Thursday, July 19, 2007

A moral victory

The Health committee has reported back [PDF] on Dr Jackie Blue's Official Information (Openness of District Health Boards New Zealand) Amendment Bill, and recommended that it not proceed. However, despite that, it seems the bill has been successful. The aim of the bill was to make District Health Boards New Zealand, a lobby group established by the DHBs to act in their interest on agreed national issues, but outside the jurisdiction of the OIA as it is not a related company - subject to the OIA by directly amending schedule 1 of the Ombudsmen Act. However, that's not the only way to amend the schedule, and the government has since signed an Order In Council to add District Health Boards New Zealand to the schedule, making the bill unnecessary.

So, a victory for freedom of information, and a moral victory for Dr Blue. She didn't get her bill, but she got the change she wanted, and a lot faster than if it had had to go through the legislative process.