Published : 04 March 2021

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

The latest statistics cover 116 agencies that collectively completed 25,332 official information requests between June and December 2020, a sharp 27% increase in volume on the previous six months.

In the six months to December, 54 agencies completed 100% of their OIA requests within the legislated timeframe. Overall, agencies responded to 24,631, or 97.2%, of requests on time, compared with the 97.3% in the January to June 2020 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 97.2% today.

“In the context of a 27% increase in volume, maintaining a high level of timeliness is a satisfactory result,” said Mr Hughes.

“During this period the Public Service has and continues to be at the forefront of implementing the Government’s COVID-19 response and economic recovery effort.”

Of the 116 agencies, 54 have published OIA responses on their websites, up from 46 in the previous six months. In total, 1876 OIA responses were published, a 52% increase on the previous period.

“While this result is particularly pleasing, we know we can do better,” said Mr Hughes. “Agencies are working hard to make official information more freely available.”

In the six months to December 2020, the number of complaints to the Ombudsman notified to agencies decreased 18%, down from 192 to 158. A total of 20 final opinions were made by the Ombudsman against agencies, a 39% decrease on the previous period (33 during the January-June 2020 period), which represents less than 0.1% of all OIA requests responded to by agencies.

The Commission now publishes additional OIA information on the data.govt.nz website, which contains all OIA statistics since 2015, as well as proactive release locations for OIA responses and Cabinet papers.

The latest Ombudsman’s data is also available.

 

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

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