Monday, March 21, 2016

About time

Over the weekend The Nation interviewed new Chief Ombudsman Peter Boshier. The full interview is here, but takeaway is that Boshier is planning on introducing league tables to track OIA performance. Good. At present basic performance data such as average response times and refusal rates are all secret, and that robs us of an important check on agency behaviour. And while we could OIA all this data ourselves - I did, for two years running - we shouldn't have to; the government should make it available proactively, as a matter of course.

Boshier is also stepping back from some of former Chief Ombudsman Beverley Wakem's comments on political interference and charging, which is good to see. And he's talking about asking for more resources from Parliament and forcing faster response times from agencies on complaints. As someone with a number of outstanding OIA complaints, I've certainly noticed the difference in performance, and I'm glad of it; I look forward to the new Ombudsman doing their job and kicking the government into obeying the law.