Tuesday, March 13, 2018

More on ministerial briefings

A couple of weeks ago I blogged about weekly Ministerial briefings as a really good target for OIA requests. Since then there's been another release, from Climate Change Minister James Shaw. And as with the Conservation briefings released earlier, its a treasure-trove of what's happening in the portfolio and what direction the government is taking. Progress on getting the Zero Carbon Act out for consultation, significant actions by other countries, international meetings - the latter with significant redactions for "negotiations" whenever carbon trading seems to come up, because MFAT wants to get us back into international carbon markets. They're well worth reading, and may suggest followup requests if you're interested in climate change.

Several people have got in on requesting these through FYI (example), but there's also been some pushback from Labour Ministers trying to withhold everything as "confidential". I've had a similar response to one of my own requests. But such responses don't seem consistent with the Ombudsman's guidance, and hopefully I'll get a formal ruling on that to wave at uncooperative Ministers in future.

And again, given how informative these are, they seem like a prime candidate for proactive release. Shouldn't the Minister for Open Government be doing something about that...?