Privacy and official information requests
The Otago Regional Council is committed to conducting its day-to-day business openly and making decision-making processes and information available and accessible.
Much of the Council's information is available in print or on the website, in reports, consultation documents and material for the media.
You can request information held by the Council using the procedures and timeframes set out in the Local Government Official Information and Meetings Act 1987 (LGOIMA).
Types of information requests you can make
Local Government Official Information and Meeting Act (LGOIMA) requests
You can make a LGOIMA request for any information that we hold, such as:
- council projects
- information you need to participate in a consultation
- the reason for a decision or our decision-making process
- our policies and procedures.
If you are not satisfied with our response to your request for official information, you can contact the Office of the Ombudsman to lodge a complaint.
Privacy requests are for information we hold about you, such as:
- payments you have made to us
- interactions you have had with our staff.
If you are not happy with the outcome of your request, you can contact the Office of the Privacy Commissioner.
How to request information
Please be as specific as you can when making your request; it helps us to find the information as quickly as possible for you.
Be sure to include your email or postal address so we can send you the information or seek clarification from you if necessary.
Timeframe for response to your request
We are required under the Act to provide a final response within 20 working days, unless there is a need to extend the time frame.
We will let you know as soon as possible if:
- we cannot meet the initial deadline
- we need more information
- the information is held by another government organisation and we need to transfer your request.
You can ask us to treat your request as urgent.
You will need to provide a reason for your request to be treated as urgent.
Publication on the website
Information released under LGOIMA, which may be of interest to the general public, may be published on our webpage. The names of individual requestors will not be published.
Withholding or refusing to give information
We may withhold specific information or refuse to give information for reasons specified in sections 6, 7 and 17 of the Local Government Official Information and Meetings Act 1987.
If we withhold or refuse to give information, we will explain the reason why.
For information about withholding personal information, see sections 49 to 53 of the Privacy Act 2020.
Will it cost?
Generally, there will be no charge for your LGOIMA request. Occasionally however, if a request is for a significant amount of information, or requires substantial collation and research, we may charge you for providing the information.
Under the LGOIMA policy:
- The first hour of collation time is free
- We can recover any actual costs (e.g. photocopying, printing, reproducing a photograph etc)
- Time in excess of 1 hour is charged at $38.00 for each additional half hour (includes GST).
If charges are required in order to fulfil your information request, we will advise you of the cost before we begin working on it. You can then decide if you want to continue, withdraw or refine your request. We may ask you to pay some or all of this cost in advance.
There is no charge for privacy requests.
If you need more information
Email the official information team if you:
- have questions about our process for requests
- need clarification
- want more information
- want to request new or additional information.