Tuesday, January 31, 2017

OIA statistics

As promised, the Office of the Ombudsman and the SSC have published OIA statistics. SSC has statistics on requests received and timeliness, while the Ombudsman has information on complaints received and completed as well as their outcomes. As expected, most agencies perform well, but there are a few shockers - Hawke's Bay DHB has only a 38.7% timeliness rate, while a few others are down in the 60's, while TPK is the worst core department, with only 65.9% of requests handled on time. There's no data for Ministers, of course, because they're outside SSC's jurisdiction - which is probably lucky for them as they were the worst performers.

The complaints data is interesting. As expected, large departments which deal with the public a lot like Police and Corrections attract the most complaints. The Ombudsman comments that complaint rates are generally low - but 5% of MSD's gross requests are challenged. That suggests something is very wrong. And its clear from the combination of the data sets that people have simply given up on complaining about timeliness, because with the Ombudsman's current timeframes it is unlikely to do any good.

Overall, its a good effort, but it would be useful to have more data. The UK manages to produce statistics on outcomes - requests refused vs granted etc - which would be far more useful in helping to understand where problems lie. This simply requires agencies to code outcomes when tracking them, which can't be that hard, surely?