Taxi industry meetings (FOI)
Taxi industry meetings (FOI)Produced by the Freedom of Information office
Authored by Government of Jersey and published on 23 November 2023.
Prepared internally, no external costs.
Following meetings that have been held on a number of occasions in recent years variously involving DVS, a Minister and other Government of Jersey employees with a number of private businesses operating taxi companies in Jersey to discuss matters that relate to the taxi Industry as a whole , please provide the following information:-
Copies of the Minutes of the taxi Industry meetings held since 1 January 2021.
As not all taxi companies are invited to these meetings, please advise the criteria for being invited to attend.
Please advise the criteria for taxi companies to be excluded from discovering the outcome of these Government of Jersey discussions on matters that affect the taxi Industry as whole, with their commercial competitors.
Please advise if any further meetings are planned.
The requested Minutes are attached.
The requested information is partially exempt under Article 33 (Commercial interests), Article 35 (Formulation and development of policies) and Article 42 (Law enforcement) of the Freedom of Information (Jersey) Law 2011 regarding taxi company driver rates, projects that are still under development and a live investigation being carried out by the States of Jersey Police.
Articles 33, 35 and 42 are qualified exemptions; therefore, public interest tests have been applied and are shown at the end of this response.
Personal Information has also been redacted in accordance with Article 25 of the Freedom of Information (Jersey) Law 2011.
It should be noted that the first taxi industry meeting was held on the 31 March 2021.
A small cross section of the taxi industry were initially invited to ensure that the meetings were as productive as possible within limited time constraints and resources.
C and D
DVS intend to continue having these regular meetings with representatives from the Taxi Industry.
There is no criteria in place to exclude any taxi companies from being advised regarding the outcome of these meetings.
Therefore, DVS will circulate the minutes of any future meetings to all taxi companies.
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.
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
The release of taxi company driver rates could potentially disadvantage taxi companies to retain commercial advantage in any future recruitment process.
This could also result in taxi companies' inability to retain drivers if specific company driver rates were made public.
It is in the public interest to be made aware of any information that relates to the taxi industry, however, it is considered that the likely prejudices to taxi companies should this information be released outweigh the argument that the release is in the public interest.
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 Test
The following considerations were taken into account:
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 and provide advice to Ministers, 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 in. 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.
Following assessment, the Government of Jersey has concluded that, on balance, the public interest in maintaining the exemption outweighs the public interest in disclosing the information.
It should also be noted that once a policy is formulated and published, the public interest in withholding information relating to its formulation is diminished, however, the use of the exemption can be supported if it preserves sufficient freedom during the policy formulation phase to explore options without that process being hampered by some expectation of future publication.
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;
Public Interest Test
Whilst disclosure of the information would support transparency, promote accountability to the general public and provide confirmation that necessary actions are taking place, the investigations remain ongoing.
As such it is considered that disclosure of the information would likely prejudice the outcome and the result of the case and that this potential prejudice outweighs the public interest in favour of disclosure at this time.