Official information is all information generated and held by the Department on any subject and in any form, including in the minds of the Department’s employees acting in their official capacity. Official information requested by ‘external parties’ is to be made available to the requester unless there is a good reasons for withholding it or the Official Information Act 1982 allows the request to be refused for some other reason.
‘External parties’ include all New Zealand citizens, residents, companies, or companies with a place of business in New Zealand, and any person in New Zealand, all of whom are entitled to request any specified official information from the Department.
Prisoners requesting official information will complete or ask to have completed, C.05.Form.05 Prisoner request for official information. The Officer receiving / completing the request will acknowledge receipt of the request by signing and dating the form. The Officer will also make an IOMS file note detailing the request. The timeframe for completing the request (20 working days) commences from the time the form is acknowledged by the Officer.
The form is copied and the copy given to the prisoner as a receipt. The original is handed to the PCO to undertake the required checks to consider if the information requested can be released or should be withheld.
The PCO will then:
enter the request on the site register
complete the final section of the form (including adding the registration number)
advise the prisoner of the outcome
arrange for the provision of the information, or
provide a written explanation as to why it is been withheld (following prison director's decision)
note the outcome in IOMS file note
place the completed form in the prisoner file
update the register.
A prisoner may contact any agency in writing or orally to request official information without using C.05.Form.05 Prisoner request for official information.
Any issues relating to the withholding of official information should be referred to: