Stuff: Government ignores plea to outlaw ministerial interference in OIA responses

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Ministers and government agencies have ignored the Ombudsman’s plea for signed agreements outlawing political meddling in Official Information Act (OIA) responses.

Two years after the Ombudsman urged agencies to agree terms to avoid “perceptions of impropriety”, none of the 30 departments surveyed have done so. Two have agreements in the pipelines.

Chief Ombudsman Peter Boshier made the call in July 2017, following revelations KiwiRail reversed its decision to release a report under the OIA after opposition from then-transport minister Simon Bridges’ office.

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