Deputy H.J.R. Soulsby & 6 Other Deputies - P.2019/144
The States are asked to decide:-
Whether, after consideration of the Requête dated 11th December, 2019, they are of the opinion:-
1. To agree that, in order to improve the effective working of Guernsey's structure of government, this States and its immediate successor should consider:
a. Whether the dominance of resources over policy within the Policy & Resources Committee should be addressed, either by the creation of a separate Treasury Committee, or the establishment of a Chancellor role within the Policy & Resources Committee, or by another solution; (paragraphs 4.2.3 to 4.2.15)
b. Whether to make further structural changes in order to improve the effectiveness of channels of communication between the Policy & Resources Committee and other States' Committees, either by the creation of a political Strategic Forum, or by another solution; (paragraphs 4.2.16 to 4.2.26)
c. Whether further changes are required to the current political arrangements for oversight of the civil service and/or the role of the States as Employer; (paragraphs 4.2.27 to 4.2.31)
d. Whether the restriction on non-States Members of the Policy & Resources Committee should be lifted; (paragraphs 4.2.32 to 4.2.37)
e. Whether the lack of dedicated political scrutiny of States' finances and fiscal strategy should be addressed, through the creation of a separate Public Accounts Committee or otherwise; (paragraphs 4.3.1 to 4.3.8)
f. Whether the current dispersed political responsibility for air and sea connectivity should be addressed, by the creation of a single Committee responsible for air and sea links and tourism (with consequential changes to the mandates of other States' Committees), or by another solution; (paragraphs 4.4.3 to 4.4.17)
g. Whether a visible political commitment to addressing climate change should be reflected in the name of the Committee for Environment & Infrastructure; (paragraphs 4.4.18 to 4.4.20)
h. Whether the constitution of the States' Trading Supervisory Board in terms of political membership, and the current lack of clarity about what it means to be a 'policy-taking' committee, should be addressed; (paragraphs 4.4.21 to 4.4.26)
i. Whether the question of Committee size should be revisited; (paragraphs 4.5.2 to 4.5.4)
j. Whether the question of Committee Members being elected together with, and/or resigning alongside, their Committee President should be explored; (paragraphs 4.5.5 to 4.5.12)
k. Whether a lack of subject matter expertise within the policy-making function of the public sector should be addressed; (paragraphs 4.6.2 to 4.6.11)
l. Whether there may be possible alternative models for the relationship between the States and the Law Officers' Chambers, which might improve its effectiveness; (paragraphs 4.6.12 to 4.6.16)
m. Whether there may be opportunities to better integrate States Members' Corporate Parenting responsibilities within their Committee and States' work; (paragraphs 4.6.17 to 4.6.22)
n. Whether to reintroduce the title of 'Minister' in place of 'President'; and (paragraphs 4.7.1 to 4.7.3)
o. Whether to develop alternative titles, or clarify the use of existing titles, in respect of the States and its Committees; (paragraph 4.7.4)
p. Whether to establish a Citizens' Assembly in a form appropriate to Guernsey; (paragraphs 4.8.1 to 4.8.6)
q. Whether to develop a Parish Charter or similar, which might allow for devolution of certain responsibilities to the Douzaines, on condition of meeting minimum standards for democratic accountability and transparency at parish level.(paragraphs 4.8.7 to 4.8.11)
2. To direct the Policy & Resources Committee to bring a policy letter to the States for consideration no later than the end of February, 2021, which shall include:
a. A copy of this Requête, together with a proposition inviting Members to agree that the issues set out in Proposition 1 [as amended, as the case may be] and Section 4 of this Requête should be addressed; and
b. Propositions enabling the election of Members to the States' Investigation & Advisory Committee required by Propositions 3 - 8 below.
3. To resolve that a States' Investigation & Advisory Committee shall be established no later than March, 2021, to consider the areas where the current structure of government falls short of the aims first set out in the 2014 States Review Committee report (effective leadership, sound coordination of policies and resources, proportionate checks and balances, flexibility to adapt) and the changes that could be made in order to improve it; and to agree that the Committee must consider, as a minimum, the issues set out in this Requête (as amended, if need be) and the solutions proposed alongside them, and determine what changes, if any, it wishes to recommend to the States.
4. To resolve that the membership of the States' Investigation & Advisory Committee shall comprise 6 States Members including:
a. At least one Member, elected by the States, who has already served a minimum of two complete terms of government; and
b. At least two further Members, elected by the States, who have already served a minimum of one complete term of government; and
c. Three further Members, elected by the States.
5. To resolve that the Chair of the Committee shall be the President or a Member of the Policy & Resources Committee and shall be elected by the States on the nomination of the Policy & Resources Committee.
6. To agree that the Policy & Resources Committee may make nominations for the remaining five seats on the Committee, which may also have nominations from the floor of the States; and that, in preparing its nominations, the Policy & Resources Committee must seek to ensure a balance of members who have had current or past experience of Scrutiny roles, of roles on Principal Committees, and of roles on other States' Committees.
7. To direct the Policy & Resources Committee to make arrangements to provide a budget (estimated at a maximum of £150,000 for one year) and administrative support of the States' Investigation & Advisory Committee from March 2021 to February 2022.
8. To direct the States' Investigation & Advisory Committee to present its recommendations to the States for debate no later than the end of February, 2022.
The above Propositions have been submitted to Her Majesty's Procureur for advice on any legal or constitutional implications in accordance with Rule 4(1) of the Rules of Procedure of the States of Deliberation and their Committees.