13 March 2024

Acting Public Service Commissioner Heather Baggott today released the Official Information Act statistics for the six months to December 2023. 

The latest statistics cover 99 agencies that collectively completed 30,834 official information requests between July and December 2023.

Overall, agencies responded on time to 30,256, or 98.1 percent of requests, against 98.2 percent in the previous reporting period. It is the second time historically timeliness has been above 98 percent. 

The average time to respond to all OIA requests, including extensions, across the Public Service departments and Crown entities, was 13.1 working days, compared with 13.6 days in the previous period.

The Public Service collects and publishes data on a range of measures, including the average time for agencies to respond to requests, and the use of extensions, transfers, and refusals.

Overall, only 6.8 percent of requests were extended, an improvement on 7.5 percent in the previous six months, and down from 8.2 percent 12 months ago.

Of the 30,834 requests, 966, or 3.1 percent, were transferred in full to be answered by other agencies.

Of the 9.5 percent of requests refused in full, most were refused because the information was either not held, did not exist, was already in the public arena or would soon be publicly available.

The Ombudsman notified agencies of 238 complaints, up from 224 for the previous six months. A total of 84 final opinions were made against agencies, or 0.27 percent of all requests completed.

Ms Baggott said the Public Service’s performance in responding to requests for official information remained high.

Media queries: Grahame Armstrong 021 940 457 or grahame.armstrong@publicservice.govt.nz