THE PUBLIC’S RIGHT TO KNOW

The law commission has published its report  on the Review of Official Information Act 1982 and Local Government Official Information Act 1987  submissions can be made online  and the  acual papers are able to be downloaded

The Public’s Right to Know: Review of the Official Information Legislation (NZLC R125, 2012)

Summary of Key Recommendations

 

Had I know that submissions were being called for I for one will be making a submission in view of the Wendy Brandon   saga.

I have to wonder why the council lawyer gets involved in blocking a request for official information, this apparently is becoming a trend over seas   and somehow a law degree gives a person more clout to prevent transparency.

I have made a complaint to the law society  with regards to Wendy Brandon’s actions  as  her obligations as a lawyer are to  act according to the  rule of law   and  as a council solicitor the  law spells out the requirement for her to act in an open transparent manner.

The law society have come back and said that they will await the reply of the ombudsmen.  Given that I have already been down the  Ombudsmen path in my protracted AWINZ matter  I am braced for another 2 year wait before  the information I have requested  is released.

Apparently   if it released through the ombudsmen I can then take the matter back to the law society   and they will look at Ms Brandon again.

So  with official information act request and LGOIMA  request  the  right to refusal under    the  provisions   of the acts  can be abused  by referring all matters to the ombudsmen’s office.  This in turn becomes bogged down and the who process   comes to a screaming halt.

Now if councils were fined for unnecessarily withholding information    that would force compliance much the same way as we are fined by council when we stay in our parking spot  for a minute too long.

You have to question    who the lawyer works for   does the lawyer act for the public who the council is supposed to represent, ensuring that the public’s interest is protected or does the lawyer work for the employees of the council ensuring that corrupt practices are concealed by preventing transparency?

It is our rates money that pays the wages  .

While on the  topic of submission  be sure to  check out the parliament site  and make submission on   issues which you wish  to comment on.

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