Ombudsman backs Taxpayers? Union?s calls for Attorney-General to sue Lianne Dalziel

Well knock me over with a feather, the Ombudsman has actually taken a firm line on a Council ignoring the OIA and asking the Labour Government to prosecute their old colleague and Labour Party Mayor Lianne Dalziel.

Stuff.co.nz reports: Quote:

?The Ombudsman is calling on the country’s top law officer, the Attorney-General, to launch enforcement proceedings against the Christchurch City Council over its continued refusal to release the cost of?a touch wall in its new library.?

?Despite?the instructions of the Ombudsman more than a month ago, the council is still to make the cost public.?

?Chief Ombudsman Peter Boshier?said he was disappointed the council had failed to release the cost within the timeframe required under the law.?

?My role as a watchdog for Parliament is to make sure official information law is not undermined by agencies ignoring their public duty when it arises.?I take any breach of public duty extremely seriously. I do not have enforcement powers myself so I am referring the case to the Solicitor-General.? End quote.

For too long all public agencies have gamed freedom of information law to withhold information for political convenience. Why has the Minister of Open Government not condemned Christchurch City Council?s apparent disregard of the Ombudsman?s recommendation? Quote:

?Boshier said the original requester had a right to bring?personal proceedings in the High Court.? End quote.

Rather than trusting David Parker to sue the Council, given Mayor Lianne Dalziel is his old mate and former colleague, if the Taxpayers? Union had balls it wouldn?t wait and initiate proceedings. As with most of these things, for politicians, breaking the OIA is usually just about delaying the inevitable.

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