PFAS meetings and attendees (FOI)
PFAS meetings and attendees (FOI)Produced by the Freedom of Information office
Authored by Government of Jersey and published on 29 July 2020.
Prepared internally, no external costs.
With reference to the following previous Freedom of Information request:PFAS minutes (FOI)
This request asked for a report "PFAS and water quality in Jersey 2019 An interim report from Officer Technical Group" was presented to the States on the 16th July 2019 as R.87/2019.
This report includes on page 10:
"These groups have met on a fortnightly basis since 26 February 2019 (officers) and 8 March (political) to oversee a programme of work to understand what is being witnessed in the water environment, and what implications this may have."
Please will you provide me with copies of the minutes, redacted where necessary only to the extent necessary for data protection requirements, from the formulation of these two groups to the present day.
The response included:
“Minutes of the Political Group meetings were not taken. Updates were provided to this group verbally, on a fortnightly basis, in accordance with the Terms of Reference. The Terms of Reference are available within the report on page 12.
The Technical Group recorded the outcomes of their meetings by way of an ‘action plan’ that was updated at each meeting. A copy of the action plan is enclosed. Personal information from within the action plan has been redacted in accordance with Article 25 of the Freedom of Information (Jersey) Law 2011. Item 2 of the Action plan has been withheld in accordance with Article 42 of the Freedom of Information (Jersey) Law 2011.”
As stated on page 10 of the report:
“These groups have met on a fortnightly basis since 26 February 2019 (officers) and 8 March (political)”
Please will you provide me with, for each of the two groups, the dates of each of the meetings, the venue for each of the meetings and details of each the attendees at each of the meetings.
The redactions applied to the “action plan” are clearly not all necessary, particularly when all members of both groups are named in the report. For example the complete redaction of entry number 2 of the column “Sampling programme and further investigation” as the redacted text is reproduced in plain text in the report itself.
Please re-examine the redactions removing the unnecessary ones.
The technical group appear to have adopted UK Government “safe” levels (amongst the most lax in the world) for PFAS but have ignored “good practice” for such groups: Guidance setting out good practice for the operation of scientific advisory committees.
The 2011Code of Practice for Scientific Advisory Committees says meeting minutes should be published “as soon as possible” and advisory committees “should operate from a presumption of openness” and “publish meeting agendas and final advice.”
Please will you advise me when the group decided to ignore good practice.
Please see below meeting dates, venues and names of those invited to the meetings for the two groups. A list of those that were in attendance at any of the meetings was not recorded.
The Political Board
Invitees to the Political Board Meetings were as follows:
- Deputy John Young, Environment Minister
- Deputy Kevin Lewis, Infrastructure Minister
- Deputy Richard Renouf, Health Minister
- Constable Richard Vibert, St Peter
- Deputy Rowland Huelin, St Peter
Meeting dates and venues for the Political Board were as follows:
|08.03.2019||Broad Street Offices||As listed above, plus Mr A Scate|
|23.03.2019||Broad Street Offices||As listed above, plus Mr A Scate|
|26.04.2019||Broad Street Offices||As listed above, plus Mr A Scate|
The Technical Group
Invitees to the Technical Group meetings were as follows:
- Mr A. Scate, Group Director Regulation, Growth, Housing and Environment (chair)
- Dr S. Turnbull, Medical Officer of Health, Government of Jersey
- Mr S. Petrie, Environmental Health Consultant, Regulation/GHE
- Dr T. Du Feu, Director Environmental Protection, Regulation GHE
- Mrs A. De Bourcier, Acting Director Environmental Health/Trading Standards, Regulation/GHE
- Mr J. Robert, Head of Water Resources, Environmental Protection, Regulation/GHE
- Mr H. Smith, Chief Executive, Jersey Water
- Mr M. Berridge, Chief Engineer and Water Supply Manager, Jersey Water
- Mr A. Mallinson, Head of Communications, GHE
Meeting dates and venues for the Technical Group were as follows:
|26.02.19||Maison Le Pape||As listed above|
|12.03.2019||Maison Le Pape||As listed above, plus Official Analyst|
|21.05.2019||Mulcaster House ||As listed above, plus Official Analyst and a UK Independent Consultant of drinking water and the environment|
|22.07.2019||South Hill Offices||As listed above, plus Official Analyst |
|25.10.2019||Parade Offices ||As listed above, plus Official Analyst and Assistant Director of Environmental Health|
|13.10.2019||Parade Offices ||As listed above, plus 2 representatives from Arcadis and Assistant Director of Environmental Health|
Redactions of officer initials and information relating to third parties were applied in accordance with Article 25 (personal information) of the Freedom of Information (Jersey) Law 2011. There is however a reasonable expectation from the Officers of the Technical Group that their names/initials may be disclosed. The link below provides a revised version of the Action Plan with redactions of officer initials removed.
The majority of Item 2 of the Action Plan remains redacted in accordance with Article 42 of the Freedom of Information (Jersey) Law 2011.
The Technical Group was an officer working group formed to progress workstreams around PFAS as well as informing the interim report and political working group. The production of a working action list for group members was considered a more effective tool than prescriptive minutes for each meeting. The interim report and any subsequent update reports provide detail on the groups actions and findings.
Article 42 Law enforcement
Information is qualified exempt information if its disclosure would, or would be likely to, prejudice –
(a) the prevention, detection or investigation of crime, whether in Jersey or elsewhere;
(b) the apprehension or prosecution of offenders, whether in respect of offences Committed in Jersey or elsewhere;
(c) the administration of justice, whether in Jersey or elsewhere;