Justice Minister Judith Collins has welcomed a Law Commission report that recommends modernising law that controls government openness and transparency.
The first major review of the Official Information Act 1982 and the Local Government Official Information and Meetings Act 1987 was released today by the Law Commission and makes a number of legislative and operational recommendations.
“It has been 30 years since the Official information Act came into force and made transparent the way the Government and its agencies operated,” Ms Collins said.
“The report shows the principles of the Official Information Act and the Local Government Official Information and Meetings Act are sound, but some changes are needed to better adapt current law to the age of rapidly changing technology.”
The recommendations include changes to some of the grounds for withholding official information, changes to complaints processes, extending the coverage of the Official Information Act to include Parliamentary agencies, and an increased role for Ombudsmen to provide guidance for agencies.
Ms Collins said the Government will now consider the report and she looks forward to working through its recommendations with her colleagues.
“The Government is committed to openness and transparency, while trying to cut red tape and streamline processes for agencies, businesses and individuals.
“I would like to thank the Law Commission for its hard work and its thorough analysis of the issues involved with this important aspect of New Zealand’s democracy.”