Guernsey politicians vote against introducing Freedom of Information law

FOI provides public access to information held by public authorities, such as the States of Guernsey. Credit: ITV Channel TV

Calls for the introduction of a brand new Freedom of Information (FOI) law in Guernsey have been rejected in the latest meeting of the States.

Deputies instead voted to strengthen the existing Access to Public Information system by introducing an independent appeals mechanism, which the Scrutiny and Management Committee insists can be achieved quickly.

The appeals process is likely to involve a panel adjudicating appeals against a refusal to release requested information.

The panel is expected to comprise of five people, all of whom would be appointed for a period of four years.

Sitting members of the States would not be eligible to serve on the panel.

What is the current system for obtaining public information in the Channel Islands?


  • Residents must fill in a request to access public information

  • The request should be in simple and clear language with a focus on a specific question

  • The States aim to respond in 20 working days, but if delayed a response should be given as to why there is a delay


  • Residents must send a valid Freedom of Information request

  • The request must be specific

  • The Government aim to respond in 20 working days, but if the question is complex it could require more time

More information about FOI can be found on the States of Guernsey and Jersey Government websites.