Case Study: Successful Complaint to the Ombudsman

January 20, 2021

Overview -

The client made repeated unsuccessful requests to their local council for information in a series of emails over a period of time. Franks Ogilvie helped the client obtain the information and lodged a complaint with the Ombudsman, which was upheld.  

Issue –

Our client wanted information from the Council about land they administered in the local area. The client made a series of email requests over a period of almost a year. None of these requests specifically cited the Local Government Official Information and Meetings Act 1987 (‘LGOIMA’), but this does not mean that they weren’t valid information requests under the Act. The Council never provided the information.

What we did –

Franks Ogilvie wrote a ‘formal’ information request to the Council, citing the LGOIMA, on our client’s behalf. The Council said it would take sometime to find the information and that the client would have to pay for the Council’s time. The client paid and the Council provided a set of information. Some of the requested information was withheld.

We complained to the Ombudsman on our client’s behalf. We contested the Council’s failure to provide the information when it was first requested, its decision to charge for its time, and its decision to withhold some of the information.

Outcome –

The Ombudsman upheld the majority of our complaint and most of the withheld information was released. The Council also refunded the charges.


If you are interested in making a complaint to the Ombudsman on the basis of a OIA or LGOIMA request, please get in contact with Aimee.

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