Oxera report (FOI)
Oxera report (FOI)Produced by the Freedom of Information office
Authored by States of Jersey and published on 28 November 2017.
Please provide a copy of the Oxera report on communications in Jersey which became available in September 2017 as a result of the Jersey Government requesting and paying for the report.
The work with Oxera has not been finalised. As the work is ongoing the Scheduled Public Authority (SPA) is refusing this request on the basis of Article 35 of the Freedom of Information (Jersey) Law 2011.
Article 35 Formulation and development of policies
Information is qualified exempt information if it relates to the formulation or development of any proposed policy by a public authority.
Justification for exemption
The SPA is withholding the release of the information as it relates to the formulation and development of policy by the public authority. Article 35 is a qualified exemption, which means that a public interest test is required to be undertaken by the Scheduled Public Authority (SPA). It is therefore necessary for the SPA to examine the circumstances of the case. Following assessment the SPA has to decide whether, on balance, the public interest in maintaining the exemption outweighs the public interest in disclosing the information. Although there is a need for transparency, accountability, financial and good decision making by public authorities this information relates to an ongoing situation. The SPA needs the ability to consider and reconsider the information which is provided and build their policy accordingly.
Whilst the work is still ongoing the SPA does not see that there would be any benefit to the public as a whole for the premature release of this information. The information once completed will be released, although this may be in a redacted form.
Once a policy is formulated and published, the public interest in withholding information relating to its formulation is diminished, however, the use of the exemption can be supported if it preserves sufficient freedom during the policy formulation phase to explore options without that process being hampered by some expectation of future publication. The Government needs safe space in which to rigorously explore and develop the best policy possible. For this reason, on balance, it is considered it would not be in the public interest to disclose this information.