Public Service Commissioner Peter Hughes today released the Official Information Act statistics for the six months to December 2022.
It is the second time the Public Service has collected and published data on an expanded set of measures, including the average time for agencies to respond to requests and the use of extensions, transfers and refusals.
The cover 99 agencies that collectively completed 27,968 official information requests between July and December 2022, a 5 percent increase in volume on the previous six months. This is the second largest volume since monitoring began in 2016. Only the period July-December 2021 was higher at 29,618, due to an increase in requests during COVID-19.
Overall, agencies responded to 27,331, or 97.7 percent, of requests on time. This is an increase of 0.8 percentage points on the previous reporting period and the highest timeliness result to date.
Over half of agencies (53 of 99) reported 100 percent of requests were completed within legislated timeframes, compared with 56 in the previous six months.
Overall, 8.2 percent, or 2297, of requests were extended, slightly down on the previous six months. Twenty-six agencies did not extend any requests.
The average time to respond to all OIA requests, including extensions, across the Public Service departments and Crown entities, was 12.1 working days, from the original day of the request. This is the second time we’ve reported the average time to respond and is a small improvement on 12.5 days in the previous period.
Only 3.3 percent, or 915 of the 27,968 requests, were transferred to be answered by other agencies.
Of the 8.4 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. This is a slight increase on the previous period. The main reason for refusal remained the same, with agencies continuing to proactively release more information.
The Commissioner said the latest statistics are pleasing in the context of an increase in volumes.
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