The day to day work of the States of Guernsey is divided among a senior committee (Policy and Resources), six principal committees and seven additional committees. Each committee is independently responsible to the States of Deliberation.
The Committee for Health and Social Care, for example, is responsible for diagnosis and treatment of health conditions, adult social care, welfare and protection of children and families, mental health, environmental health, health promotion and care of the elderly.
- Health and Social Care
- Home Affairs
- Education, Culture and Sport
- Environment and Infrastructure
- Employment and Social Security
- Economic Development
Although all of these committees can have non-voting members, not all choose to do so. The committee is free to decide whether or not it wants any external expertise at the board table.
Two further committees work to the same system:
- Development and Planning Authority
- Transport Licensing Authority
Other States committees
Two States committees are different. They are required to have two members who are not Deputies as part of their terms of reference and these members have a vote.
- States Trading Supervisory Board
- Scrutiny Management Committee
Committee members who are not Deputies
Voting and non-voting members of States committees are experienced members of the public who contribute to the work of a States committee but have not been elected as a Deputy.
The role is similar to a non-executive director on a company board in bringing expertise and an external perspective to a committee. These additional members receive the committee papers and attend and contribute to meetings. They cannot vote on decisions – with the exception of those on the States Trading Supervisory Board and the Scrutiny Management Committee.
Scrutiny Management Committee
The Scrutiny Management Committee (SMC) scrutinises the work of the other States committees (and organisations that receive public funds) by reviewing legislation, policies, services and use of resources.
The Scrutiny Management Committee has two voting members who are elected and can vote.
Task and Finish Panels
In addition, the Scrutiny Management Committee recruits members of the public with relevant expertise to sit on ‘Task and Finish’ Panels. These panels are set up to examine specific topics such as investment, access to public information, in-work poverty and capital allocation.
Recruitment process for principal committees
On a principal committee, non-voting members are appointed by the President and the members of the relevant committee at the beginning of the States four-year term. The recruitment process is determined by the committee – sometimes the role is advertised, sometimes the committee approaches suitable candidates.
Once the committee has made its choice, it submits the name(s) to the States of Deliberation in a Billet for information.
If you wish to be considered as a non-voting member you need to be ready when committees are being formed at the beginning of a new States term. You could wait for the Non-States Member roles to be advertised but if there is a particular committee you are interested in it is worth making a personal approach to its President once it is clear who that is likely to be.
You can resign at any time. The committee is under no obligation to replace you. You will stand down at the end of the four year States term alongside the rest of your committee.
Process for Scrutiny Management Committee and States Trading Supervisory Board
At the beginning of a new States term (or shortly after, for continuity), the roles of voting member on the Scrutiny Management Committee and the States Trading Supervisory Board are advertised. You will be asked for your CV and a covering letter. Applications will be shortlisted and if you are successful, you will be invited for an interview. If you are selected, your name will be included in a Billet and you will be proposed for election in the States of Deliberation. Deputies may propose additional candidates from the floor so your appointment is not guaranteed – you may need to win a vote.
You will stand down at the end of the four year States term alongside the rest of your committee.
Rules for voting and non-voting members
You will have to make the same declaration of interests and declaration of unspent convictions that a Deputy would and the declaration of interests will be published on the States website.
You cannot be considered if you are employed by the States of Guernsey at the time.
Process for Scrutiny Management’s ‘Task and Finish’ Panels
At the beginning or during a new States term, Scrutiny may advertise for expressions of interest from members of the public who would like be considered for a Task and Finish panel. You will be asked to submit a CV and a covering letter, indicating your area of expertise. Scrutiny then draws on this pool of potential candidates when forming Task and Finish panels focused on specific areas. The subjects of these panels range from access to public information to capital allocation to in-work poverty.
If you would like to be considered for a Task and Finish Panel, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
‘Rigour and challenge and be supportive and progressive’.
Scrutiny Management Committee
The main purpose of having non-voting members on the Scrutiny Management Committee is to bring additional legal, financial or business skills.
You will need to be good at building relationships because you will be working across all States committees.
You will have to read and digest large quantities of complex information and be able to summarise it for others. You will also need to use what you have learnt to question or challenge States members and officers. An ability to see what’s missing, as well as critique what’s presented, is essential.
Once the information has been digested and queried, you will also be expected to contribute to the recommendations.
Scrutiny Management’s ‘Task and Finish’ Panels
You will need to have experience of, and expertise in, the topic being reviewed.
You will have to read and digest large quantities of complex information.
States Trading and Supervisory Board (STSB)
To be a voting member on STSB you will need experience of corporate governance, board and shareholder responsibilities, and strategic and operational benchmarking.
Principal committees and the States Trading Supervisory Board
These committees meet every two weeks on average, or more often if they are preparing an extensive policy paper for debate in the States. Meetings are on a specific weekday at the offices of the committee and can last two to four hours.
You will be expected to read the papers beforehand, ask questions of officers and contribute to discussion in meetings.
In addition, you will be copied in on emails between the members of the committee plus other correspondence.
You may be asked to join a sub-committee, in which case there will be a further set of papers to read and meetings to attend.
In total, the commitment is at least ten hours a month.
Scrutiny Management Committee
The Scrutiny Management Committee meets twice a month for 2.5 hours on a weekday at Raymond Falla House.
As a voting member you will also take part in the monthly Legislation Review Panel and Financial Scrutiny Panel and sit on some Task and Finish panels.
You will need to read extensively and attend numerous meetings when the committee is preparing to issue a letter of comment or to hold a hearing. The documents are long and complex.
You will not write letters of comment – that will be done by the officers – but you will be asked to review and contribute to them.
In total, your role will take up 20 or 30 half days a year. The workload tends to intensify as the States term progresses.
Scrutiny Management’s ‘Task and Finish’ Panels
If you are asked to form part of a ‘Task and Finish’ Review Panel to examine a particular issue, you will need to read extensively and attend numerous meetings for a period of several months. In total, your role will take up about half a day a week for the period you are involved. On average, there will be six meetings over a period of six months.
As a voting or non-voting committee member, you will be supported by the officers who support your committee as a whole. They will give you the schedule of meetings, prepare the papers for you to read before meetings and are available to answer any questions.
You will also be supported by the President of the committee and the other members.
Voting and non-voting members are not included in the induction programme for Deputies.
The Scrutiny Management Committee organises some ad-hoc training sessions and includes its voting members in opportunities to visit the Houses of Parliament and attend conferences.
You will be using your experience and expertise to help ensure the smooth running and value for money of the services on which Guernsey depends.
You will get an in-depth insight into the workings of the States.
The workload is considerable and can be high-pressured when large or controversial policies are going through the States or you are involved in a large Scrutiny Review.
Voting and non-voting members are paid £2,154 per year (2020 figures) which increases in May each year by any upward percentage change in median earnings in Guernsey. This figure reflects the fact that the role is considered to be largely voluntary.
The exceptions are voting members on the States Trading Supervisory Board who are paid £8,615 (2020 figures).
Scrutiny Management ‘Task and Finish’ panels
You will be paid £70 per session (2019 figure). A morning’s hearing would count as a session.
Detailed information about the role of a non-voting member on a principal committee is scarce. The only source seems to be the work of the States Review Committee in 2015 but this simply confirms that each committee can appoint two non-voting members.
Non-voting members are covered by Rule 46 of the Rules of Procedure of the States of Deliberation and their Committees (‘Blue Book’).
Scrutiny Management committee
Go to www.gov.gg/scrutiny for general information about the Scrutiny Management Committee including an archive of previous reviews, letters of comment and annual reports.
The In-Work Poverty Review is a typical example of the involvement of Non-States Members in Scrutiny Reviews.
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