The office of Newfoundland and Labrador Premier Kathy Dunderdale has come in for a new round of criticism for not releasing documents about search and rescue negotiations.

Steve Kent

Intergovernmental Affairs Minister Steve Kent said government will respond within 15 days to Information and Privacy Commissioner Ed Ring. (CBC )

​Ed Ring, the province's information and privacy commissioner, reported Monday that the premier's office had "improperly withheld" documents related to search and rescue operations.

Ring recommended that the records be turned over, except for those that can be excluded under legislation.

Opposition Leader Dwight Ball pushed the issue on Monday in the house of assembly.

"Why do you continue to withhold such important information and why be so secretive about such important issues, such as search and rescue?" Ball asked Dunderdale.

Intergovernmental Affairs Minister Steve Kent responded to the question.

"Advocating for improved search and rescue services in this province is a high priority. We also recognize and respect the role of the Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner," Kent told the legislature.

"We are going to do our best to comply with the privacy commissioner’s recommendation. We have 15 days to respond to that request. We intend to do so."

Dunderdale would not speak with reporters about why documents were withheld. Her staff said that Kent's statement in the legislature covered what she had to say on the matter.