Friday, March 08, 2019

A public review

Last year, we learned that the government was planning a secret review of the OIA, taking the form of a "targeted engagement" with OIA experts, bloggers and commentators (all of whom were secret). As of two weeks ago, they were still planning to do that, starting once the Privacy Bill had been reported back in mid-March. But something must have changed, because today they began a public consultation as the first step towards a real review:

The Ministry of Justice wants to hear your views on how the Official Information Act 1982 (OIA) is working in practice, and whether a review of this legislation is warranted. Your feedback will help inform a decision by Government on whether to review it, or whether instead to keep the focus on practice improvements.
The consultation asks three simple questions:
  • In your view, what are the key issues with the OIA?
  • Do you think these issues relate to the legislation or practice?
  • What reforms to the legislation do you think would make the biggest difference?
Responses are due by 18 April 2019.