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!!
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