Monday, 20 July 2009

Screw thingy or Useful Scrutiny?

We at “THE VOICE” have previously despaired at the Scrutiny Panel System.

Here Deputy Mike Higgins - who is in the firing line as chair of the Economics Affairs Scrutiny Panel over the Bank Depositors Protection Scheme - doesn’t quite defend the Scrutiny system. He says that when usefully critical Scrutiny reports have been produced in the past, it is the Council Of Ministers who have ignored them.

BUT we ask what is the use of Scrutiny reports at all if they can be ignored?

We have previously Blogged on the similarly inadequate Complaints Board process where decisions cannot be enforced either. What is the point?

In some countries Complaints Boards (as Ombudsman Tribunals) can strike down Government policies and decisions and even initiate criminal prosecutions where necessary.

So why can’t Scrutiny Panels in Jersey be given greater powers so that their decisions and reports MUST be taken notice of?

At a recent Scrutiny Panel Hearing Minister of Education Deputy James Reed refused point blank to answer any questions concerning Haute De La Garrenne and threatened to leave the meeting if he was pressed. He should have been encouraged to walk.

The recent threat of Scrutiny Panels to resign en masse was the best news possible.

The power still rests with the exclusive Ministerial Club in Jersey. The system must change soon!!


Anonymous said...

Wait a minute! in the interview he says we have effective scrutiny. He then goes on to say if the COM had listened to scrutiny then Social Security wouldn't be in the mess that it is, how does that work?

It doesn't sound much like effective scrutiny to me. What was the other option? Oh yeah DICTATORSHIP

Jill Gracia said...

Exactly VFC - what IS the point. It seems at present it is a total waste of time if yet again the CoM have the ultimate decision on the outcome of any Scrutiny reports.

And.....a Minister who threatens to walk out in a fit of pique because he does not wish to answer questions on a certain matter. What a mature, professional message this sends out!

What should be a good concept is obviously not working as it should. As you so rightly say the system HAS to change very soon.

Anonymous said...

Scrutiny is only effective at tying up the opposition so they don't get the chance to unite. A total waste of time

Anonymous said...

How many of our so called "elected representatives" ever contribute a comment to the blogs?
The more progressive ones seem happy to stick their mugs in front of the video cam but why won't they participate in the written discussion here or elsewhere?
It was noticeable that some joined in when the elections were on but are they afraid now or is it just a bit beneath their dignity to support the non-accredited, officially un-blessed end of journalism?
Apart from Stuart with his own blog - and when do any of them ever challenge him there - or Crowcrofts lazy efforts, just where are they?
C'mon speak to us. Answer our questions. You never know when you might need some friends!!!!!!!

voiceforchildren said...

Re the last comment.

I have e-mailed the Scrutiny Chairmans Panel members asking them to "engage" on here. I have also asked them to forward the e-mail onto ALL thier Sub Panel members.

Give it a day or two and I will publish the e-mail on here. I've not yet had a reply from ANY of them, and as you can see they've not "engaged with the public" by leaving a comment yet.