States Deputies assistants (FOI)
States Deputies assistants (FOI) Produced by the Freedom of Information office
Authored by Government of Jersey and published on 03 October 2022.
Prepared internally, no external costs.
I'd like to make a freedom of information request on how Deputies using assistants (not ministerial Assistant) to deal with their States work and correspondence?
Do the non-ministerial assistants have to be approved?
How many Deputies have non-ministerial assistants helping them?
When those assistants deal with correspondence on behalf of the Deputy, like letters, emails, social media pages etc., do they have to make it clear it's not the Deputy responding?
Why is it not a requirement for the declaration of interest to declare who has approved assistants that are dealing with correspondence and information and also, who the assistants are, given that it's a peoples Deputy role reading and responding to private, sensitive constituent and government issues?
Doesn't the use of assistants go against section 8 "access to confidential information" of the elected members code of conduct, allowing third parties access those states members email accounts and correspondence?
What is the process to allow a third party / assistant access to confidential information?
Ministers are legally responsible for services carried out on their behalf. States of Jersey employees assist Ministers in undertaking and discharging these responsibilities. This assistance includes undertaking administrative tasks for Ministers, such as correspondence.
All States of Jersey employees are subject to the rules that apply to recruitment in the public sector.
There are 12 Ministers and 9 Assistant Ministers.
Deputies who are not Ministers do not have dedicated assistants who are employees of the States of Jersey. All Members, in their capacity as States Members, have access to the Members' Resources Team (the "MRT") within the States Greffe, who are available to assist with drafting and research – the MRT do not respond to third party emails or undertake any correspondence on behalf of Members.
All correspondence issued should clearly show who that correspondence is from.
The questions are asking for opinion rather than for information held and a response is not required under the Freedom of Information (Jersey) law 2011.
The Ministerial Responsibilities: Ministers and Assistant Ministers document includes an explanation of the role of Ministers and their officers, which includes the role of departments in supporting Ministers.
Ministerial Responsibilities: Ministers and Assistant Ministers (statesassembly.gov.je)
In respect of the management of data, Ministers are the controller for information collected by departments in their areas of responsibility. As a matter of practise, this responsibility is discharged by the departmental Directors-General and their officials as part of undertaking their administrative responsibilities.
This includes discharging obligations in relation to the protection, retention, and release of data under, and in accordance with, the relevant data protection, freedom of information, and public records laws, including ensuring that data is processed transparently and in a manner compatible with the purposes for which the data was collected
If a Member wishes (in a non-ministerial capacity) to engage with the MRT to provide research in relation to a constituent enquiry, they are advised to seek the consent of the constituent prior to sharing any constituent data with the MRT. Where possible, research work for constituent matters will be undertaken without the transfer of any personal data to the MRT.