Thursday, August 12, 2010

An interesting disparity

My OIA performance statistics project is winding up, and I'm basically down to waiting for the stragglers. So far I have complete data for 19 out of 34 government departments and 24 out of 28 Ministers. But an interesting disparity has already emerged from the partial data:

  • The average on-time rate across all departments so far is 88.6%. The average on-time rate across all Ministers is 71.4%.
  • Nine departments have an on-time rate of more than 90%, but only four Ministers do (and one of those is from partial results).
  • Five Ministers had an on-time rate of 50% or less. No department was this bad.
I think its fair to conclude from that that our public service takes the OIA far more seriously than Ministers do (and that some Ministers have outright contempt for the law).

(Unfortunately it may take a while for final results to come out - I'm currently waiting on two Ombudsmen's complaints, a couple of incompetent Ministers, a few more who I had to go back and ask to go through paper, and some of the smaller departments who I asked late. The current deadline on those requests is looking like the end of this month for Ministers, and it'll likely be the end of September before I get responses back from the remaining departments. Even then, there are some - the Police, Department of Labour, Ministry of Education, and likely IRD, whose record-keeping is inadequate and for whom robust statistics cannot be generated. Still, even a partial picture is better than nothing, and its already pointing at several Ministers and departments who need to get their shit together).