OIA response time statistics

Mark Hanna made this Official Information request to Accident Compensation Corporation

The request was partially 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 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.

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

1. The date on which the request was received.
2. The date on which the request was answered.
2a. If the request was answered on the last allowable day, the 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 on which notice of the extension was sent to the requester.
3b. If the notice of extension was sent to the requester on the last allowable day, the time at which the notice of extension was sent to the requester.
3c. 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 all 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.

I am aware that the time at which responses and notifications of extensions were sent may not be recorded centrally and may be difficult or impossible to retrieve. If extracting this information is likely to require this request to be refused under section 18(f) of the OIA, please let me know, as in that case I would likely be happy to refine my request based on what information could be provided.

Ngā mihi,
Mark Hanna

Link to this

From: Government Services
Accident Compensation Corporation

Dear Mr Hanna

Official Information Act Request

Thank you for your email of 17 April 2018 requesting information on
Official Information Act response times.

 

ACC is working on your request and will be in touch with you as soon as
possible, and certainly by 16 May 2018.

 

Regards

Government Engagement and Support

ACC

 

Disclaimer:

"This message and any attachments may contain confidential and privileged
information. If you believe you have received this email in error, please
advise us immediately by return email or telephone and then delete this
email together with all attachments. If you are not the intended
recipient, you are not authorised to use or copy this message or any
attachments or disclose the contents to any other person."

Link to this

From: Government Services
Accident Compensation Corporation


Attachment Response M Hanna.pdf
111K Download View as HTML

Attachment Appendix.pdf
268K Download View as HTML


Good afternoon Mr Hanna

 

Please find ACC’s response to your official information request of 17
April 2018.

 

 

Regards

Government Engagement and Support

ACC

Disclaimer:

"This message and any attachments may contain confidential and privileged
information. If you believe you have received this email in error, please
advise us immediately by return email or telephone and then delete this
email together with all attachments. If you are not the intended
recipient, you are not authorised to use or copy this message or any
attachments or disclose the contents to any other person."

Link to this

From: Mark Hanna

Tēnā koe,

Thank you for your response. I would like to reiterate the following part of my request:

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

Please re-send the response an accessible format as specified, unless there is a good reason under section 16(2) of the OIA as to why this cannot be done.

Ngā mihi,
Mark Hanna

Link to this

Mark Hanna left an annotation ()

I have lodged the following complaint with the Ombudsman:

"Tēnā koe,

I would like to lodge a formal complaint regarding a failure to provide information in the way preferred, without providing a reason why this was not done.

ACC received a request for official information from me on 2018-04-17, regarding OIA response time statistics. In my request, I had specified a preferred format for any tabular data that would be included in their response:

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

On 2018-05-16, ACC responded to my request by sending a response letter and a PDF of a table. There was no note in the response letter of the fact that a format different to the one I had asked for was used for this tabular data, or a reason why the preferred format was not used.

Ten minutes after receiving the response, I sent the following reply to ACC:

“Tēnā koe,

Thank you for your response. I would like to reiterate the following part of my request:

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

Please re-send the response an accessible format as specified, unless there is a good reason under section 16(2) of the OIA as to why this cannot be done.

Ngā mihi,
Mark Hanna”

Three working days have passed since I sent that response, and I have still not had any further response from ACC.

A PDF of this data is not useful to me, and in order for it to become useful I would have to transcribe all the data (the table contains about 2,500 cells) into a spreadsheet so that I can analyse it programmatically. Thankfully, I am also waiting on responses to similar requests made to other agencies before I need to analyse it all, so I would prefer to wait for a response from ACC than spend the time to transcribe all this information manually myself.

I expect that a spreadsheet was prepared by ACC before being exported to a PDF, and so providing this information as a spreadsheet would be easy for ACC to do.

It is my understanding that section 16(2) of the OIA requires an agency to provide data in the format preferred by the requester, unless there is a specific allowed reason for not doing this, and that if information is not provided in the preferred format section 16(3) requires an agency to tell the requester why this was not done. I believe ACC has fallen short of both of these responsibilities in their response to my request.

Here is a brief timeline of all correspondence regarding this request to date:

2018-04-17 - ACC received my request
2018-04-24 - I received an acknowledgement of receipt of my request from ACC
2018-05-16 - I received a response to my request from ACC
2018-05-16 - I replied to ACC’s response to ask them to provide the information in the specified format.

There has been no further correspondence to date.

I have attached a zip file containing all correspondence I have had with ACC regarding this request. Please don’t hesitate to contact me if any part of my complaint is unclear, or if you require any more information from me.

Ngā mihi,
Mark Hanna"

Link to this

Things to do with this request

Anyone:
Accident Compensation Corporation only: