The Official Information Act 1982 is a New Zealand law which replaced the Official Secrets Act of 1951 which made the release of information held by Government agencies an offence. The Official Information Act takes the opposite approach and is designed to promote access to information held by various Government agencies. Its guiding principle is that information should be made available unless a good reason exists under the Act for withholding it. Requests to Government Departments or State agencies for information are supposed to be answered within 20 working days. If an agency declines to provide the information, it must provide a reason and advise the requester that they have the right to ask the Ombudsman to investigate whether or not that decision is justified under the provisions of the Act.

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