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Matters of Interest letter July 2022 (FOI)

Matters of Interest letter July 2022 (FOI)

Produced by the Freedom of Information office
Authored by Government of Jersey and published on 19 March 2024.
Prepared internally, no external costs.


Please provide a copy of the letter dated 10 July 2022 addressed to The States of Jersey from Deputy Lyndon Farnham and John Le Fondré​ referring to matters of interest on behalf of Islanders.


​Please find attached the document requested. Redactions have been made in accordance with the following articles of the Freedom of Information (Jersey) Law 2011: 

Article 25 – Personal Information 

Article 26 – Information Supplied in Confidence 

2022_07_10 signed letter_Redacted.pdf

Confidentiality Clause

‘The main problem with bringing this Report and Proposition to the attention of the States is the need for confidentiality. In the draft Deed of Settlement, the parties agree to keep the very existence of this Deed of Settlement and each of the terms in it confidential. The history, background and negotiations over the Deed of Settlement are confidential save as is required to achieve ratification by the States of Jersey or as is required by law or the proper discharge of official duties by the States of Jersey. Additionally, the name of the manufacturer is to be kept from the public domain.’

Article 33 – Commercial Interests 

Article 35 – Policy Under Development 

Articles applied 

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 26 - Information supplied in confidence

Information is absolutely exempt information if –

(a) it was obtained by the scheduled public authority from another person (including another public authority); and

(b) the disclosure of the information to the public by the scheduled public authority holding it would constitute a breach of confidence actionable by that or any other person.

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 is a qualified exemption and a public interest test should be carried out by the Scheduled Public Authority (SPA) to determine whether the information should be released.

It is in the public interest to be made aware of anticipated value / budget. However, this could result in the Government of Jersey’s inability to secure best value for the taxpayer and this would likely prejudice the Government as its bargaining power decreases.

Therefore, it is considered that the likely prejudice to the Government of Jersey, should this information be released, outweighs 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 

In applying this article, 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. 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.​

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