Wednesday 11 December 2019
I am grateful, Sir, for this opportunity to provide an update on the work and priorities of the States' Assembly & Constitution Committee.
Members will appreciate that the Committee's main focus since my last update in February has been on progressing arrangements for the General Election 2020, and the second policy letter on this subject is on this meeting's agenda.
This update will therefore focus on the other workstreams that the Committee has been progressing in 2019.
The Policy & Resources Committee directed the Committee to review the Code of Conduct and a sub-committee was appointed in 2019 to progress this. I am grateful to Deputies Hansmann Rouxel, Green and Paint for joining Deputies Merrett and Le Tocq on this sub-committee and for the work they have completed to date.
The sub-committee has made good progress on its review report which will be presented to the Committee in January 2020. The Committee aims to present a report to the States in the months following.
The Committee, further to direction from the Policy & Resources Committee, is looking at the composition of the States of Election, the election process, term of office and age limits for Jurats. It has formed a sub-committee comprising Deputies McSwiggan, Ferbrache and Graham to take the matter forward, and is grateful for Deputy Graham's willingness to assist with this workstream.
A first draft of the policy letter has been written and the sub-committee will be consulting with key stakeholders in the next couple of months before reporting back to the Committee. It is intended to present a report to the States in the months following.
Last October, the States directed the Committee to recommend to the States the purchase and use of a suitable system of simultaneous electronic voting. A market analysis of simultaneous voting solutions available has been undertaken. The Committee will be finalising the recommendations to put to the States at its January meeting and will report back to the States in early 2020.
In September 2019, Members of this Assembly attended a session on induction and training for States' Members. I am grateful for the contributions by Members and can confirm that cross-Committee work is progressing well to develop an on boarding and development programme for prospective candidates and States' Members. It intends to invite Members to a further workshop in February on the proposed programme.
The Committee is under resolution to review the role and constitution of the Transport Licensing Authority in consultation with other relevant States' Committees; however, given other more pressing priorities, reporting back to the States by December 2019 as directed has not been possible. Work will progress on this matter in 2020.
The Committee has been monitoring issues raised with the Rules of Procedure since its inception and intends to return to the States prior to the end of this political term with a 'wash-up' report of any changes that have been identified as required.
The Committee has started work to produce the handover document to be published as an appendix report to the Policy & Resources Committee's 'End of Term' policy letter.
The Committee will be submitting a policy letter setting out the dates on which it proposes that States' Meetings should be convened during 2021 - 2024 as set out in its September policy letter on the subject.
Members will note from this update that beside the General Election workstream, the Committee has a number of ongoing reviews and reports in progress which will keep it fully occupied until the end of term. The Committee only has one member of staff and if the States allocates any further work to the Committee, it will also need to allocate the resources to support this.