State Services Commissioner Peter Hughes today released the Official Information Statistics for the six months to June 2019.
The latest statistics cover 111 agencies that collectively completed 18,390 official information requests between January and June 2019, a 1.6% increase in volume on the previous six months.
Agencies responded to 17,914, or 97.4%, of requests on time, compared with the 95% requests answered on time in the July to December 2018 period. Since 2015/16, when the Commission started collecting OIA data, the number of OIA requests completed within the legislated timeframe had improved from 87.6%.
Mr Hughes said it was particularly satisfying that timeliness continued to improve even though the number of OIA requests remain historically high.
“It’s very pleasing we have achieved 97% timeliness but with some agencies facing record high volumes it’s going to be a challenge to maintain or keep improving on this result,” said Mr Hughes.
Agencies are increasingly publishing information, such as Cabinet papers, before it is requested. More agencies are also releasing their OIA responses publicly. Of the 111 agencies, 47 have published OIA responses on their websites. In total, 1654 OIA responses were published during the six months, a 45% increase on the previous period (1138 during the first half of 2017/18).
In the six months to June 2019, the number of complaints to the Ombudsman notified to agencies increased 5.6%, up from 197 to 208. A total of 27 final opinions were made by the Ombudsman against agencies, a 6.9% decrease on the previous period (29 during the July-December 2018 period).
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