Anonymous complaints about staff, services and States members (FOI)
Anonymous complaints about staff, services and States members (FOI)Produced by the Freedom of Information office
Authored by Government of Jersey and published on 19 January 2023.
Prepared internally, no external costs.
How many anonymous complaints or concerns regarding it's services or it's staff has the Government of Jersey received in the last 10 years?
How many anonymous complaints or concerns have been received in relation to States members in the last 10 years?
How many of the anonymous complaints or concerns received have resulted in an investigation and how many in an inquiry? Please differentiate between those made against Government of Jersey departments (and if possible break down by department) and those made against States members.
I am aware that the Government of Jersey is currently subjecting a number of it's employees to an inquiry. It has made it very clear that those employees are not subject of an investigation so I assume that the Government of Jersey must have some sort of policy position or guidance that outlines when an investigation takes place and when an inquiry takes place and any thresholds that have to be met. I personally do not understand the difference. I believe in legal terms that usually an investigation is held to establish the facts of a matter and then an inquiry is held in order to determine actions or consequences of the investigation. Is this how the Government of Jersey understands it or does it have a different view or approach. If there is not considered to be a difference please could you confirm this?
The Government of Jersey introduced a central Customer Feedback Policy and approach for complaints handling in August 2019.
681 anonymous complaints have been recorded in the past 10 years, although the pre 2019 data is not considered to be a complete or accurate record as prior to August 2019 most departments kept records in multiple types of customer records. Therefore, in order to answer the request, information and data would need to be extracted from various sources with extensive individual enquires being required to source such information. It is estimated that to conduct such a review would exceed the timescales prescribed in the Freedom of Information (Costs) (Jersey) Regulations 2014. Article 16 of the Freedom of Information (Jersey) Law 2011 has been applied.
Prior to August 2017, complaints against States Members were considered by the Privileges and Procedures Committee. In accordance with Standing Orders in force at the time, the Committee did not accept any complaint that was made anonymously. Records were not kept of the number of anonymous complaints received by the Committee.
Since August 2017, it has been the responsibility of the Commissioner for Standards to consider complaints about the conduct of States Members. In accordance with the Statement from the Commissioner regarding the undertaking of the Commissioner’s responsibilities, the Commissioner will not consider anonymous complaints without good reason.
Information regarding the number of complaints received by the Commissioner for Standards is contained in annual reports presented to the States Assembly. This information includes the number of complaints disposed of by the Commissioner because they were either submitted anonymously or because there had been a failure to comply with another requirement (e.g., a lack of evidence). There have been 10 such complaints reported in total since August 2017.
Within the systems that record complaints there is no distinction between an investigation and an inquiry and therefore no additional figures can be given other than those given within response A. The Information is not held and Article 10 of the Freedom of Information (Jersey) Law 2011 applies.
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.
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.