Monday, March 16, 2020

"The most transparent government ever" again

When they were first elected, Labour promised that "this will be the most open, most transparent Government that New Zealand has ever had". But with another election coming up, its the same old bullshit:

A warning has come from the Chief Ombudsman to government departments over "dragging the chain" when releasing information during the 2020 election year.

Chief Ombudsman Peter Boshier said he was putting agencies on notice - through his interview with the Herald - that he would start publicly calling them out if they didn't improve.

"This is an election year and I'm beginning to see ominous signs of agencies slowing down and dragging the chain in answers to me about complaints," he said.

Its unclear whether this is in response to Ministerial pressure, or just public servants instinctively defending their bosses. But either way the solution as the same: leadership from the top. To riff on former Ombudsman Beverley Wakem, the Prime Minister, Ministers, and Chief Executives need to send clear and public messages in support of OIA compliance, openness, and accountability. And if they don't, we can only conclude that they do not support those values - or the law. And we should hold them accountable for that.