Political Oversight Group for the medicinal cannabis industry (FOI)
Political Oversight Group for the medicinal cannabis industry (FOI)Produced by the Freedom of Information office
Authored by Government of Jersey and published on 25 January 2022.
Prepared internally, no external costs.
Please could you provide the following information on the Political Oversight Group for the medicinal cannabis industry as identified in the recent EIA Scrutiny report:
Who are the members of the Political Oversight Group?
What are the Terms of Reference / remit of the POG?
If minutes are available for previous meetings, could these be provided?
Please find below the following information on the Political Oversight Group for the medicinal cannabis industry as identified in the recent EIA Scrutiny report:
Members of the Political Oversight Group are:
- Senator Lyndon Farnham, Minister for Economic Development, Tourism, Sport & Culture
- Deputy Richard Renouf, Minister for Health and Community Services
- Deputy John Young, Minister for the Environment
- Deputy Gregory Guida, Minister for Justice and Home Affairs
- Senator Ian Gorst, Minister for External Relations and Financial Services
The Terms of Reference / remit for the Political Oversight Group for Medicinal Cannabis are in draft format currently and will be finalised once formal responses to the Economic and International Affairs Scrutiny Panel report have been made. Article 35 of the Freedom of Information (Jersey) Law 2011 has therefore been applied, as the information requested relates to the formulation and development of policy. It is anticipated that the Terms of Reference will be finalised on or before 28th February 2022.
There has only been one meeting of the Political Oversight Group for Medicinal Cannabis to date, which was held on 23rd September 2021, which was not minuted.
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.
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, 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. 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 Scheduled Public Authority has decided in favour of withholding the information.