Scrutiny Panel Publish Report on Machinery of Government Changes

Monday 19 March 14:49

Scrutiny reports back on five specific areas of the proposed changes to government, which its review has focussed on, such as the introduction of a Principle Accountable Officer role and a single legal entity for Minister.

A Scrutiny Review Panel established by the Chairmen’s Committee to review proposed changes to Jersey’s Machinery of Government, has today published its report. 
 
In its comments paper on the Draft Machinery of Government (Miscellaneous Amendments) (Jersey) Law (P.1/2018), the Machinery of Government Review Panel reports back on five specific areas of the proposed changes which its review has focussed on: 

  • Introduction of Principal Accountable Officer role
  • Appointment of Accountable Officers for Independent Bodies  
  • Single legal entity for ministers to be called “Jersey Ministers”  
  • Powers to move ministers and make changes to ministerial offices 
  • Collective Responsibility  

As a result of its review, the Panel has lodged an amendment to the Draft Law to bring more certainty to which arm’s length States Bodies would fall under the new Accountable Officer regime. The Panel also recommends that the States should reject the parts of the proposals which introduce a single legal entity for government and transfer more powers to the Chief Minister. 
 
The principles of the Draft Law were approved on 21st February 2018 and the articles were then referred for scrutiny. The Panel is required to report back to the States Assembly by 20th March 2018. 
 
Deputy Simon Brée, Chairman of the Panel commented: “The time period agreed by the States Assembly for this review is significantly shorter than would usually be the case and we have therefore not been able to scrutinise the draft law in anywhere near as much detail as such an important and wide ranging piece of legislation requires. 
 
In light of the time constraints for our review, we have focussed on specific parts of the draft law and have taken evidence from key stakeholders. We have concerns about the changes proposed to the legal status of ministers to become a single legal entity, and the transfer of power to the Chief Minister to move ministers and change ministerial offices. We have therefore recommended that the States reject these parts of the draft law. We have also lodged an amendment to the draft law to bring more clarity and certainty to the changes which relate to arm’s length States bodies.” 

Click HERE to read the full report.

States of Jersey Scrutiny Press Release.

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