Tactical Options Reporting Data January-June 2018

Mark Hanna made this Official Information request to New Zealand Police

The request was refused by New Zealand Police.

From: Mark Hanna

Tēnā koe,

On three previous occasions (ref 16/11336, 16/7758/11, and IR-01-18-5190), NZ Police has released tactical options reporting (TOR) data under the Official Information Act for 6 month periods between 1 July 2016 and 31 December 2017.

I would like to request some more recent tactical options reporting data.

Please release the following information:

1. TOR data for the 1 January - 30 June 2018 reporting period, in the same format as was released for the July-December 2017 reporting period (ref IR-01-18-5190).

2. The number, and percentage, of the total set of TOR events in this period that have completed the review process. For example, in the data for July-December 2017 released in August 2018 it was reported that there were 2,402 completed TOR events in the TOR database, which amounted to 93% of all TOR events in the TOR database during that period.

3. If possible, please specify for each event whether or not it has completed the review process. I understand that NZ Police has produced some recoded fields in previous releases, but I’m not sure if this particular information can be easily extracted. If it would make the request significantly more difficult or time-consuming, I would be happy for this part to be excluded.

Please also explain any relevant caveats that should be kept in mind when analysing this information.

Please provide all information, including the response letter, in an accessible, searchable format. Please provide the TOR data in a machine-readable format such as CSV or XSLX. I’d be happy if the XSLX format that has been used to release this data previously is used again.

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.

Nāku, nā,
Mark Hanna

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Mark Hanna left an annotation ()

Here are links to previously requests for this data over different periods:

Q3-4 2016: https://fyi.org.nz/request/5039-tactical...
Q1-2 2017: https://fyi.org.nz/request/6558-tactical...
Q3-4 2017: https://fyi.org.nz/request/8236-tactical...

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New Zealand Police

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From: MAUNDER, Renee
New Zealand Police


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Good morning

 

The OIA request below has been assigned and is underway.

 

Kind regards

 

Renée

 

 

Renée Maunder

Senior Advisor

Ministerial Services

 

P +64 4 474 8819

Ext.  44419

E [1][email address]

 

[2]wordmark transparent

 

 

 

 

From: [email address]
[mailto:[email address]]
Sent: Thursday, 22 November 2018 11:51 a.m.
To: MAUNDER, Renee <[email address]>
Subject: Fw: Official Information request - Tactical Options Reporting
Data January-June 2018

 

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Mark Hanna left an annotation ()

A response to this request is now overdue. I have lodged a complaint with the Ombudsman.

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From: FOXWELL, Holly
New Zealand Police


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Attachment Hanna Mark TOR data IR 01 18 16744 signed.pdf
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Dear Mark

 

I have been asked to send this attached response.

 

 

Ngā mihi

 

Holly Foxwell

Ministerial Services Advisor

Police National Headquarters

 

E [1][email address]

 

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Mark Hanna left an annotation ()

I intend to complain to the Ombudsman about this refusal, as I can't afford to pay the $684 - $836 fee they have proposed. I believe there is clear public interest in it being released without a fee.

If anyone following this is aware of any relevant case notes published by the Ombudsman, I'd greatly appreciate if they could post links here.

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Roger Wilson left an annotation ()

Hi Mark,
This one is a bit tricky as they have not explicitly stated grounds for refusal. However, you can probably infer that if you don't pay the charge the grounds would be under substantial collation (s18f) - but I suggest going back to clarify this.

As this is an administrative reason for refusal it is not subject to the public interest test, and they can elect to provide the information anyway (which is likely what the letter is suggesting they did previously).

However, if this is their grounds for refusal then I suggest to refer to the Ombudsman's guide on s18f (http://www.ombudsman.parliament.nz/syste...)

Specifically, pages 8 (and footnote 15) and 9 which essentially states that the time to redact information and quality assurance (peer review) should not be considered when considering substantial collation (and by implication charging - though they can delay).

This then only leaves the extracting of the data (which they have to do anyway to prepare the report) and the recoding. I would suggest going back to them to clarify that they will refuse under 18f if you don't pay. Refer them to the guide and points and perhaps elect to go without the recoded fields (if possible) and wait until April (or whenever they extract the data). That way it would pretty much remove all their administrative tasks from the equation.

To be honest 10-12 hours seems high for extracting raw data (ie information that is actually held - and therefore not requiring "abstracting" or "transcribing") - so you may want to request a breakdown of the cost involved by the tasks and time required.

Additionally the comment "Furthermore, even when provided, this type of raw data is difficult to understand without the necessary historical, operational, and policy knowledge. New Zealand Police has a team of specialist analysts who work with this data on a routine basis, and understand it well." should have absolutely no bearing on the rationale to release official information that is held.

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Mark Hanna left an annotation ()

Thanks a lot for your advice Roger. I honestly hadn't noticed that NZ Police hadn't stated a specific ground for refusal if I do not pay their fee, though I agree that section 18(f) is almost certainly the one they mean to use.

I have been drafting a complaint to the Ombudsman over the holiday period, though I haven't sent it yet. I guess one advantage this refusal coming right before the summer break is that taking some time to work on a complaint likely won't make it take a whole lot longer to be processed.

One of the things I argue in my current draft complaint is that I don't think the estimate of 10-12 hours is likely accurate. As I've asked for the information to be released in the same format as last time, unless there has been a change to the way in which it is recorded (I have no reason to believe this is the case) then Police will already have written the code that redacts and recodes all the necessary fields. So all that should be required of them to collate the data is exporting it to a spreadsheet (which should be fast) and running code they have already written to recode and redact certain fields (which should also be fast).

Thanks for pointing out the part of the guidance that says peer review etc. doesn't contribute toward "substantial collation or research". That was a point I wasn't aware of. However, the charging guidelines do include "Reasonably required peer review in order to ensure that the above tasks [including collation and editing] have been carried out correctly" under "activities that can be charged for" (page 6): http://www.ombudsman.parliament.nz/syste...

Given the provision of the OIA that allows agencies to charge for the release of information is section 15, not section 18(f) (though section 18A(1)(a) is relevant to this sort of thing, they haven't cited it here), I wonder if they may mean to sidestep the issue of withholding grounds entirely? I suppose if that is the case, I would have to argue that the charge is inappropriate in light of section 15(2). I hope an argument regarding the clear public interest in this information being released might still be useful in that context.

If you think I've misinterpreted anything surrounding this relationship between charging for a request and refusing it under section 18(f), please feel free to correct me. I'm not a lawyer so I know I can often be missing important context around these things, or just plainly draw the wrong conclusions.

I agree completely that the strange note at the end of their response is not a valid withholding ground. The fact that they included it at all makes me suspect that they are not happy with the unflattering coverage that has resulted from previous TOR data they have released under the OIA, and this may have been a factor in their decision to not release it without a charge this time.

I'm not sure if asking them to confirm their reason for refusal before I send a complaint to the Ombudsman would be super useful, if only because I think they would take a long time (possible another 20 working days or more) to respond. But I also see no harm in asking, considering I wouldn't necessarily need to wait for a response before sending my complaint to the Ombudsman. It would also give me an opportunity to ask for a breakdown of their estimated costs, as you've also suggested.

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From: Mark Hanna

Tēnā koe,

Thank you for your response to my request. I have a few questions before I decide how to respond.

Could you please clarify for me the grounds under which my request would be refused if I do not agree to pay the fee?

Also, please provide me with a breakdown of the estimated costs for releasing the information I have requested.

In response to my earlier request for the equivalent set of TOR data for January-June 2017 (ref 16/7758/11), in discussing my question of whether additional information could be included instead of being withheld, I was told it would be possible “so long as the total time required to prepare the dataset remains under one hour”.

I am not sure what might have changed in the past year that means the total time required to prepare one of these datasets would now be 10-12 hours, rather than under 1 hour as the response to my previous request indicated was the case?

In the same response I was also told that NZ Police “already have a robust recoding technique established” for certain variables, which would be applied to the new dataset. Would the established recoding techniques not also be used in this case?

Ngā mihi,
Mark Hanna

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From: FOXWELL, Holly
New Zealand Police

I am currently out of office, please contact
[email address] if urgent.

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From: Mark Hanna

Tēnā koe,

Can you please confirm that I will receive a response to my latest questions regarding this request no later than Wednesday next week, the 13th of February? That will mark 20 working days since my previous email was received, on the 8th of January. I had hoped that I might have had a response by now, but I haven't heard anything back yet.

Ngā mihi,
Mark Hanna

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New Zealand Police

'Do not reply to this message, this email message has been sent from an
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Thank you for your email.
 
We have forwarded this onto Ministerial Services for response to your
question.
 
 
Please email us again at [1][New Zealand Police request email] if we can help you
any further.
 
Regards
 
New Zealand Police
 
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===============================================================

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: MAUNDER, Renee
New Zealand Police

Good afternoon

 

The team working on this response has confirmed that you will have it by
13 February. The Superintendent signing it out has had to take a short
notice trip to Australia. He is expected back in the next couple of days.

 

Regards

 

Renee  

 

From: [email address]
[mailto:[email address]]
Sent: Tuesday, 5 February 2019 3:46 p.m.
To: MAUNDER, Renee <[email address]>
Subject: Fw: Re: Official Information request - Tactical Options Reporting
Data January-June 2018

 

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From: Mark Hanna

Kia ora Renee,

Thanks for the update.

Ngā mihi,
Mark

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Mark Hanna left an annotation ()

I guess I was right to worry that Police would take 20 working days or more to answer follow-up questions. It's been 21 working days now since I sent them my last questions, and as anyone can see here they haven't yet responded.

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