Travel costs of the Children’s Commissioner (FOI)
Travel costs of the Children’s Commissioner (FOI)Produced by the Freedom of Information office
Authored by States of Jersey and published on 18 December 2018.
Prepared internally, no external costs.
Please can you provide all of the information on the following:
The number of overseas visits (including to the other Crown Dependencies, United Kingdom and Ireland) undertaken by the Children's Commissioner and any staff in her office since she was appointed.
The dates of all outbound and return travel for all visits.
The purpose of each visit.
The cost of the travel and the accommodation of each visit.
Detail each and any expense claimed in respect of each visit.
The Children’s Commissioner and staff made a total of 20 off island visits since appointment in January 2018.
B to F
The Children’s Commissioner for Jersey was appointed in January 2018. As an entirely new function for Jersey, learning from best practice elsewhere has been a vital part of the Commissioner’s first 12 months in role. The Independent Jersey Care Inquiry (IJCI) set out in Chapter 12 of their report the ten failings of Jersey’s child care services followed by eight lessons learnt. One of those lessons was that Jersey should stay connected – ‘staff must have opportunities to experience good practice in a range of settings. States members and policy makers need to be kept informed of new learning, research and models of practice…’ ‘Jersey should also keep abreast of practice and social policy developments in European countries…’ The travel off island is in support of these recommendations.
Chapter 13 of the IJCI set out the recommendations of the Panel including the recommendation to appoint a Children’s Commissioner:
13.7 outlined the necessity for the role to be enshrined in Law. The Children’s Commissioner was recruited to help develop the Law. Off island travel has been vital in terms of upholding this recommendation as it enabled the Commissioner to discuss best practice in terms of legislation to support the role of Children’s Commissioner in compliance with the Paris Principles.
13.12 outlined the recommendations to explore the possibility of a joint appointment with other jurisdictions eg other Crown Dependencies. The travel to Guernsey was arranged in order to progress this recommendation.
13.13 set out the recommendations of the panel to consider the arrangements of the various Commissioners across the UK and Ireland and for the Jersey Commissioner to become a member of the British and Irish Network of Children’s Commissioners. The rationale for travel to visit Children’s Commissioners in the UK and beyond are in support of this recommendation.
The Office will continue to learn from best practice elsewhere, to ensure that it is able to fully perform its function of promoting and protecting children’s rights in Jersey. Whilst the attached table sets out all off-Island trips since the Commissioner was appointed, there have been numerous meetings held via Skype that have not necessitated off Island travel.
Please see the PDF document below for details of off island travel.
Off Island travel details
Expenses have been claimed for each trip by individuals on personal debit / credit cards. It is estimated that to compile all of these would take in excess of 12.5 hours and Article 16 of the Freedom of Information (Jersey) Law 2011 has therefore been applied.
However, as the cost of all travel by plane, bus, train and taxi has been included in response E, the only remaining outstanding expenses are for food. All food expenses have been claimed in line with Financial Directions as follows:
In line with Financial Directions, alcohol is not permitted when claiming subsistence and there have been no expenses claims for any alcoholic refreshments
Article 16 A scheduled public authority may refuse to supply information if cost excessive
(1) A scheduled public authority that has been requested to supply information may refuse to supply the information if it estimates that the cost of doing so would exceed an amount determined in the manner prescribed by Regulations.
Regulation 2 (1) of the Freedom of Information (Costs) (Jersey) Regulations 2014 allows an authority to refuse a request for information where the estimated cost of dealing with the request would exceed the specified amount of the cost limit of £500. This is the estimated cost of one person spending 12.5 working hours in determining whether the department holds the information, locating, retrieving and extracting the information.