Request for information about an agency’s lease costs
Three requests were made to the Ministry of Social Development for information about the costs of leases held at its former (Bowen Street), and current (The Terrace) premises. The Ministry refused those requests under section 9(2)(b)(ii) of the Official Information Act 1982 (OIA) in order to protect the commercial position of third parties from unreasonable prejudice.
Based on the information before me, on 15 September 2017 I formed the opinion that section 9(2)(b)(ii) did not provide good reason to withhold the information, and the requests should not have been refused. I recommended that the Ministry release the information, and on 17 September 2017, the Ministry provided the information to the complainants.