This process includes a Police vetting check on individuals involved in a research application.
Presumably because of all that "NZ Police Privileged Information" they'll be accessing. Like localised crime statistics, or interviews with police officers. You know, sensitive stuff.
Alternatively, the police could be taking about themselves. I imagine they misunderstand and misrepresent police data all the time.
They may not be an "elite military unit", but they are uniformed officers of the Crown, sworn and empowered to enforce the law, including using deadly force if necessary. They are not Joe or Josephine Public, and pretending that they are just like you is supremely naive. For better or worse, they are a power apart from all the rest of the citizens of this country.
Which is a problem, because one of the core Peelian Principles is that "the police are the public and that the public are the police". And this is vital for maintaining public cooperation and policing by consent - vital to maintaining their ability to do their job.
Is this police "contract" a new thing?
Ask them and find out.
Unclear from the Herald article exactly what he requested, suspect it was "personal information" held about him by Police. This wouldn't be covered by OIA, but the Privacy Act instead.
Or a s23 OIA request for reasons for a decision.
So who wants to do some crowdsourced OIAs? Here's some obvious requests to make:
* All advice and communications (including emails) on the development of that contract.
* A list of the occasions in the past year where police have identified "negative results" and sought to "improve [the] outcomes" under cl8.3(c) of the contract. In each case, I would like to know the identity of the Project involved, as well as a brief summary of the "negative" finding(s), the "improvements" sought, and whether they were adopted.
* A list of the occasions in the past year where police have vetoed Project findings from release in accordance with cl8.2 of the contract. In each case, I would like to know the identity of the Project involved, as well as a brief summary of the vetoed findings and the reason(s) for their veto.
* The number of occasions in the past 5 years police have terminated a research contract under cl 11.1(a) of the contract. In each case, I would like to know the Project and the identity of the researcher(s) concerned, and a summary of the information or actions deemed to "injure the reputation or interests of NZ Police" or "bring... NZ Police into disrepute".
* The number of occasions in the past 5 years police have:
o initiated a police Code of Conduct investigation in accordnace with cl 11.2(b);
o laid a formal complaint with any organisation in accordance with cl 11.2(c)
o blacklisted a researcher or organisation in accordance with cl 11.2(d)
In each case, I would like to know the Project and the identity of the researcher(s) concerned.
You can make a request at the FYI page here: https://fyi.org.nz/new/new_zealand_police
They told us some bull about their accounting systems not tracking costs on a per operation basis — which I find negligent. Eg.
Me: How much did Operation Nebraska cost?
Police: Sorry, we have no idea.
I get this response consistently from police when-ever I ask how much something cost. Yet they're able to produce such statistics when it is convenient to them.
At the least, it appears to be negligent, if not a violation of the Public Records Act.
Dr Gilbert has published the full research contract here:
Its absolutely horrifying.
I'm afraid NoRightTurn is wrong to suggest that the Police are subject to the Ombudsmen's general jurisdiction to investigate administrative wrongdoing. They are not.
Well, they're scheduled in the Ombudsmen's Act, but s13(7)(d) forbids the Ombudsman from investigating "any decision, recommendation, act, or omission of any constable", and the existing remedies clause will rule out pretty much anything the IPCA has jurisdiction over. But the Ombudsman appears to have theoretical jusrisdiction over decisions and actions of non-sworn staff if they want it, for all the good its worth.
Except the police force is not a commercial company. They are public servants who fulfill a very specific and privileged role in society. That role needs constant scrutiny because of the power that the police have.
Yes - and that's the core problem. We have a government agency behaving like a pharmaceutical company and potentially censoring research results on which its own policy framework is based. That's not good for democracy, its not good for policy, and it certainly isn't good for public trust or the police's social licence to operate.