People in New Zealand can request government information (official information) and can expect it to be made available unless there is a good reason to withhold it.
The Official Information Act 1982 (or OIA) enables citizens, permanent residents, visitors to New Zealand, and body corporates registered or with a place of business in New Zealand, to make a request for official information held by government agencies, including the State Services Commission (SSC).
Making a request
Your request should be as clear and specific as you can possibly make it. Before making a request please check our other sources of information listed below.
You can contact us in a number of ways to request information:
- Telephone: (04) 495 6600
- Postal address: 2 The Terrace, PO Box 329, Wellington 6140
We would like:
- your name
- contact address (email or postal)
- details of the information you want.
We may ask you for more details.
If you make your request by phone or in person, we will either confirm it in writing ourselves or, if we’re not sure what you’re seeking, we may ask if you’d mind putting it in writing.
Before making a request for information
Before requesting official information from SSC, we encourage you to check out the sources of information below as you may find the information you need is already publicly available:
- Our Media & Speeches Section
- Our published OIAs
- Our Reports
- Our Publications
- Our Work Programmes
- Peter Hughes’ Blog
- Human Resource Capability (HRC) survey
How long will it take?
We will acknowledge your request and are required by law to give you our decision on your request as soon as possible, and no later than 20 working days after we receive your request.
If we need more time to make our decision on your request, for example if you are requesting a lot of information, we will let you know and give you an idea of how long it will take. We will also try to keep you updated on the progress of our response to your request. You can complain to the Office of the Ombudsman if you’re not happy with our decision to extend the time.
Further information on how the Commission will respond to your request, is as outlined in our published guidance for agencies.
You can see data on the number of requests we receive each year and the timeliness of our responses: Official Information Act Statistics.
What does it cost?
Requesting official information is free, though we can charge a reasonable amount if it will take a lot of work to supply the information requested. There's no charge for the first hour spent on your request or for the first 20 pages of photocopying.
Find out more in our guidance on how we will respond.
You can complain to the Office of the Ombudsman about our decision to charge.
What if I’m not satisfied?
You may wish to contact us in the first instance to see if we can resolve the issue.
You can make a complaint to the Office of the Ombudsman if you:
- have concerns regarding the decision we made on your request
- were unhappy about the way your request was treated or processed.
These concerns can relate to the withholding of information, extending the timeframe to respond to you, any charges for providing the information you have requested, delays in providing you with a decision or the information, or your request being transferred.
The Office of the Ombudsman can investigate and review our decision and may make a recommendation to us if it is considered appropriate.