12 Aug 2009

Ryall blames miscommunication over OIA requests

6:10 pm on 12 August 2009

Health Minister Tony Ryall is blaming miscommunication for an apparent difference between the Government and some district health boards over the handling of Official Information Act requests.

DHBs have been told to send copies of all OIA requests to Mr Ryall's office, but he says no change to normal practices was intended.

DHBs have received a letter from the Health Ministry asking them to email a copy of all OIA requests to Mr Ryall's office.

Health boards receive many OIA requests and usually only alert the Government to ones from politicians and those likely to be contentious.

The DHBs are not commenting, but Radio New Zealand understands there is concern about what looks like a broadening of the current practice with potential privacy and other implications.

Mr Ryall says through a spokesperson there has been a miscommunication. No change is intended to the "no surprises" policy and he does not expect a copy of every request.