Regular readers will recall the OCR leak at the time of the March MPS. A month or so later, when the Reserve Bank reluctantly recognized that there had in fact been a leak, and that their systems needed to change to reduce future risks, they released what purported to be a report undertaken for them into the leak by Deloitte.
In fact, subsequent material released by the Bank in response to an OIA request confirmed that what had been released then was not the actual report but a short-form “public” version. I’m not sure what they had to hide, but decided to ask for a copy of the full report, partly out of genuine interest in its contents (as I had been the subject of a significant portion of the short-form “report”) and partly on the principle that leak inquiry reports, paid for by taxpayers’ money, should be made public as a matter of course. In particular, the public should not be misled into believing that they were being given a full report, when in fact they were being given only a convenient summary. When the initial release was made on 14 April, there was no suggestion at all that what was being released was a summary report only.
Anyway, I lodged the request several weeks ago, and this afternoon received this response. How it can take more than 20 working days to decide whether or not to release a single report (that they already claimed to have released), which they themselves commissioned, and which they must have expected to be requested, and which deals only with their lock-ups etc is beyond me. It seems like just another excuse for delay, another opportunity to simply ignore the principles of the Official Information Act.
(UPDATE: A reader points out that the Bank has given itself almost twice as long to consider the release of a single easily accessible administrative document as it allows for citizens to make submissions on its own proposals for further far-reaching regulatory interventions around housing finance.)
22 July 2016
Dear Mr Reddell
RE: OIA REQUEST FOR FULL DELOITTE INQUIRY REPORT
On July 4 2016 you made a request under the Official Information Act for:
“…. a copy of the full Deloitte inquiry report (as distinct from the “summary” – Graeme’s description in the Board minutes – or “public” version that was released on 14 April”.
The Reserve Bank is extending the time limit for decisions on your request to 10 August 2016, as permitted under section 15A(1)(b) of the Act, because consultations necessary to make decisions on the request are such that a proper response to the request cannot reasonably be made within the original 20 working day time limit.
Under section 28(3) of the Official Information Act, you have the right to complain to the Ombudsman about the Reserve Bank’s decisions relating to your requests.
External Communications Adviser | Reserve Bank of New Zealand (Auckland)
205-209 Queen St, Auckland 1010 | P O Box 5240, Auckland 1141