Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Poor leadership on freedom of information

In an interview on Nine To Noon this morning, Ombudsman Beverley Wakem publicly called out the Prime Minister over his leadership on the OIA [14m 10s in]:

Ryan: I hate to say this, but it was the Prime Minister last year who admitted on Radio New Zealand that the government sometimes waits till the end of a timeframe if its in our best interests to do that. That may be within the letter of the law but not the spirit.

Wakem: For a Prime Minister to say that and openly really admitting to breaking the law... its certainly an issue that I'll be taking up. That is about leadership. If the Prime Minister is saying that, what are his Chief Executives or his other Ministerial colleagues going to say if he tacitly endorses it?

And she's right to question this. The body politic rots from the head. Our Prime Minister has publicly advocated breaking the law, and effectively told public servants they can get away with doing it too. And that's a very bad message to be sending, and one he needs to be held accountable for.