It turns out that the defining quality of a secret society is… you don’t have to tell the government that you’re in one.
That’s the end result of a Freedom of Information response from the Chief Minister’s department this week, to a question about how many public sector employees were members of secret societies.
The answer was simple: they said that they don’t know.
There is a Code of Conduct for civil servants, which makes no direct reference to secret societies, but it does include the following headings:
- Selflessness: You must take decisions solely in terms of the public interest. You should not do so in order to gain financial or other material benefits for yourself, your family or your friends.
- Integrity: You must not place yourself under any financial or other obligation that would influence you in the performance of your official duties.
- Honesty: You must declare to your manager any private interests that relate to your duties and take action to resolve any conflicts arising in a way that protects the public interest.
The full question was: “Please advise how many staff amongst all States departments are employed and how many are involved in secret societies, including police, income tax and Law Officers department as well as Chief Officers etc.”
The answer filed was: “At the end of August, the headcount figure for the States of Jersey was 6,984. Please note that this is just members of staff who have a permanent or fixed term contract with the States of Jersey, it excludes the following: zero hour contracts; staff with employment status of Absence Cover (staff covering absence or maternity leave); Non-States workers (Jurats, States Members, Appointment Commissioners, Island Games Director); Jersey Ports (airports and harbours); Andium Homes; and Family Nursing and Home Care. With reference to the second part of the question, we are unable to answer this as the information is not held.”
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