Chief Ombudsman slams local councils for failing to supply information.
The chief ombudsman says local democracy is being undermined as councils fail to meet obligations to release public information.
Peter Boshier says councils are not meeting their responsibilities under the Local Government Official Information and Meetings Act and that some councils seem to resent having to be held accountable.
Mr Boshier says the performance of many councils is disappointing. Local government is absolutely fundamental to democracy, and in that respect the need for accountability and supply of information is just as strong as it is with central government, and yet many local councils don't see it that way.
He says his office will commence a better process of publicising their data on complaints, giving better guidance and encouraging an earlier dispute resolution process so ratepayers who often have legitimate complaints can get to the end of the journey earlier than before.
Mr Boshier says last year 248 complaints were received under the Act.
The whole idea of the act was to make sure there was accountability and so ratepayers could participate in democracy.