Legal advice concerning exemptions (FOI)
Legal advice concerning exemptions (FOI)Produced by the Freedom of Information office
Authored by States of Jersey and published on 16 July 2018.
Prepared internally, no external costs.
Please provide details of the following:
What legal advice was sought in an effort to exempt the information requested in the Freedom of Information (FOI) response published at the following link:
Mobile phone costs (FOI)
How much was the States spend in seeking legal advice regarding the above FOI request.
Please provide emails sent or received by the States email accounts of any minister or departmental chief officers between Tuesday 27 March 2018 and Monday 18 June 2018 relating to the above FOI request about mobile phone usage and spend.
Please also include any emails sent or received by States chief executive Charlie Parker, chief operating officer Anna Daroy, director of communications Stephen Hardwick, organisational transformation consultant Jacquie McGeachie and strategic finance review consultant Camilla Black relating to this FOI request.
No exemptions were applied to the FOI concerned.
Under Article 10(2) of the Freedom of Information (Jersey) Law 2011 (the Law) the Scheduled Public Authority neither confirm nor deny that they hold the requested information.
Relevant Central Freedom of Information unit emails have been redacted and provided within the attached file.
Emails - Redacted (CFU)
Please note that it is not possible to perform a search for other emails in relation to the FOI concerned. Emails are searched through the use of an email archiving system and the parameters of search must be specific. Performing a search on the parameters provided would take far in excess of the 12.5 hours allowed by the Freedom of Information (Jersey) Law 2011 Regulations.
Charlie Parker, Anna Daroy, Stephen Hardwick and Camilla Black have confirmed that the email included within the CFU attachment is the only email sent or received by them in relation to the relevant FOI within the time frame specified.
One additional email sent by Jacquie McGeachie has been redacted and is attached.
Emails - Redacted (JMG)
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 2005; 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 33 Commercial interests
Information is qualified exempt information if –
(a) it constitutes a trade secret; or
(b) its disclosure would, or would be likely to, prejudice the commercial interests of a person (including the scheduled public authority holding the information).
Article 33 (b) is a qualified exemption and a public interest test and prejudice test must therefore be applied. Article 33 (b) allows an authority to exempt information where its disclosure would, or would be likely to, prejudice the commercial interests of a person (including the scheduled public authority holding the information). Whilst we accept that the public may have an interest in the contracts between the States of Jersey and telecommunications service providers, we believe the contract values are commercially sensitive as they are the outcome of negotiations between parties and that the release of this data could affect the negotiation of future contracts.
Other articles applied
Article 10 Obligation of scheduled public authority to confirm or deny holding information
(1) Subject to paragraph (2), if –
(a) a person makes a request for information to a scheduled public authority; and
(b) the authority does not hold the information,
it must inform the applicant accordingly.
(2) If a person makes a request for information to a scheduled public authority and –
(a) the information is absolutely exempt information or qualified exempt information; or
(b) if the authority does not hold the information, the information would be absolutely exempt information or qualified exempt information if it had held it,
the authority may refuse to inform the applicant whether or not it holds the information if it is satisfied that, in all the circumstances of the case, it is in the public interest to do so.
(3) If a scheduled public authority so refuses –
(a) it shall be taken for the purpose of this Law to have refused to supply the information requested on the ground that it is absolutely exempt information; and
(b) it need not inform the applicant of the specific ground upon which it is refusing the request or, if the authority does not hold the information, the specific ground upon which it would have refused the request had it held the information.
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.