The Chief Ombudsman is warning Government agencies, that those who don't comply with the Official Information Act will face public embarrassment.

For the very first time Judge Peter Boshier has joined forces with the State Services Commission to release statistics on how the public sector responds to official information requests.

The data gives an overview of how many requests each department receives, whether they respond by the deadline, and how many complaints are lodged about them.

Boshier said even the announcement that they would start releasing such information had prompted a change.


"Some agencies had taken their eye off the ball.

"They regarded official information work as peripheral, and not work they would put mainstream resources into."

Boshier said the initial results weren't bad, but showed some departments had major problems with timeliness.

District Health Boards particularly set a low bar, with Hawke's Bay DHB responding by the deadline only 38.7 per cent of the time.

But these statistics are just the beginning, with Boshier warning that the spotlight will become brighter on those who don't get the message.

"Everyone knows that there's a new sense of urgency in the office of the ombudsman.

"We expect things to be done quickly and efficiently, and we're not going to put up with delays from agencies.

"For us to go further, I think the next time we publish we'll want to drill down a bit further into what we're seeing.


"I think you're entitled to see more detail, and for us to talk about things that we're noticing, which systemically need an improvement."

By the numbers

● 40,273 total OIA requests sent over 2015/16
● Highest number received by Police, at 11,054
● Slowest response from Hawke's Bay DHB, meeting deadlin 38.7 per cent of the time
● A total of 538 complaints received six months to 31 December 2016
● Highest number received by Police, at 75