First Freedom of Information Appeal Decision issued
The Information Commissioner has ruled that the States do not have to disclose a 2009 report into the financial implications of the Jersey International Finance Centre development under the Island’s Freedom of Information legislation.
In the first determination of an appeal to the Commissioner under the Freedom of Information (Jersey) Law 2011, she has ruled that the Treasury and Resources department was justified in four of five exemptions that it cited in refusing to disclose the King Sturge/Currie and Brown/Trowers & Hamlin report.
The application under the FoI Law was the first to reach the final appeal stage since the Law was brought into force at the start of 2015.
Anyone can apply for information held by a “scheduled public authority” (States departments, parishes, police and judicial bodies) under the law, which states that information held by a scheduled public authority must be disclosed on request unless it meets specific exemption criteria set out in the Law.
The legislation provides a two-stage appeal process, firstly to the authority that holds the information, and secondly to the independent Commissioner.
The Commissioner, Emma Martins, has today ruled that in the case of the application for the King Sturge Report, the department was justified in citing exemptions covering “information supplied in confidence”, “prejudice to commercial interests”, “prejudice to the economy” and “prejudice to the formulation and development of government policy”.
She also ruled that the Treasury department incorrectly applied an exemption covering “vexatious requests”, which was not justified.
(To view the full Decision Notice – Select the ‘Freedom of Information’ tab on the above menu and then select ‘Decision Notices’ on the following page.)