I expect is still titled "Guidelines for
processing information requests".
Please also release any other internal documents or communications
pertaining to any guidance on requiring proof of eligibility under Section
12 of the Official Information Act as part of processing requests for
official information.
I realise the second part of my request is quite broad. I'd be happy to
discuss options for how it could be narrowed down, if you think that would
be appropriate. I also anticipate it may require an extension of the
standard deadline of 20 working days, if this appears likely to be the
case I would appreciate if you could please release the "Guidelines for
processing information requests" document before looking into the second
part of my request.
I reside within New Zealand and am therefore eligible under Section 12 of
the Official Information Act. As NZ Police have previously accepted my
requests for official information (e.g. Ref 16/7758), I hope this
assurance will be sufficient.
Sincerely,
Mark Hanna
-------------------------------------------------------------------
This is an Official Information request made via the FYI website.
Please use this email address for all replies to this request:
[FYI request #5237 email]
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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: MCMAHON, Teresa
New Zealand Police

Dear Mr Hanna

 

Your request of 19 January 2017 for the following information has been
received and is being processed pursuant to the Official Information Act
1982:

 

Please release the current internal policy on responding to requests for
official information, which I expect is still titled "Guidelines for
processing information requests".

Please also release any other internal documents or communications
pertaining to any guidance on requiring proof of eligibility under Section
12 of the Official Information Act as part of processing requests for
official information.

 

Ministerial Services , Police National Headquarters, 180 Molesworth
Street, Wellington, [1]www.police.govt.nz

 

 

 

 

===============================================================

WARNING

The information contained in this email message is intended for the
addressee only and may contain privileged information. It may also be
subject to the provisions of section 50 of the Policing Act 2008, which
creates an offence to have unlawful possession of Police property. If you
are not the intended recipient of this message or have received this
message in error, you must not peruse, use, distribute or copy this
message or any of its contents.

Also note, the views expressed in this message may not necessarily reflect
those of the New Zealand Police. If you have received this message in
error, please email or telephone the sender immediately

References

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1. http://www.police.govt.nz/

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From: MCMAHON, Teresa
New Zealand Police


Attachment Disclosure under the OIA.pdf
151K Download View as HTML


Dear Mr Hanna

 

Thank you for your request of 19 January 2017 asking for the following
information

 

Please release the current internal policy on responding to requests for
official information, which I expect is still titled "Guidelines for
processing information requests".

Please also release any other internal documents or communications
pertaining to any guidance on requiring proof of eligibility under Section
12 of the Official Information Act as part of processing requests for
official information.

The attached document entitled “Disclosure under the Official Information
Act” is the current internal policy on dealing with Official Information
Act requests. This was published in August 2016 and supersedes the
previously published guidelines.

 

I have located a document that is within scope of the second aspect of
your request but this is withheld pursuant to section 9(2)(h) of the
Official Information Act 1982 to maintain legal professional privilege.

 

You have the right, under section 28(3) of the Official Information Act
1982, to ask the Ombudsman to review my decision if you are not satisfied
with the way I have responded to your request.

 

Yours sincerely

 

Teresa McMahon

Ministerial Service Police National Headquarters

 

 

 

 

 

===============================================================

WARNING

The information contained in this email message is intended for the
addressee only and may contain privileged information. It may also be
subject to the provisions of section 50 of the Policing Act 2008, which
creates an offence to have unlawful possession of Police property. If you
are not the intended recipient of this message or have received this
message in error, you must not peruse, use, distribute or copy this
message or any of its contents.

Also note, the views expressed in this message may not necessarily reflect
those of the New Zealand Police. If you have received this message in
error, please email or telephone the sender immediately

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From: Mark Hanna

Tēnā koe Ms McMahon,

Thank you for your response to my request. I have some follow-up questions regarding how this request was handled.

In particular, I am interested in why I received this request mere minutes before the end of the business day on the final day of the legal deadline of 20 working days. Particularly as the document I had asked for in the first part of my request, being the guidelines for processing requests for official information, should be readily on hand and well understood by any person who was responsible for processing my request.

I also asked in my request that the release of the document in part 1 be actioned first if it were likely to be delayed by the time taken to action part 2. Though I anticipated this may happen due to a request for an extension, I had hoped the intention of that part of my request - that part 2 not be allowed to delay part 1 - would have been clear.

As you will know, s15(1) of the Official Information Act 1981 specifies that requests must be answered "as soon as reasonable practicable, and in any case not later than 20 working days after the day on which the request is received".

1. Please clarify for me why it was not reasonably practicable to release this document to me earlier than late in the afternoon on the final day of the allowable 20 working days. A timeline of events associated with processing this request may be helpful here, if it is possible for one to be provided.

I would also like a little more information about the document that has been withheld, if that is possible. I am not particularly familiar with the concept of legal professional privilege; my understanding is that this section of the OIA allows for information such as correspondence between a lawyer and their client to be withheld. If my understanding is incorrect, I would be happy to be corrected on it.

2. Please tell me the nature of the document that has been withheld, and its relevance to my request. For example, was it an email from a lawyer employed by NZ Police to a client, regarding when it is appropriate to request proof of eligibility under s12(1) of the Official Information Act?

3. Under s23(1)(c), please provide a written statement explaining the reasons for the decision to withhold the document that was discovered to be within the scope of my request.

Nāku, nā
Mark Hanna

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From: MCMAHON, Teresa
New Zealand Police

Dear Marc

Thank you for your request for further information. This is being dealt with under the Official Information Act 1982 and a reply will be sent under the provisions of that Act.

Yours sincerely
Teresa McMahon

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From: MCMAHON, Teresa
New Zealand Police


Attachment Hanna Mark 16 7785 6 reply.pdf
414K Download View as HTML

Attachment Hanna Mark 16 7758 6 timeline Redacted.pdf
2.2M Download View as HTML


Dear Mr Hanna

I attach my response to your email and request of 17 February 2017.

Teresa McMahon

===============================================================
WARNING
The information contained in this email message is intended for the addressee only and may contain privileged information. It may also be subject to the provisions of section 50 of the Policing Act 2008, which creates an offence to have unlawful possession of Police property. If you are not the intended recipient of this message or have received this message in error, you must not peruse, use, distribute or copy this message or any of its contents.
Also note, the views expressed in this message may not necessarily reflect those of the New Zealand Police. If you have received this message in error, please email or telephone the sender immediately

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Luke left an annotation ()

They seem quite intent on using 92(h) to withhold the legal advice.

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Luke left an annotation ()

At some stage, it would be interesting to see their guides on "Introduction to disclosure of information" and "Disclosure under the Privacy Act 1993" that are referred to in the Police's "Disclosure under the Official
Information Act 1982 (OIA)" guide.

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