Official Information Act (Parliamentary Undersecretaries) Amendment Bill

Official Information Act (Parliamentary Undersecretaries) Amendment Bill

Member's Bill

Explanatory Note

This bill amends the Official Information Act 1982 to cover information held by Parliamentary Undersecretaries. Ombudsmen's Case No. W44374 confirms that the Official Information Act, as presently in force, does not cover information held by Parliamentary Undersecretaries. Parliamentary Undersecretaries are members of the executive appointed by warrant under the Constitution Act 1986 who can exercise powers delegated to them by Ministers. This bill corrects this oversight.

Official Information Act (Parliamentary Undersecretaries) Amendment Bill

The Parliament of New Zealand enacts as follows:

1. Title
This Act is the Official Information Act (Parliamentary Undersecretaries) Amendment Act 2015.

2. Commencement
This Act comes into force on the day after the date on which it received the Royal Assent.

3. Principal Act Amended
This Act amends the Official Information Act 1982.

4. Section 2 Amended (Interpretation)
In section 2, replace the definition of official information with:

"official information—
"(a) means any information held by—
"(i) a department; or
"(ii) a Minister of the Crown or Parliamentary Undersecretary in his official capacity; or
"(iii) an organisation; and
"(b) includes any information held outside New Zealand by any branch or post of—
"(i) a department; or
"(ii) an organisation; and
"(c) in relation to information held by the Ministry of Justice, includes information held by the Rules Committee appointed under section 51B of the Judicature Act 1908; and
"(d) in relation to information held by a university (including Lincoln University), includes only information held by—
"(i) the Council of the university; or
"(ii) the Senate, Academic Board, or Professorial Board of the university; or
"(iii) any member of the academic staff of the university; or
"(iv) any other officer or employee of the university; or
"(v) any examiner, assessor, or moderator in any subject or examination taught or conducted by the university; but
"(e) does not include information contained in—
"(i) library or museum material made or acquired and preserved solely for reference or exhibition purposes; or
"(ii) material placed in the National Library of New Zealand Te Puna Mātauranga o Aotearoa by or on behalf of persons other than Ministers of the Crown in their official capacity or departments; or
"(iii) any oral history provided to the National Library of New Zealand Te Puna Mātauranga o Aotearoa in accordance with section 10 of the National Library of New Zealand (Te Puna Mātauranga o Aotearoa) Act 2003; and
"(f) does not include any information which is held by a department, Minister of the Crown, or organisation solely as an agent or for the sole purpose of safe custody and which is so held on behalf of a person other than a department or a Minister of the Crown in his official capacity or an organisation; and
"(g) does not include any information held by Public Trust or the Māori Trustee—
"(i) in their capacity as trustee within the meaning of the Trustee Act 1956; or
"(ii) in any other fiduciary capacity; and
"(h) does not include evidence given or submissions made to—
"(i) a Royal Commission; or
"(ii) a commission of inquiry appointed by an Order in Council made under the Commissions of Inquiry Act 1908; or
"(iii) a commission of inquiry or board of inquiry or court of inquiry or committee of inquiry appointed, pursuant to, and not by, any provision of an Act, to inquire into a specified matter; and
"(ha) does not include—
"(i) any matter subject to an order under section 15(1)(a) of the Inquiries Act 2013; or
"(ii) documents referred to in section 32(2)(b) of the Inquiries Act 2013; and
"(i) does not include information contained in any correspondence or communication which has taken place between the office of the Ombudsmen and any department or Minister of the Crown or organisation and which relates to an investigation conducted by an Ombudsman under this Act or under the Ombudsmen Act 1975, other than information that came into existence before the commencement of that investigation; and
"(j) does not include information contained in any correspondence or communication that has taken place between the office of the Privacy Commissioner and any department or Minister of the Crown or organisation and that relates to any investigation conducted by the Privacy Commissioner under the Privacy Act 1993, other than information that came into existence before the commencement of that investigation:
"(k) does not include information contained in a victim impact statement (as defined in section 17AA of the Victims' Rights Act 2002)
"(l) does not include any evidence, submissions, or other information given or made to—
"(i) the Judicial Conduct Commissioner, the Deputy Judicial Conduct Commissioner, or a Judicial Conduct Panel, in relation to any matter under the Judicial Conduct Commissioner and Judicial Conduct Panel Act 2004; or
"(ii) the Judicial Complaints Lay Observer".


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