Parade Road correspondence (3) (FOI)
Parade Road correspondence (3) (FOI)Produced by the Freedom of Information office
Authored by Government of Jersey and published on 21 September 2023.
Prepared internally, no external costs.
Please provide copies of all correspondence (email, MS Teams, Letters, Minutes of meetings) including the dates between [name redacted] and or [name redacted] and or Connétable Simon Crowcroft with Helvetia House School (HHS), and or the proprietor of HHS between 1 April 2023 and 31 July 2023 in respect to the proposal to change the traffic flows in Parade Road and connecting roads.
The requested information is exempt under Article 35 (Formulation and development of policies) of the Freedom of Information (Jersey) Law 2011 as this project currently remains policy under development.
Release of the information at this stage would likely generate misinformed debate. This could affect the ability of officials to consider and develop policy away from external pressures, and to advise Ministers appropriately.
Article 35 is a qualified exemption; therefore, a public interest test has been applied and is shown at the end of this response.
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.