Monday, February 18, 2013

A positive innovation

I'm busy browsing last week's dump of select committee financial review reports (start here). While most of them are deathly boring, I have noticed a positive innovation: select committees are now reviewing and commenting on department's OIA performance. This is good for two reasons. Firstly, it sends a clear message to departments that the OIA is core business, and that they are expected to comply with it and its timeframes. Secondly, we get to learn shit like this:

The Office of the Auditor-General has reported that 60 percent of Official Information Act 1982 requests [to MFAT] are not being responded to within the target time of four weeks, and 20 percent did not receive a response within eight weeks. We are not aware of any other department failing to meet this particular legal responsibility so conspicuously. The ministry replied that it has set up a new team to coordinate processes, and its response would improve as a result; adequate staffing was not the issue.
That's from MFAT's financial review [PDF], and I guess its what happens when you have Murray McCully in charge of your department.