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Correspondence regarding UK Vaccination Compensation scheme (FOI)

Correspondence regarding UK Vaccination Compensation scheme (FOI)

Produced by the Freedom of Information office
Authored by Government of Jersey and published on 11 April 2024.
Prepared internally, no external costs.


In June 2023 the Government of Jersey committed to finding a way in which Jersey could join the UK Vaccination Compensation scheme. 


Please pro vide copies of all correspondence between the Government of Jersey and Ministers, particularly for Health, Karen Wilson and Tom Binet and assistant Malcolm Ferey and Chief Ministers Kristina Moore and Lyndon Farnham, and the UK vaccine injury compensation scheme. 


Also, please detail any and all correspondence between the Ministers’ policy makers and researchers, for example, Anna Adkin and Laura Ferguson. 


A and B 

The Government of Jersey is continuing work to develop access to a vaccination damage payment scheme for those who received an approved vaccination against Covid-19 in Jersey, and this is nearing completion.  Details on how to access the scheme will be provided when it is launched. 

As this is policy under development, minutes of meetings and supporting correspondence are not published, and are exempt under Article 35 of the Freedom of Information (Jersey) Law 2011. 

The matter of vaccine compensation has been addressed in recent Freedom of Information requests, published to in September 2023, November 2023, March 2024 and linked below. The position has not changed in the interim. 

Adverse reaction compensation scheme (FOI)

Vaccine Compensation Scheme (FOI)

Compensation scheme for Covid vaccination damage (FOI)​

Article applied 

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 considerations favouring withholding the information:

The nature of this communication is confidential, in line with longstanding and fundamental conventions in Jersey, and elsewhere (prominently in the United Kingdom’s constitution) around ministerial discussions and communication on policy under development.

Ministers must be at liberty to express their views frankly and candidly, without the fear of their views being automatically or even potentially reported in public, otherwise they might express their views less vigorously or more circumspectly, or even feel restrained from voicing them at all, for fear that they will be represented in the media, now or in the near-future, in a way that is damaging to either themselves, the government, or the Island. This is especially the case during the “live” development of policy, when a “safe space” within which discussions takes place helps with the formulation of good decisions.

It is the case that Ministers in communication with policy officials on matters of policy under development should feel free to raise and examine all options, even those that may feel on subsequent consideration wholly inappropriate, without concern that even raising a matter could open the Minister to censure or criticism.

The risk, if publication takes place, is that discussion between Ministers (and officials) become stilted and constrained, known as the “chilling effect”, by the knowledge that such discussions could be made public, and decision-making would not have the benefit of the full range of freely expressed opinions to inform it.

Accordingly, the Scheduled Public Authority (SPA) is withholding the release of the information as it relates to the formulation and development of policy by the public authority.

Article 35 is a qualified exemption, which means that a public interest test is required to be undertaken by the SPA. On balance, and considering the above, it is  the view of the SPA that the public interest in maintaining the exemption outweighs the public interest in disclosing the information.

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 continue to 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.

Noting all the above, and while the “chilling effect” arguments remain a strong basis for non-disclosure the “safe space” argument diminishes over time, especially as policy becomes finalised and public.

The Government of Jersey will provide information on the outcome of its work to access the national Vaccine Damage Payment Scheme when this project has been completed.  This work is at an advanced stage of development, and it is anticipated that this information will be released shortly.

This response delivers a reasonable balance, under the Law, between the need for transparency and accountability, and good decision-making by public authorities. Considering these various factors, the SPA has decided to maintain this exemption.​

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