Under the Freedom of Information (Jersey) Law, 2011 a scheduled public authority (SPA) has to think carefully about any decision it takes to retain or delete requested information:
• If information is destroyed before a request is received, an SPA can say it doesn’t hold the information. However, it should explain why the information was destroyed and advise the applicant of any other available information relevant to the request.
• An SPA should have disposal schedules for records to identify and describe those that can be routinely destroyed.
• If information is held when a request is received, an SPA may lawfully say it doesn’t hold that information, if it would normally be destroyed before the deadline for responding. However, it’s good practice if possible to suspend any planned destruction. Considering the request as usual is in keeping with the spirit of openness and transparency under the Law.
• Destroying requested information outside of an SPA’s normal policies is unlawful and may be a criminal offence if done in order to prevent disclosure.
• As a matter of good practice, an SPA should keep all requested information for at least six months to allow for appeals to the Information Commissioner.
You can read more detail about the retention and destruction of requested information in our guide