Review of The 1982 Official Information Act in New Zealand
Another aim of the OIA is "To promote the accountability of Ministers of the Crown and officials." The OIA has several loopholes which a minister or official can exploit to avoid releasing information. In some cases information is still being wrongly withheld despite the Act's principle of availability and emphasis that information should be released unless there is a valid reason to not do so. A 1999 review of the OIA by the Ombudsman found that information was wrongly withheld in 17% of the cases reviewed.
The private sector is not subject to the Act and this can cause problems. A 1997 review of the Act by the Law Commission stated government dealings with the private sector has created uncertainty as to how the Act applies to them. "The incorporating statutes of the new bodies impose obligations to act in a commercial manner and some of them have perceived this as inconsistent with and ultimately overriding their obligations about official information." Over all the review was favourable of the Act with only a few minor changes suggested.
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