Correspondence between John Rogers and CEO Charlie Parker (FOI)
Correspondence between John Rogers and CEO Charlie Parker (FOI)Produced by the Freedom of Information office
Authored by Government of Jersey and published on 07 March 2019.
Prepared internally, no external costs.
Can you please provide all email and hard copy communications, relating to the current hospital as well as the future hospital, between John Rogers and Charlie Parker since the receipt of the Staddon Report on 7 December?
Please see enclosed emails between Director General John Rogers and Chief Executive Officer Charlie Parker for the time period 7 December 2019 – 31 January 2019, relating to the future hospital.
Hospital related correspondence (redacted)
Redactions have been applied to the emails in accordance with the following articles of the Freedom of Information (Jersey) Law 2011
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.
Personal information has been redacted in accordance with Article 25 – in this instance the details of individuals below a certain Government of Jersey grade who have a reasonable expectation of privacy.
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 and procedure 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 Officers to be provided with full, frank advice from officials about the possible impact of proposed policy, and for 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 to Ministers, officials need a safe space in which free and frank discussion can take place – discussion of how documentation is presented and provided is considered as integral to policy development as iterations of documents are demonstrative of the policy development process
the need for this safe space is considered at its greatest during the live stages of a policy
release of the information at this stage might generate misinformed debate in. This would affect the ability of officials to consider and develop policy away from external pressures, and to advise Ministers appropriately
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.