19 Apr 2012

Housing minister asks MP to prioritise OIA requests

1:15 pm on 19 April 2012

Labour MP Annette King says it is high-handed of Housing Minister Phil Heatley to say her requests for information are interfering with his department's operations.

Ms King, Labour's housing spokesperson, has received a letter from Mr Heatley asking her to prioritise her requests for official information.

The Government has 20 working days to respond to an OIA request, but it can ask for an extension.

Ms King says it is her job to find out what is going on in the department on behalf of the public.

She says the sharing of information is an important part of a democracy.

Mr Heatley says Ms King has made 22 requests for official information since the beginning of February and her requests are interfering with the department's operations.

He says in the Office of the Ombudsman's own guidance notes it recommends asking the requester to prioritise their requests if many are made in a short timeframe.