26 Aug 2009

Cook Islands Ombudsman says OIA has made workload manageable

11:09 am on 26 August 2009

Inefficient record keeping in government entities is being seen as a major challenge to administering the Official Information Act in the Cook Islands.

Ombudsman Janet Maki says given there are no information standards, many departments need better systems of record keeping and information management.

She says since the OIA came into law in February this year, staggering its implementation across government entities by getting at least six departments up to par every three months, has made the workload manageable.

"The platform to any FOI (Freedom of Information) legislation is that you have good records that you can access quite easily and readily. And at the moment for some of the departments they would have difficulty in doing that."

Janet Maki says another challenge is a lack of resources but both the Ombudsman's office and Archives office in New Zealand have offered help.