Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Unimpressed III

Last night Social Development Minister Paula Bennett was interviewed about her information thuggery on Campbell Live (video here; for some reason it doesn't work in Firefox, but does work in IE). During the interview she specifically and repeatedly claimed to have received advice before deciding to release personal information about solo mothers Jennifer Johnston and Natasha Fuller, saying

there's Ministerial guidelines and they are there and I looked at them before I did it, took some advice...
Bennett: I certainly took advice before I did it.

Campbell: Who from?

Bennett: From my office. I've got people there to give me this sort of advice and I took that advice.

So, naturally, I asked for that advice. What did I get in response?
The Minister has forwarded me your information and I would like to refer you to the following website.

I hope this is helpful

I am currently seeking clarification as to whether this is their full and final response, and whether it should be interpreted as the Minister not in fact having received any advice (despite her public claims to the contrary), or simply as an egregious refusal of my request, in which case the ombudsmen will have my complaint by the end of the day. Either way, I am decidedly unimpressed.

Update: The website Bennett's flack pointed at me has been pulled (it was there last night); the link now points to a cached version.

Update 2: Bennett's office have now assured me that my request will be put through appropriate channels and will be responded to in due course. I guess they are afraid of the Ombudsmen then.