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Non-States Member on a committee bringing your expertise to policy and legislation

What does a States committee do?

States committees

The day to day work of the States 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.

Responsibilities of States committees

Principal committees
 
The six principal committees are made up of five Deputies and up to two people who are not States members. These additional members do not have a vote.
 
The six committees are:
 
  • 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. Each 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 as their non-States members have a vote.

  • States’ Trading Supervisory Board (can have up to two non-States members)
  • Scrutiny Management Committee (must have two non-States members)
 

What do non-States members do?

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.

Scrutiny Management’s Financial Scrutiny Panel

The Scrutiny Management Committee’s Financial Scrutiny Panel is a sub-committee consisting of elected States’ Deputies and members of the public. It assists in addressing the major financial challenges faced by the States.

Scrutiny Management’s 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, freedom of information, in-work poverty and capital allocation.

How do you get appointed?

Recruitment process for principal committees

On a principal committee, non-voting members are appointed by the President and the members of the relevant committee usually at the beginning of the States four-year term at the end of an open recruitment process. Roles are advertised via a media release, or a print ad, or both. Vacancies are also promoted on social media. More about the recruitment process.

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 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 the Scrutiny Management Committee

At the beginning of a new States term, the two roles of voting member on the Scrutiny Management Committee 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.

Process for Scrutiny Management’s Financial Scrutiny Panel

Vacancies will be advertised as they arise. To apply, you will be asked to submit your CV and a covering letter.

Process for the States’ Trading Supervisory Board

For the STSB, roles are not advertised at the start of each States term. If there are two non-States members, one’s term of office will expire 12 months before the general election, and the other 12 months after. If there is just one non-States member, the term will expire 12 months after the election. This ensures continuity for the Board across election periods. When the roles 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. Your appointment will go to the States for approval but no additional candidates can be proposed.

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 scrutiny@gov.gg.

What skills do you need?

Principal committees

This is very much a committee role so prior experience of working on a committee is important. You will be reading and analysing a large volume of policy papers.
 
Here are some quotes from recent ads for non-States members:
 
‘Commitment and drive to help the committee to develop and progress the many priority areas of its work’.
 
‘Other than a keen interest in our mandate and an abundance of passion and determination to make a difference to the community we serve, there are no specific qualifications needed for the role. As such we would encourage anyone interested, no matter your background, to get in touch.’
 

‘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 Financial Scrutiny Panel

While there are no formal qualifications required, significant relevant experience in financial, commercial or legal matters is highly desirable.

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 a strong business background and board-level experience.

Having non-political representatives with current or recent private sector experience provides a valuable external perspective and challenge, similar to the role of a non-executive director in a private business.

What support or training is there?

Support

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.

Training

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.

What's the time commitment?

Principal committees

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 Financial Scrutiny Panel

The time commitment is around 20 or 20 half-days per year. Panel meetings are normally convened on a monthly basis.

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.

States’ Trading Supervisory Board

Depending on the level of business, the Board normally meets fortnightly. The two Non-States Members also chair two or three of the unincorporated company boards, which generally meet on a bi-monthly or quarterly basis. In addition, there are quarterly meetings with the directors of the incorporated businesses, which can total up to 16 per year. Plus ad hoc meetings when necessary.

Do you get paid?

Remuneration

Non-States Members

Voting and non-voting members are paid £2,389 per year (2023 figures) which increases in May each year by any upward percentage change in median earnings in Guernsey (although increases were frozen in 2020 and 2021 because of Covid). 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 £9,552 (2023 figures).

Rewards and downsides

Rewards

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.

Downsides

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.

Where can I find out more?

More information

Current list of Non-States Members.

Principal committees

Non-voting members are covered by Rules 35 and 46 of the Rules of Procedure of the States of Deliberation and their Committees (‘Blue Book’).
 

Mandates of States committees.

Scrutiny Management committee

Go to 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.

Download this information

To turn all of this information about Non-States Member roles into a PDF, click the ‘download info as PDF’ button at the bottom of this page.

Corrections

This description of Non-States Member roles has been researched by Women in Public Life volunteers.  If you spot an error, please do let us know by emailing hello@womeninpubliclife.gg.

Download info as PDF

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Guernsey’s iconic women of the future?

Thank you for nominating a young woman or girl for our future iconic Guernsey women campaign to celebrate International Women’s Day!

Nominations close on Sunday 6 March at 17.00.

Please fill in the details below.

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Miriam Makeba - South Africa

Nominated by: Christine James

Zenzile Miriam Makeba (1932 to 2008), nicknamed Mama Africa, was a South African singer, songwriter, actress, United Nations goodwill ambassador, and civil rights activist. Associated with musical genres including Afropop, jazz, and world music, she was an advocate against apartheid and white-minority government in South Africa. In 2020 she was named one of Time magazine’s 100 women of the century. 

South Africa is ranked 12th in the world for percentage of women in national parliament: 45.8% (source: data.ipu.org) 

Are you from South Africa? Please email hello@womeninpubliclife.gg if there is a social or cultural group for people from South Africa in Guernsey.

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The original image “The Hague Jazz 2008 – Miriam Makeba” by Haags Uitburo is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0. 

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Jacinda Ardern - New Zealand

Nominated by: Martin Lock

Jacinda Ardern (born 1980) has served as prime minister of New Zealand and leader of the Labour Party since 2017. In 2019, she led the country through the aftermath of the Christchurch mosque shootings, rapidly introducing strict gun laws in response, and throughout 2020 she directed the country’s widely praised response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Ardern was the world’s second elected head of government to give birth in office when her daughter was born in 2018. ‘An inspiring Prime Minister who brought a nation together with true leadership, empathy and compassion.’

New Zealand is ranked 4th in the world for percentage of women in national parliament: 48.3% (source: data.ipu.org) 

Other iconic women: Dame Whina Cooper, nominated by Claire Fisher, and Kate Sheppard, nominated by Anna Cooper.

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