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Official Information Act - OIA

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Official information denied as government agencies illegally refuse OIA request transfers, document shows





Kiwis are being denied access to information, because government agencies are illegally refusing to accept the transfer of Official Information Act (OIA) requests, a Justice Ministry document suggests.

The document was one of 290 submissions about the OIA, which highlighted problems with delays, documents rendered meaningless by deletions, political interference and government agencies drowning under the sheer volume of information requests.

The Justice Ministry had asked Kiwis about problems with the OIA, to help Justice Minister Andrew Little decide whether to review the 37-year-old act. The submissions showed widespread support for a review, with both those who request information and the government agencies who process the requests saying the act was not working.

Many requesters also said long delays for ombudsman investigations and the lack of any real enforcement tools meant there was little incentive to comply with the law. The most common suggested remedy was to introduce penalties for breaking the law.





Justice Minister Andrew Little said he was unaware of agencies refusing to accept OIA transfers. Little said the Justice Ministry was analysing the submissions and would report back by September, so he could decide whether to review the act.


I am aware of many people/ACC claimants/ACC advocates etc who have been denied information under the OIA by ACC.




"Agencies tend to ask for an extension by default – it’s seen as a free hit. They push everything back as far as possible, which means by the time you get a response, the issue you’re trying to cover has lost its currency."

- Anonymous requester



Would like to hear from anyone that has lodged an OIA request with the ACC and or Fairway who have received an extension of time request from the ACC and or Fairway by return mail/email?




"I have also had experience being asked to pay large sums of money for extra time spent on an OIA. This is, in my view, unfair, as this information should already be publicly available, and it is part of being a democracy that it is. Being asked to pay money for key information about our government systems is not equitable or possible for all people in our society."

- Anonymous requester



It is not uncommon for ACC to ask for money as like in the above quite.


I have in the past been fobbed off by the ACC with the following when requesting information from the ACC under the OIA

Request Denied - Commercially Sensitive


In the early 2000's I requested from the ACC all internal memo's sent between the ACC and AON in relation to the case management of one of my injury files/claims between 2000 and 2003/4


It was a long time ago but I seem to remember an inhouse ACC lawyer by the name of Sandra Mechin responding that the information requested under the OIA was commercially sensitive blah blah blah!


Anything to do with the management of my injury file should be out in the open.

Because ACC refused to provide those memo's it proves that the then AON case manager Leanne McDonnell was merely a puppet for the ACC!

ACC had to follow the rules

AON being a 3rd Party case management service provider to the ACC had no rules.


I may request that info again.





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