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Assistant Chief Minister correspondence 2017 to 2018 (FOI)

Assistant Chief Minister correspondence 2017 to 2018 (FOI)

Produced by the Freedom of Information office
Authored by Government of Jersey and published on 14 April 2023.
Prepared internally, no external costs.

Original Request

Please provide emails of Senator Paul Routier, an Assistant Chief Minister in charge of population issues, between 1 January 2017 and 30 January 2018 that contains the following keywords: "HAWAG", "Russia", "Russian", "Locate Jersey". 

Original Response

Information is not held in a disclosable format. Emails that relate to individual applications are retained as part of the individual’s record on government systems, and otherwise they are not maintained.  It has been estimated that to go through all customer accounts to identify emails from Senator Routier that contain those key words would exceed the cost limitations under the Freedom of Information (Jersey) Regulations 2014. Article 16 of the Freedom of Information (Jersey) Law 2011 has been applied. 

Article applied 

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. 

(2) Despite paragraph (1), a scheduled public authority may still supply the information requested on payment to it of a fee determined by the authority in the manner prescribed by Regulations for the purposes of this Article.

(3) Regulations may provide that, in such circumstances as the Regulations prescribe, if two or more requests for information are made to a scheduled public authority –

(a) by one person; or

(b) by different persons who appear to the scheduled public authority to be acting in concert or in pursuance of a campaign, the estimated cost of complying with any of the requests is to be taken to be the estimated total cost of complying with all of them.

Internal Review Request

Please review the response to my request.

I am confused by your response - are you implying that you do not keep the records of a public figure after he leaves the government office? This seems like a violation of transparency and data protection laws in Jersey - crucially, I'm sceptical that this is actually the case.

I am requesting a review of this response and focus on disclosing the information from the inbox and sent items of Senator Paul Routier.

Internal Review Response

This review has been completed by two senior Government of Jersey officers, independent of the original decision-making process.

The original response has been reviewed and assessed to identify whether the exemption had been applied correctly.

The Government of Jersey utilises an email archiving service that records all emails sent and received to accounts. This email archive is retained to restore data if it becomes corrupted or is lost or when an email account has been closed once an individual leaves their position. 

After taking into account the information requirements stipulated in the Public Records (Jersey) Law 2002, Data Protection (Jersey) 2005 Law and the Freedom of Information (Jersey) Law 2011, the Government of Jersey’s Corporate Management Board decided that archived emails should be retained for two years, after which they will be automatically deleted from the archive. This policy was implemented on 17th October 2014. 

Senator Routier’s inbox and sent emails for the period 1 January 2017 and 30 January 2018 have been deleted from the email archive, in accordance with that policy, and cannot be searched. 

Automatic deletion from the archive does not affect emails saved in individual user files or in records management systems, where saving emails accords with each Department’s own records retention policy.

There may be emails sent to and from Senator Routier for the period in question, which are held in the email accounts of Government of Jersey employees or within retained correspondence, however to identify and retrieve this correspondence, review the same, apply any necessary exemptions and redact information as appropriate would far exceed the 12.5 hour time limit prescribed by Regulations. 

The reviewers, having considered the application of Article 16 in this instance, concluded that the exemption was appropriate and should be upheld. 

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