Wednesday 7 August 2019

But how many divisions might the Ombudsman have?

Ben Thomas explains how MMP coalition politics provides more ways for a government to avoid the Official Information Act. If conversations between Ministers in Cabinet were actually conversations between the spokespersons of the two different parties about the areas of their party responsibility, even if they write it all up on official Ministerial letterhead, then they can pretend that it's not subject to the OIA.

The whole article is excellent; do have a read. If you wanted a model op-ed for English writing assignments, this is a good one. Ignore the bolded teaser at the start that a Spinoff editor would have added; the structure's perfect.

When I was griping on Twitter about how the Official Information Act can't enforce itself and that governments can and will get away with this buffoonery so long as the public will allow it, Joe Ascroft pointed out that the Ombudsman can actually do a bit more than we're used to seeing from that office:

Does anyone know if the Ombudsman's office has ever actually done anything like this?

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