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Friday, February 20, 2009

Media well-informed about Ombudsman investigation of their complaints.

Bruce Barbour, Ombudsman

The NSW Ombudsman operates under tight legislative constraints in saying anything publicly about the investigation of a particular complaint other than in a report to Parliament, but the Office keeps the complainant, who is under no such constraints, informed of developments, and when the complainant is a journalist or media organisation, well....

Two seemingly well-informed reports about Ombudsman investigations of freedom of Information complaints in the papers today. This in The Herald in Newcastle about the investigation of a complaint by the paper regarding the University of Newcastle's refusal of a Freedom of Information request for details of bonus payments to senior staff, and the rather angry response by the University to the Ombudsman's recommendation that the information be released.

And this in the Sydney Morning Herald which appears to know more than previously reported about a draft Ombudsman report concerning an investigation of a complaint by the Daily Telegraph that apparently reveals among other things, improper ministerial office pressure on an FOI officer in the Roads and Traffic Authority not to release information.

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