2020-05-12 01:59:38 UTC
At a recent Committee Meeting, Simon Bridges was very concerned about
some very serious issues:
" "Heres the point, the Government suspended the OIA (Official
Information Act) and weve been waiting over two weeks for your
department to answer written questions," Mr Bridges said.
"Why dont you answer simple health questions to the one parliamentary
committee on this remarkably significant issue?"
"Ill be quite frank with you: I dont think its a resourcing issue.
"I think it comes down to one simple thing. You dont want to answer
because you want to control the information flow and do this in a time
and a way convenient to you and the Government," Mr Bridges said. " "
So it is good to see that he received a prompt, polite and
" "On 6 May 2020, following your questions at the Epidemic Response
Committee (ERC), I undertook to check the timeliness of responses
provided by the Ministry of Health to questions from the Committee.
Requests come to both the Ministry and the Minister. In both
situations the Ministry endeavours to provide timely, factual and
accurate responses. Sometimes the turnaround time expected by the
committee is very tight.
I have been advised that when I most recently appeared in front of the
Epidemic Response Committee there were no outstanding responses.
During the hearing, it was suggested that the government has suspended
the Official Information Act and the ERC has made multiple requests
for information from the Ministry that it is waiting for.
I can assure the Committee that the Ministry of Health has not
received any direction that the Official Information Act 1982 has been
suspended and we continue to respond to OIA requests based on the
Official Information Act 1982.
Every effort is being made to ensure people receive information as
soon as it can be reasonably provided, which includes the large amount
of information that the Ministry is proactively placing online.
If any Committee Member has a concern about a specific request made to
the Ministry, please let me know.
Please note that given the importance of, and public interest in, this
matter, I will make this response available on the Ministry of Health