6 Dec 2010

State sector funding curb details refused

11:55 am on 6 December 2010

The Government is refusing to release information about how individual departments and agencies are coping with continuing restrictions on their funding.

Radio New Zealand asked all Government ministers for the advice they had received about how their agencies planned to meet the tougher spending restraints placed on them.

However all the the requests were transferred to Finance Minister Bill English, meaning the specific information requested had not been made available.

Chief Ombudsman Beverley Wakem says under the law she cannot require that the requests be referred back to individual ministers, but says the Law Commission has recommended that the Official Information Act anomaly be closed.

Labour's finance spokesperson David Cunliffe says the information should be disclosed because tough choices have to be made about public spending.

Mr Cunliffe says Labour supports the Law Commission's recommendation to close loopholes which allow requests to be passed on.