JerseyMe digital ID (FOI)
JerseyMe digital ID (FOI)Produced by the Freedom of Information office
Authored by Government of Jersey and published on 07 September 2022.
Prepared internally, no external costs.
Please could you confirm:
Which supplier developed the JerseyMe digital ID system used by the States?
What was the cost incurred to develop JerseyMe? What are the ongoing annual costs associated with it?
Was a public procurement process run (e.g., such as that defined by the States Procurement Best Practice Procedures)?
Please can you provide any documentation associated with the procurement of JerseyMe, such as project brief / RFQs / EoIs / ITT / PQQs / evaluation reports, etc.
The JerseyMe Digital ID solution was developed by Vaiie in conjunction with the Government of Jersey.
Vaiie is part of the Jersey Post Group, a global and independent business that has been fully owned by the Government of Jersey since 1969.
Costs incurred to-date in the development and implementation of the JerseyMe Digital ID solution are approximately £800,000. This includes work by a number of third-party suppliers.
The exact detail related to development of the solution and ongoing annual costs are deemed commercially sensitive and are exempt under Article 33(b) (Commercial Interests) of the Freedom of Information (Jersey) Law 2011.
Vaiie were awarded the work on a ‘Direct Award’ basis, through an exemption to the Public Finances (Jersey) Law 2019.
The nature of the direct award basis means that the documentation related to this procurement is deemed commercially sensitive and is exempt under Article 33(b) (Commercial Interests) of the Freedom of Information (Jersey) Law 2011.
Also, as the documentation includes technical information, it is considered that releasing it could cause a security risk. Article 42 (Law Enforcement) of the Freedom of Information (Jersey) Law 2011 has therefore been applied.
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).
Public Interest Test
Article 33(b) of the Freedom of Information Law allows an authority to refuse a request for 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 it is accepted that the public may have an interest in the content of Government of Jersey contracts, it is considered that releasing this information could affect the commercial interests of the supplier.
The JerseyMe Digital ID solution is a ‘white label’ solution which could be deployed to other organisations. Releasing details of the commercial agreement between Vaiie and the Government of Jersey could be detrimental to future Vaiie negotiations. Additionally, the nature of the direct award has resulted in commercially sensitive information within the requested documents.
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;
(d) the assessment or collection of a tax or duty or of an imposition of a similar nature;
(e) the operation of immigration controls, whether in Jersey or elsewhere;
(f) the maintenance of security and good order in prisons or in other institutions where persons are lawfully detained;
(g) the proper supervision or regulation of financial services; or
(h) the exercise, by the Jersey Financial Services Commission, of any function imposed on it by any enactment.
Public Interest Test
It is recognised that there is a public interest in providing information in a transparent manner, however this public interest is not considered to outweigh the interests of the government in preventing cyber-crime or maintaining the integrity of its law enforcement assets. It is considered that the release of this information may increase risks, particularly in view of major cyber-attacks that have occurred in other jurisdictions in recent years.
Internal Review Request
I would like to request an internal review on the following points.
Please can you name the third-party suppliers, and the amount paid to each of them?
The Public Finances (Jersey) Law 2019 makes no reference to "Direct Award" or any "exemption". Please can you provide the precise Article/paragraph reference within the Law that you are referring to, and explain the basis on which it was applied?
Please can you answer this request via providing documents selectively and/or redacting elements of commercial sensitivity?
For example, a general project brief, high level timetables and internal budgeting processes, and/or any planning reports are likely to contain general non-technical information without final commercial terms and could be disclosed.
Internal Review Response
This review has been completed by two senior staff members of the Government of Jersey, independent of the original decision-making process.
The release of sensitive commercial information regarding the third-party suppliers and the amount paid to each of them could significantly disadvantage the Government of Jersey’s ability to retain commercial advantage in similar future processes. This could lead to an inability to secure the best value for the taxpayer as the Government’s bargaining power would be reduced.
The exact detail related to development of the solution and ongoing annual costs are therefore deemed commercially sensitive and the Panel upheld the decision to apply Article 33(b) (Commercial Interests) of the Freedom of Information (Jersey) Law 2011.
The Public Finances (Jersey) Law 2019 (PFJL)does not make specific reference to “direct awards” or exemptions. Article 31 of the PFJL regarding the ‘Public Finances Manual’ notes, amongst other matters that the “Public Finances Manual must include directions and information with respect to the proper administration of this Law and of the public finances in Jersey”. The Public Finances Manual is accordingly designed to supplement the Public Finances Law and is issued by the Minister for Treasury and Resources. It provides additional direction and information as considered necessary by the Minister for Treasury and Resources to help compliance with the Law.
Public Finances Manual (gov.je)
As noted in the ‘Background and Introduction’ section of the Manual, under the heading ‘Purposes, principles and responsibilities’
The Public Finance Manual prescribes best practice, high level principles and requirements for financial management. These requirements are mandatory where stated unless an exemption has been approved by the Treasurer or an officer delegated by the Treasurer.
The Public Finances Manual subsequently provides that “Corporate procurement contracts must be used unless an exception is documented within the Scheme of Delegation and approval (by exemption) has been obtained from the Group Director, Commercial Services (an Exemption should be recorded in the online system)”.
Exemption and Breach forms at the time of the original answer were included in the Supporting documents section. Exemptions are now requested via an online form.
The exemption request and permissible reason was given as ‘only one supplier of a product (monopoly supplier or bespoke copyrighted item).’
The Panel noted that the above broader detail could have been provided in the original response.
Please see links to the documents as follows:
- Programme or Project Initiation Document (PID) – Digital ID
- Change Initiative Mandate (CPMO)
CPMO - Change Initiative Mandate - Digital ID_Redacted.pdf
The Panel considered that the attachments referred to above should have been included in the original response and that the application of Article 33(b) Commercial interests and Article 42 Law enforcement only applies to parts of the documents, which was considered should remain redacted, together with the inclusion of Article 25 (Personal Information) of the Freedom of Information (Jersey) Law 2011.
After review of the available information, and subsequent discussion of the original response, it was agreed to partially uphold the original response in respect of the application of Article 33(b) – Commercial Interests and Article 42(a) – Law Enforcement and within the documents now released, include Article 25 – Personal Information of the Freedom of Information (Jersey) Law 2011 to protect the identity of individuals and it is noted that minimal personal information has been redacted within the documents, such redactions limited to the names and roles of less senior members of staff.
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 2005.
(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.
3) In determining for the purposes of this Article whether the lawfulness principle in Article 8(1)(a) of the Data Protection (Jersey) Law 2018 would be contravened by the disclosure of information, paragraph 5(1) of Schedule 2 to that Law (legitimate interests) is to be read as if sub-paragraph (b) (which disapplies the provision where the controller is a public authority) were omitted.