08 September 2020

Public Service Commissioner Peter Hughes today released the Official Information Act statistics for the six months to June 2020.

The latest statistics (PDF, 308 KB)cover 115 agencies that collectively completed 19,935 official information requests between January and June 2020, a 0.5% increase in volume on the previous six months.

In the six months to June, 50 agencies completed 100% of their OIA requests within the legislated timeframe. Overall, agencies responded to 19,406, or 97.3%, of requests on time, compared with the 97.8% requests answered on time in the July to December 2019 period.

Since 2015 when the Commission started collecting OIA data there has been overall improvement in OIA requests being completed on time. In June 2016, 91.1% of OIAs were completed on time compared with 97.3% today.

“This is a satisfactory result considering the public service was implementing the Government’s COVID-19 response effort during this period,” said Mr Hughes.

The Commissioner is expecting more agencies to publish their OIA responses. Of the 115 agencies, 46 have published OIA responses on their websites, down on the 49 for the previous six months. In total, 1233 OIA responses were published, a 31% decrease on the previous period.

“Agencies are working hard to make official information more freely available, but we need to do better. And we will,” said Mr Hughes.

In the six months to June 2020, the number of complaints to the Ombudsman notified to agencies increased 1.6%, up from 189 to 192. A total of 33 final opinions were made by the Ombudsman against agencies, a 37.5% increase on the previous period (24 during the July-December 2019 period), which represents less than 0.2% of all OIA requests responded to by agencies.

The latest Ombudsman’s data is also available.

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