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Hamstrung committee needs more resources

Hamstrung committee needs more resources

Friday 16 February 2024

Hamstrung committee needs more resources

Friday 16 February 2024

The States Assembly & Constitution Committee, already struggling with staffing, will be requesting more resources from the top after the States directed extra work to toughen-up on election candidates.

President Deputy Carl Meerveld said with scheduled year-long preparations coming up for the 2025 election it was going to request additional resources from Policy & Resources just to deliver that anyway.

But after States members rejected suggestions to liberalise candidacy rules, instead opting to tighten them up for offenders and investigate enhanced police checks and declarations of criminal records, the Committee will be seeking even more. 

SACC members yesterday said these additions are having a “significant impact” on workloads and argued they were approved by the States without considering funding or staffing levels in the Committee. 

All these projects will be scoped and demands for additional staff or cash will be sent to P&R.  

Further concerns were also aired about what the States has directed. Deputy John Gollop said he had “no idea” if police checks are required in any other parliaments, noting that the system Guernsey could introduce may have prevented many candidates if it was replicated in the USA and UK. 

Deputy Meerveld said “it isn’t as cut and dry as some members think it is”, saying there would be headaches over implementing enhanced DBS checks due to police cautions and other things not usually in the public domain being revealed.  

He added that it was still unclear who would carry out the police checks as politicians are considered self-employed, and election candidates may not have the opportunity to challenge the assessments. 

It was agreed to form a work group with deputies supportive of the reforms “so they can reach their own conclusions about practicalities,” Deputy Meerveld said. 

Pictured (top): Deputy Carl Meerveld.

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