Brexit related email correspondence (FOI)
Brexit related email correspondence (FOI)Produced by the Freedom of Information office
Authored by States of Jersey and published on 11 November 2016.
May I have access to the following:
Emails sent or received by the gov.je accounts of Senator Philip Ozouf, Senator Ian Gorst, Senator Sir Philip Bailhache, Deputy Kristina Moore, Senator Alan Maclean, Deputy Steve Luce and Senator Lyndon Farnham that contain the words 'Brexit' between the period of Wednesday 15 June and Wednesday 6 July 2016.
The request above is refused under Article 21 (1) of the Freedom of Information (Jersey) Law 2011. Under Article 21 (1) a scheduled public authority need not comply with a request for information if it considers the request to be vexatious.
To provide a full rationale for the refusal, the authority has drawn on the guidance provided by the Office of the Information Commissioner in relation to identifying and dealing with vexatious requests.
Dealing with vexatious requests
In this case, the authority understands from correspondence with the applicant that this request is a speculative one and one from which the applicant has no idea what information if any will be caught by it.
While fishing for information in this way may not be vexatious in itself, additional factors outlined below, mean that in this instance, the request is being refused on the following grounds:
- impose a burden by obliging the SPA to sift through a substantial volume of information to isolate and extract the relevant details
- encompass information which is only of limited value because of the wide scope of the request
- create a burden by requiring the SPA to spend a considerable amount of time considering any exemptions and redactions
While the authority has no information that the applicant’s intent was to mislead or cause an undue burden, the effect of responding to the request would be to do so. As discussed with the applicant, the scope of the request and lack of focus mean that at least 700 emails, many of which may be irrelevant or unwanted, will need to be checked and possibly redacted and considered for exemption.
Useful information about making requests and identifying as clearly as possible the information which is being sought is also available on the Office of the Information Commissioner’s website.
How to access information
This guidance includes the considerations that an applicant can take into account to ensure that the authority of which the request has been made can provide as full a response as possible.