Cost of implementing the Freedom of Information (FOI) legislation
Cost of implementing the Freedom of Information (FOI) legislationProduced by the Freedom of Information office
Authored by States of Jersey and published on 15 June 2015.
Prepared internally, no external costs.
With the island facing numerous cuts to services, please could you inform me of the overall total cost (from inception to delivery) to implement the Freedom of Information Law?
Also, what are the projected costs for administering the Law (across all departments) for 2015, 2016 and 2017?
The adoption by the States Assembly of the Freedom of Information (Jersey) Law 2011 required that the States was fully prepared for its implementation in January 2015.
A corporate Freedom of Information (FOI) programme has been running, and will continue to run until the end of 2015, to ensure the necessary policies, procedures and systems are put in place within individual Departments to administer the requirement of the Law and to ensure the States can meet its on-going obligations under the legislation.
It is anticipated that there will be a level of recurring costs going forwards into 2016. A request for funding of £160,000 per annum is being considered as part of preparation of the Medium Term Financial Plan 2016-2019. If accepted by the Council of Ministers, this funding will be included in the draft MTFP for consideration by the States Assembly.
There have been 2 separate allocations of funds for FOI implementation. In 2012, £500,000 was voted to enable work to begin on the project and subsequently, in 2013, the Council of Ministers approved a further £4,287,610 to cover the period 2013-2015.
Spend to date
|2015 spend (to April 30th)||499,780|
|2015 forecast costs||1,010,220|
|Total projected programme spend||2,825,970|
Outside of corporate FOI programme funding departments have incurred additional costs as provided below:
Economic Development have spent £2,930.50 on IT modifications, directly associated with FOI, in 2015 to date with no further anticipated spend for the remainder of the year. A provisional £1,500 per annum is forecast for 2016 and 2017.
For part of 2014 and 2015, the Social Security Department has diverted funding originally intended for a permanent Governance Officer to recruit 1 FTE in a temporary post to specifically
support work on FOI and Records Management. The expenditure was £27,146 for 2014 and is forecast to be £18,293 for 2015.
The continuing management of FOI requests in 2016 and 2017 will be incorporated into the day to day work of departmental staff across the states.
In relation to projecting costs for 2016 and 2017 it is unknown how many requests will be made to each department, or their complexity. However departments will continue to proactively publish information in order to reduce the number of questions and promote public service transparency.
In addition to the above, all departments incur administration costs associated with FOI requests when undertaking the research required in order to prepare the answers. It is not possible to quantify the cost individually.