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Purchase card expenses - Senator Gorst and Senator Ozouf (FOI)

Purchase card expenses - Senator Gorst and Senator Ozouf (FOI)

Produced by the Freedom of Information office
Authored by States of Jersey and published on 22 June 2018.

Request

Please provide me with the following information for the years 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018 (to date) for Senators Gorst and Ozouf?

A

What was the total spending on their individual States of Jersey (SOJ) credit cards and a break down of the spend please, ie flights, meals, hotels and so on (to include details of guests if applicable)?

B

I am sure that there are probably times when their credit card is used for personal items and then reimbursed. Could you please indicate any items that this applies to?

C

Can you please advise the time frame between any debits (as in B) and the debt being paid back to the SOJ?

D

Can you please advise the procedure on credit card spending for States Members and any civil servants who may hold such a card? (ie who checks and signs off on the spends, how are the card holders reimbursed)

E

Is a receipt required in all cases or is the individuals perceived honesty enough to warrant reimbursement in some cases?

Response

A and B

Transactions made on Senator Gorst’s States of Jersey purchase card (to 31 March 2018) are provided within the attached spreadsheet:

Senator Gorst expenses breakdown 2015 to 2018

There are no instances of personal spending on the Senator Gorst’s States of Jersey purchase card.

Information about transactions on Senator Ozouf’s States of Jersey purchase card in 2015 and 2016 have been released in response to a previous Freedom of Information request. The response has been recently updated and is available through the following link:

Ministerial purchase card (FOI)

Please note that the Commissioner for Standards has reviewed two of Senator Ozouf’s 2017 transactions. Please find below a link to the report of the Commissioner for Standards which provides full details of the review undertaken:

Report of the Commissioner for Standards on States Assembly website

Additional transactions on Senator Ozouf’s States of Jersey purchase card for 2017 are provided within the attached spreadsheet.

Senator Ozouf expenses breakdown 2017

Should any expenses relating to other individuals, such as guests, be included within the transactions for either Senator Gorst or Senator Ozouf, such personal information would be absolutely exempt under Article 25 of the Freedom of Information (Jersey) Law 2011 (the FOI Law).

C

Providing any further breakdown of timing of payments and repayments would exceed the cost limit provisions allowed under Article 16 of the FOI Law and the 12.5 hours maximum allowed under regulation 2 (1) of the Freedom of Information (Costs) (Jersey) Regulations 2014.

This 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.

D

Rules on purchase card expenditure by States of Jersey officers are contained in financial direction 5.1 This was previously published in response to a Freedom of Information request on 26 February 2016 which can be accessed through the following link:

Financial direction in relation to procurement (FOI)

Individual approvers will be identified by the departments bearing the expenditure. Card holders are not reimbursed for expenditure made on purchase cards – the expenditure is made direct.

E

It would be expected that Officers would provide receipts in all cases.

Exemptions applied

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.

Article 23 Information accessible to applicant by other means

(1) Information is absolutely exempt information if it is reasonably available to the applicant, otherwise than under this Law, whether or not free of charge.

(2) A scheduled public authority that refuses an application for information on this ground must make reasonable efforts to inform the applicant where the applicant may obtain the information.

Article 25 Personal information

(1) Information is absolutely exempt information if it constitutes personal data of which the applicant is the data subject as defined in the Data Protection (Jersey) Law 2018.

(2) Information is absolutely exempt information if –

(a) it constitutes personal data of which the applicant is not the data subject as defined in the Data Protection (Jersey) Law 2018; and

(b) its supply to a member of the public would contravene any of the data protection principles, as defined in that Law.

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