You may recall I made an Official Information Act request of the Ministry of Women's Affairs (MWA to its frequent correspondents apparently) back in Feb. I was requesting information to check, and analyse, some figures the Minister of Women's Affairs was using about the percentage of women appointed by Govt to various boards etc in the last quarter of 2009.
Last week I blogged a few days before their 20 day deadline, wondering if they would meet it, given that I had not even had an acknowledgement email to my request to their main email addy on their website.
So I was quite surprised to get an email from the General Manager Corporate of the MWA, on March 18th (the aforementioned deadline), explaining that they had noticed my blog posting and sadly had never received my email. It appeared that it had been jettisoned mistakenly in the spam filter overnight (I had sent it in the evening) and they were suitably apologetic.
Since then I've had an exchange of emails with the GMC of the MWA and a phone call with him and another staffer at the Ministry to work out how they could get me the information I want, given that a lot of it they don't hold and there are privacy issues. They have nutted out another way to supply some broader info, which I'm hoping will provide me with some good data to have a chomp at for a future blog post about the representation of women in Govt-appointed board spots. Fingers crossed I'll have it in a fortnight or so.
All in all, a very impressive proactive approach by the MWA. I have no idea how they picked up on my blog post (Google Alerts I guess?), and had intended to approach them again over the weekend, or go to the Ombudsmen or something, but instead I'm writing a nice post about the wonderful service from these public servants. Yay!