As Members get back under their desks following last week’s election, Deputy Jeremy Maçon has called on the States to ensure there is no backlog towards the end of the term of office.
Members were criticised by Bailiff Sir William Bailhache for leaving so much important business to the final weeks of the last Assembly’s term. The Chamber sat until late into the evenings in the sittings prior to the election to rush through the mountain of work before the election period began.
Among the proposals debated in the final week were plans to fund university education, whether to review the proposed site of the new hospital and halving the controversial retail tax.
Now, Deputy Maçon has said the States should give themselves a longer run-in period to allow important matters to be properly debated and thought through rather than decided in a last-minute rush.
He said: ‘It may feel counterintuitive at the beginning of a term to be discussing the end of it.
‘However, following the final days of the last States Assembly, I felt it most unsatisfactory that Members were sitting right up to the wire. This led to rushed decisions, which is not good governance.’
He has asked the Privileges and Procedures Committee to review the rules of purdah and to bring forward the changes to States Standing Orders.
Deputy Maçon added: ‘My plan is to bring the deadline forward allowing for the usual build-up of work and then the Assembly can space out the work over a two-month period, making it more manageable for Members and allowing for more considered approaches, rather than rushed decisions just before an election.
‘Rules relating to the activities of scrutiny panels and committees also need to be looked at, and ministerial guidance, such as on the signing of Ministerial Decisions during the election period, also should be reviewed.’
The proposition is due to be debated on Tuesday 26 June.