Your Ombudsman link isn't working.
Bloody Ombudsman's website. Go to Liberty, search for "contractor", and look at Case Notes [W48879]. Its actually about a contractor of a contractor, and the Ombudsman upheld LGOIMA applicability because they were ultimately working for a city council.
"The Ombudsman's reference to section 2(5) of the Act is correct for independent self-employed contractors to the Ministry who are considered in a similar position to an employee; information they hold is deemed to be held by the Ministry. However NASCs are independent organizations delivering services to members of the public and while the Ministry commission's [sic] services from NASCs, they are not considered as independent contractors to the Ministry for the purposes of the Official Information Act. "
The Ombudsman disagrees. That's a LGOIMA decision, but the same principle applies to OIA.
Unfortunately, given the scope of your request, you'd be looking at a high charge or an administrative refusal. A narrower request which actually specified the information you were seeking would have more chance of success.
So true, and under this Government we are also unable to access information from the NASCs (Needs Assessment and Service Co-ordination agencies) contracted by MOH to ensure disability support services go where they are needed. According to the MOH the NASCs are community groups and not covered by the OIA.
They’re not. But NASCs are contracted by the Ministry of Health to perform certain tasks (identified here. Section 2(5) OIA states that information held by contractors in their capacity as contractors is held by the contracting agency. So if its anything to do with their contracted services (as opposed to, say, their internal staff processes), then the information can be OIA’d from MoH.
They shouldn’t need an Ombudsman to tell them that.
By contrast, there is no alternative regulator people can go to if their privacy has been breached by something written in a book.
Other than the courts, for breach of privacy.
Nicky Hager is the best exponent of book form investigative journalism. Isn't he currently working on Wikileaks material pertaining to New Zealand? What are the implications for him from this ruling?
That he should destroy his notes after publication if they may become the subject of such a query.
Hence your own initial reaction to the letter surfacing (“Cunliffe is toast”)?
Not really. I saw it as cementing his long-term trend of failure. Whether its toast now or toast after the election doesn't change the outcome.
I questioned Duncan Garner about this when he spoke at the last Wintec Press Club. Quite a few gallery journalists get very excited by the sight of a wounded beast
Politics is a bloodsport, and everyone wants to be in on the kill
This smells rather bad
No shit - its a blatantly political release decision, with embarassing information on government MPs withheld unlawfully to protect the government of the day. And it shames out entire public service to be used as a tool of the government-of-the-day like this.
I am confident the Ombudsman will force release. Though it will probably come far too late.
(Note: none of this excuses Cunliffe or Labour's muppetry; it just shows us that other people are guilty of other things as well)
Sp if the law is widely flouted and never enforced, why is it even on the books?
it seems possible that the Cunliffe letter came up in the course of OIA requests around Liu's interactions with various National Party ministers. (On the other hand, John Key seems to know an unusual amount about Labour's historical business here and if he's bragging that he's had a copy of the letter for weeks, then it would be interesting to know how and why.)
No surprises policy: Ministers get informed (but do not get to make the decision on) anything significant, usually by being given a copy slightly pre-release (see also: Willaimson and the police, where Key was briefed on the request the day before). If Key's had it for months, it may have been released some time ago, and either sat on or just had its significance noted.
And of course, you or anyone else can use the OIA to find out, by OIAing a copy of the request which resulted its release, as well as all correspondence and advice related to that request. If you do, I recommend using FYI, so we can all see the result.