OIA response times

Mark Hanna made this Official Information request to State Services Commission

The request was successful.

From: Mark Hanna

Tēnā koutou,

For the past four years, I have been keeping records of the time it takes for various agencies to respond to requests I’ve made to them under the OIA and LGOIMA via the website fyi.org.nz. I’ve noticed, over this relatively small data set, that response times have fallen into three roughly equal groups:

- Responses received before the due date
- Responses received on the due date (the majority of which are received after 4pm)
- Responses received after the due date

I think this may be indicative of agencies disregarding the requirement that responses to requests must be sent as soon as reasonably practicable. However, this data set is relatively small (32 requests over 10 agencies) and restricted to requests made by a single person.

I am interested in accessing more complete datasets to see if my anecdotal observations hold up. I am aware of statistics regarding OIA response times that have been published by the State Services Commission for 2015/16 and for 2016/17, however the closest statistic in these sets is the number or proportion of OIA requests “handled within the legislated timeframe”.

Unfortunately, this measurement obscures the behaviour I am trying to measure. If I applied the same measurement to my smaller data set, I would find that 69% of requests were handled within the legislated timeframe. However, that statistic does not reflect that fact that 45% of those requests only received a response on the last allowable day.

I intend to submit similar requests to various agencies for data on OIA response times. However I am sending this request first to the State Services Commission as it is my hope that you will be well placed to advise me on how agencies might collect and store this information. This way, I hope to have the opportunity to revise my request, if necessary, before I send it out more widely.

Please release the following information, from 1 July 2016 to 30 June 2017, broken down by request:

1. The date and time at which the request was received.
2. The date and time at which the request was answered.
3. Whether or not the request was extended under section 15A of the OIA.
3a. If the request was extended, the date and time at which notice of the extension was communicated to the requester.
3b. If the request was extended, the duration of the extension.
4. The outcome of the request (e.g. all information released, transferred to another agency).

Please provide this information in an accessible, searchable format. A spreadsheet format, such as CSV or XLSX, is preferable for tabular data.

Please also explain any relevant caveats that should be kept in mind when analysing this information, including the licence under which it is released.

If any part of my request is unclear, please don't hesitate to contact me.

If any of the information that I have requested is unavailable or would be difficult to retrieve, but similar information might be readily available, I would be happy to discuss altering or refining my request.

Ngā mihi,
Mark Hanna

Link to this

From: SSC Enquiries [SSC]
State Services Commission

[IN-CONFIDENCE]

Dear Mark Hanna,

I am writing to acknowledge receipt of your OIA request below.

We will endeavour to respond to your request as soon as possible and in any event no later than are 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.

If you have any queries, please feel free to contact Ministerial Services at [email address]. 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.

Our letter notifying you of our decision on your request will confirm if we intend to publish the letter (with your personal details removed) and any related documents on the State Services Commission’s website.

Kind regards,

Ministerial Services

Ministerial Services | State Services Commission
E   [email address] or [email address]
Level 10, 2 The Terrace, Wellington 6140  |  www.ssc.govt.nz  |  newzealand.govt.nz
We lead the public sector in the service of our nation.
We lead, we serve.

show quoted sections

Link to this

From: Ministerial Services [SSC]
State Services Commission


Attachment 2317840 SSCOIA Extension SSC2018 0021 OIA response Times Mark Hanna FYI Website.PDF.pdf
123K Download View as HTML


[IN-CONFIDENCE]

 

Dear Mark Hanna,

 

Please find attached an extension letter in relation to your OIA dated 13
February 2018.

 

Kind regards

 

Ministerial Services

Ministerial Services | State Services Commission

E   [1][email address] or [2][email address]
Level 10, 2 The Terrace, Wellington 6140  |  [3]www.ssc.govt.nz  | 
[4]newzealand.govt.nz

We lead the public sector in the service of our nation.

We lead, we serve.

 

 

...........................................................................................................................................
Caution: If you have received this message in error please notify the
sender immediately and then delete this message along with any
attachments.  Please treat the contents of this message as private and
in-confidence.

References

Visible links
1. mailto:[email address]
2. mailto:[email address]
3. http://www.ssc.govt.nz/
4. http://newzealand.govt.nz/

Link to this

A Chela left an annotation ()

Dear Mark

This is an excellent request to make. Are you aware of Bryce Edwards call for an OIA Coalition?

https://pro.newsroom.co.nz/articles/2275...

yours sincerely

A Chela

Link to this

Mark Hanna left an annotation ()

Thanks, I'm glad I'm not the only one who thinks asking for this is worthwhile :)

I am aware of Bryce's call, I emailed him about it in November last year when he wrote that piece for Newsroom to let him know I'd like to be involved. I haven't heard anything more about it recently, though I've been continuing trying to work on improving OIA accessibility.

This request (and the planned requests to follow to other agencies) is one part of that, and I've also been trying to improve more literal aspects of OIA accessibility regarding the format in which responses are often sent. If you're interested, here's a link to the open letter I sent to the Ombudsman, and later to two relevant Ministers, on this issue last year: https://honestuniverse.com/2017/11/17/oi...

And here are the Ministers' responses: https://honestuniverse.com/2018/01/31/oi...

Link to this

From: Ministerial Services [SSC]
State Services Commission


Attachment 2315853 SSCOIA Reply SSC2018 0021 OIA response Times Mark Hanna FYI Website.PDF.pdf
1.7M Download View as HTML


[IN-CONFIDENCE]

 

Dear Mr Hanna,

 

Please find attached SSC’s response to your OIA dated 13 February 2018.

 

Kind regards

 

Ministerial Services

Ministerial Services | State Services Commission

E   [1][email address] or [2][email address]
Level 10, 2 The Terrace, Wellington 6140  |  [3]www.ssc.govt.nz  | 
[4]newzealand.govt.nz

We lead the public sector in the service of our nation.

We lead, we serve.

 

 

...........................................................................................................................................
Caution: If you have received this message in error please notify the
sender immediately and then delete this message along with any
attachments.  Please treat the contents of this message as private and
in-confidence.

References

Visible links
1. mailto:[email address]
2. mailto:[email address]
3. http://www.ssc.govt.nz/
4. http://newzealand.govt.nz/

Link to this

From: Mark Hanna

Kia ora,

Thank you for your response to my request this morning. I had asked that you please provide this information in an accessible, searchable format, and said that a spreadsheet format, such as CSV or XLSX, is preferable for tabular data.

Unfortunately, the image-based PDF format the response has been sent in is not accessible, and it would take significant work for me to make the tabular data in particular usable. Could you please resend the response in a more accessible format? I'm not aware of any reason under Section 16(2) of the OIA that would make this difficult.

I have spoken with Associate Minister for State Services (Open Government) Clare Curran and Minister for Disability Issues Carmel Sepuloni regarding this issue recently, as I hope to see OIA accessibility practices improve across the state sector. Minister Curran said she had asked the SSC to consider whether accessibility of information should be part of the official information work programme that the Commission is undertaking, and Minister Sepuloni made the point that "Providing OIA responses in accessible formats should be standard practice as part of an open and transparent government".

Ngā mihi,
Mark Hanna

Link to this

From: Ministerial Services [SSC]
State Services Commission


Attachment 2319321 Excel.XLSX.xlsx
17K Download View as HTML


Dear Mr Hanna,

Please find an appendix attached in excel format.

Kind regards

Ministerial Services

Ministerial Services | State Services Commission
E   [email address] or [email address]
Level 10, 2 The Terrace, Wellington 6140  |  www.ssc.govt.nz  |  newzealand.govt.nz
We lead the public sector in the service of our nation.
We lead, we serve.

show quoted sections

Link to this

From: Mark Hanna

Thanks very much for the fast response!

Ngā mihi,
Mark Hanna

Link to this

Things to do with this request

Anyone:
State Services Commission only: