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Commitment 7 progress report: December 2019

Open Government Partnership New Zealand National Action Plan 2018-2020

Progress report : December 2019

Commitment 7: Official information

Lead agency: Ministry of Justice and the State Services Commission

Objective: To improve the availability of official information by:

  • providing advice to the Government on whether to initiate a formal review of official information legislation
  • progressively increasing the proactive release of official information by publishing responses to requests for information made under the Official Information Act 1982 (OIA). This commitment builds on work - undertaken as part of the National Action Plan 2016-2018 - on official information to make information more accessible, which promotes good government and trust and confidence in the State Services.

Ambition: New Zealanders:

  • can have confidence that the regulation of official information remains fit-for-purpose
  • have equitable access to official information released in response to specific requests.

OGP values: Public Participation, Transparency, Accountability


Milestone 1

Test the merits of undertaking a review of the Official Information Act 1982 and provide and publish advice to Government

Start date: Following the report back of the Privacy Bill

End date: September 2019

Progress: Some delays

Milestone 2

Achieve a measurable increase in the proactive publication of official information request responses

Start/End dates: October 2018 to June 2020

Progress: Underway

Milestone 3

Implement a policy to publish Cabinet papers proactively within 30 days of final decisions, unless there are good reasons to withhold specific papers

Start/End dates: October 2018 to June 2019

Progress: Completed


What we have been doing

 Milestone 1:

  • The Ministry reported to the Minister in September 2019.
  • The Ministry is undertaking further work for the Minister before the Minister takes a paper to Cabinet

Milestone 2:

  • The Official Information Act Statistics for the six months to December 2019 are being collected and analysed. It is expected they will be released in March 2020.

Milestone 3:

  • This Milestone has been completed.

How we are including diverse voices

Milestone 1:

  • The consultation was publicly available through the Ministry of Justice Consultation Hub.
  • The Ministry identified and emailed interested individuals and organisations, including those representing minority groups, inviting them to make written submissions. They also encouraged them to forward the invitation to others.

How we are keeping diverse communities informed

Milestone 1:

  • The Ministry will publish the written submissions and its advice on its website in due course.

Milestone 2:

  • The SSC’s reports on OIA Statistics are published 6-monthly on the SSC website and include statistics on agencies' proactive publication of responses to official information requests. In September 2019 a version of the data (including information from previous collection periods) was published in a tool that allows the information to be downloaded in a more machine-readable format, in addition to the established Excel version

Milestone 3:

  • The Cabinet paper establishing the policy, and associated advice, has been published on the SSC website. The Cabinet Office Circular is published in HTML on the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet website.

What's next?

 Milestone 1

  • The Minister of Justice has considered the Ministry’s report and will consult with his colleagues on proposals to progress a review.
  • The next steps and timeframe will be determined following consultation.

Milestone 2

  • The latest statistics collection took place in January 2020, for publication in March 2020.

Milestone 3:

  • In agreeing to the proactive release of Cabinet Papers Cabinet asked for a review of effectiveness and impact to be carried out during 2019. The findings of this initial review will be considered by Cabinet in 2020 (deferred from December 2019).

Links – Evidence of progress and milestones achieved