Access to Archive file D/G/D1/3 concerning Companies Law (FOI)
Access to Archive file D/G/D1/3 concerning Companies Law (FOI)Produced by the Freedom of Information office
Authored by Government of Jersey and published on 24 November 2023.
Prepared internally, no external costs.
Please provide access to:
File concerning the Companies Law – Consultation on Companies Fees. The Companies (Amendment No. 10) (Jersey) Law, and Companies (Amendment No. 3) (Jersey) Regulations. Includes draft legislation, reports, correspondence, briefings, meeting minutes, a draft ministerial speech, and decision summary, D/G/D1/3.
Please see attached documents.
Some information is publicly available on www.gov.je and the internet. Article 23 of the Freedom of Information (Jersey) Law 2011 applies. Please see the following links:
MD-E-2008-0243 Amendments to the Companies (Jersey) Law 1991 ("the Law") (gov.je)
Draft Companies (Amendment No. 10) (Jersey) Law 200-.pdf (statesassembly.gov.je)
Draft Companies (Amendment No. 3)(Jersey) Regulations 200-pdf (statesassembly.gov.je)
Changes To The Jersey Companies Law - Offshore Company Formation - Jersey (mondaq.com)
Jersey Company Law: Capital Maintenance Requirements Relaxed - Offshore Financial Centres - Jersey (mondaq.com)
Archive Detail (tpa.org)
Further documentation has been withheld in accordance with the following articles of the Freedom of Information (Jersey) Law 2011:
Article 23 - Information accessible to applicant by other means
Article 26 – Information Supplied in Confidence
Article 31 – Advice by the Bailiff, Deputy
Article 42(g) – Law Enforcement
Article 23 - Information accessible to applicant by other means
(1) Information is absolutely exempt information if it is reasonably available to the applicant, otherwise than under this Law, whether or not free of charge.
(2) A scheduled public authority that refuses an application for information on this ground must make reasonable efforts to inform the applicant where the applicant may obtain the information.
Article 31 - Advice by the Bailiff, Deputy Bailiff or a Law Officer
Information is qualified exempt information if it is or relates to the provision of advice by the Bailiff, Deputy Bailiff or the Attorney General or the Solicitor General.
Public Interest Test
The public interest in disclosing information when this article is being applied must weigh particularly heavily in favour of disclosure in order to outweigh the inherent right to privilege. It is not considered the public interest in disclosing the information is outweighed by that in maintaining the exemption, as it is designed to protect the constitutional Law Officer privilege.
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
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, 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.
Taking into account the various factors, the Scheduled Public Authority decided in favour of withholding the information.
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;
(b) the apprehension or prosecution of offenders, whether in respect of offences committed in Jersey or elsewhere;
(c) the administration of justice, whether in Jersey or elsewhere;
(d) the assessment or collection of a tax or duty or of an imposition of a similar nature;
(e) the operation of immigration controls, whether in Jersey or elsewhere;
(f) the maintenance of security and good order in prisons or in other institutions where persons are lawfully detained;
(g) the proper supervision or regulation of financial services; or
(h) the exercise, by the Jersey Financial Services Commission, of any function imposed on it by any enactment.
Article 42 is a qualified exemption, which means that consideration must be given to both the reasons for releasing the information, balanced against the reasons for withholding it.
Factors that support releasing the information
- disclosure of the information would support transparency
- disclosure would promote accountability to the general public
- disclosure would provide confirmation that necessary actions are taking place.
On balance, it is considered that the withheld information is exempt from disclosure under Article 42(g) of the Freedom of Information (Jersey) Law 2011, which states that information is exempt from publication if its disclosure would, or would be likely to, prejudice the proper supervision or regulation of financial services within the island.
An assessment has been made as to whether, in all the circumstances, the public interest in supplying the information is outweighed by the public interest in not doing so. It is recognised that there is a public interest in providing information about the work of the Financial Services directorate in a transparent manner, however, this must be balanced against the need to keep certain correspondence and information confidential to avoid potential prejudice the release could cause.
It has been concluded that the public interest in disclosing the withheld information is outweighed by the potential prejudice that such disclosure would or is likely to do to the work of the directorate in this instance. The Jersey Office of the Information Commissioner has published guidance on its approach to the public interest provision.* The approach is to weigh:
- The public interest in transparent administration;
- The public interest in confidentiality when it arises.