Hospital Policy Review Board correspondence (FOI)
Hospital Policy Review Board correspondence (FOI)Produced by the Freedom of Information office
Authored by States of Jersey and published on 08 February 2019.
Prepared internally, no external costs.
The Future Hospital Policy Review Board (HPRB) recently issued a report. I wish to have sight of all correspondence relating to the Board's composition, terms of reference and operation and the production of the report, that involves any of the following as contributors or recipients:
The Chief Minister, Senator Le Fondre
Connetable St John (Taylor)
Deputy St Peter (Huelin)
The Environment Minister, Deputy Young
For the avoidance of doubt, this should include States, Parish and private e-mails and other written communication.
I would accept a response containing only States (ie gov.je) e-mails if obtaining correspondence from other sources would be outside the Freedom of Information remit or limits for response with the prescribed cost and time constraints
A search of email has been completed. Relevant email and attachments are enclosed.
HPRB correspondence (1)
HPRB correspondence (2)
Attachment 1 - Msg 16 2018.09.11 Letter to Chief Minister
Attachment 2 - Msg 17 2018.09.12 Press release: Future Hospital Review Panel reconstituted
Attachment 3 - Msg 40 2018.12.06 Letter to Assistant Chief Minister (hospital policy development board)
Please note the following:
i) States Members do not fall under the Freedom of Information (Jersey) Law 2011 (the Law). Ministers and Assistant Ministers do – therefore the Deputy of St Peter has not been included within the search parameters. Where he is copied or in correspondence with the other named Ministers, his correspondence will be included accordingly;
ii) Time frame for the search from 1 June 2018 – the date at which the Future Hospital Policy Review Board was formed;
iii) The email search has been restricted to the gov.je accounts of the named Ministers as the time taken to search for relevant correspondence outside of gov.je accounts would exceed the cost limit provisions allowed under Article 16 of the Law and the 12.5 hours maximum allowed under regulation 2 (1) of the Freedom of Information (Costs) (Jersey) Regulations 2014;
iv) The emails attached have been redacted in accordance with the following articles of the Law.
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.
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.
The Scheduled Public Authority (SPA) is withholding the release of certain parts 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 SPA. It is therefore necessary for the scheduled public authority 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 – and indeed good government, requires Ministers and officials to be able to discuss and test those proposed policies in a comprehensive way.
The following considerations were taken into account:
Public interest considerations favouring disclosure
disclosure of the information would support transparency and promote accountability to the general public, providing confirmation that the necessary discussions have taken place
disclosure to the public fulfils an educative role about the early stages in policy development and illustrates how the department engages with parties for this purpose
Public interest considerations favouring withholding the information
in order to best develop policy and provide advice Ministers need a safe space in which free and frank discussion can take place. The need for this safe space is considered at its greatest during the live stages of a policy. Sharing views internally within the Department and across Government is important to ensure that all relevant considerations are taken into account in developing and implementing policy. Disclosure at a time when these views are still being considered would negatively impact the Department’s ability to fully consider the information
release of the information at this stage might generate misinformed debate in areas where future options have yet to be finalised. This would affect the ability of Ministers and officials to consider and develop policy away from external pressures.
premature disclosure of this information may limit the willingness of parties to provide their honest views and feedback. This would hamper and harm the policy–making process not only in relation to this subject area but in respect of future policy development across wider Departmental business.
Taking into account the various factors, the SPA has applied redactions where necessary to maintain this exemption.
It should also be noted that 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.
Additional article 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.