Auckland Council rebuffs Ombudsman's OIA suggestion

4:35 pm on 8 August 2019

The Auckland Council has knocked back a suggestion from the Ombudsman to remove a representative from the Mayor's office from the group that reviews official information requests.

Ombudsman Peter Boshier

Ombudsman Peter Boshier Photo: RNZ / Phil Smith

Chief Ombudsman Peter Boshier's review of the council's compliance with the local government official information laws hasn't found any major problems.

He said the council has a strong culture of openness and it proactively publishes information like transparency reports and official information responses.

The council has accepted all but one of the Ombudsman's suggested actions.

Mr Boshier suggested that to avoid any perception of political influence on official information decisions, a representative from the Mayor's office shouldn't be part of the review group that looks at information requests.

"The Council's view is that a Mayoral Office representative is well worth having on the Review Group, as they work right across the organisation and have knowledge of the location of information," Mr Boshier said.

"I acknowledge this point of view, but nonetheless urge Auckland Council to reconsider its position."