Emails relating to the Strategic Assessment FOI request (FOI)
Emails relating to the Strategic Assessment FOI request (FOI)Produced by the Freedom of Information office
Authored by Government of Jersey and published on 23 July 2019.
Prepared internally, no external costs.
I am writing with regards to a Freedom of Information request published at the following link:
Strategic assessments of efficiency savings (FOI)
Please provide all correspondence - hard copy and electronic - relating to the compiling of this request from all parties involved in the process between the dates of 7 May (when the request was submitted) to 25 June (when the response was received).
Emails logged by the Central Freedom of Information unit and the Chief Minister’s Department Freedom of Information contact have been redacted and provided within the attached files.
CFU emails (redacted)
CMD emails (redacted)
Duplicates have been omitted.
We note that it is not possible to perform a further search for emails in relation to the Strategic assessment and efficiency savings (FOI) as to perform such a search requires the requester to provide a specific sender and recipient. Emails are searched through the use of an email archiving system and the parameters of search must be specific and limited in extent.
There are no records held in paper format in relation to this request.
Redactions have been applied under 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.
Article 25 is an absolute exemption and as such, does not carry a public interest test. Information is absolutely exempt if it can identify an individual.
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.
Redactions have been applied to the emails in accordance with the rationale identified within the response to "Strategic assessment and efficiency savings (FOI)" (provided below for reference).
Draft FOI responses have been removed as attachments in accordance with this rationale.
Justification from "Strategic assessment and efficiency savings (FOI)"
Article 35 is a qualified exemption, which means that a public interest test is required to be undertaken by the Scheduled Public Authority (SPA). The SPA has reviewed the balancing arguments in relation to public interest favouring release versus public interest favouring withholding.
Although there is a need for transparency, accountability, financial and good decision making by public authorities this information relates to an ongoing situation and sensitive aspects of the ongoing transformation of the Government of Jersey, any assessment undertaken is being used to inform the efficiency programme and to drive change within the Government of Jersey.
In order to proceed effectively with the transformation process, the SPA needs a safe space in which to develop policy based on the work of officers. The SPA – and indeed good government, requires the possible impact of any proposed policy to be reviewed, and for Ministers and officials to be able to discuss and test those proposed policies in a comprehensive way, such testing including analysis of the underlying work undertaken.
Disclosure of relevant information would support transparency and promote accountability to the general public and potentially aid understanding in the methodology underlying the proposed financial savings. However the SPA needs the ability to consider and reconsider the assumptions and evaluations raised within any strategic assessment and related discussions for the purpose of good government.
Taking into account the various factors, the SPA believes that it is necessary to maintain this exemption at this time, though it is intended that a high level analysis will be included within the efficiencies programme that will form part of the government plan, explaining the strategic assessment that provides ground for planning for £30 million of savings in 2019, and building on that programme.
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.