Tuesday, March 05, 2013

A good move

One of the freedom of information innovations overseas is the idea of disclosure logs: proactively publishing the responses to requests online. This makes information available to the public, while (hopefully) reducing repeat requests. Now, the New Zealand Transport Agency has started one:

The NZ Transport Agency (NZTA) is today launching a new addition to the media information section of the NZTA website, where the agency will publish its responses to Official Information Act (OIA) requests from media organisations.

The new section is aimed at providing an additional resource for journalists and members of the public seeking information from the agency.

Responses to most OIA requests from media will be published on the NZTA website one day after the response is provided to the media organisation which has made the request. This will provide the media organisation which has requested the information a period of time to review the response before it becomes available to members of the public and other media outlets.

The disclosure log is here.

Hopefully this will catch on among other government agencies as well. Though judging by their views when asked about it by the Law Commission, they're not very keen, and just see it as another expense rather than a way of reducing duplicated effort.