States Assembly appointments after an Election
This Briefing Paper explores the appointment of Ministers and Chairs of Committees and Panels, including analysis of such appointments following the General Elections of 2005 to 2018. It outlines the process of appointments under Standing Orders of the States of Jersey and highlights data concerning the contention of portfolios and chairs of committees and panels.
The Ministerial System of government was established by the States of Jersey Law 2005 and requires the appointment of a Chief Minister and at least 7 Ministers in order to form a Council of Ministers. The Council of Ministers, and Ministers individually, hold political and legal responsibility for the Government of Jersey.
Standing Order 117 of the Standing Orders of the States of Jersey identifies the Ministerial offices as:
Children and Education
Economic Development, Tourism, Sport and Culture
External Relations and Financial Services
Health and Social Services
Housing and Communities
Treasury and Resources
Ministerial portfolios can be changed by Ministerial Order from the Chief Minister, subject to notice being given to the Assembly as described within Article 29A of the States of Jersey Law 2005.
Part 7 of Standing Orders also requires that the States Assembly establish a number of Committees and Panels to carry out review and scrutiny of the work of the Council of Ministers and Government of Jersey, as well as administering the procedures of the States of Jersey. These include:
Privileges and Procedures Committee (PPC)
Public Accounts Committee (PAC)
Scrutiny Liaison Committee (previously Chairmen's Committee)
This Briefing Paper reviews the appointment of Ministers and Chairs to PPC, PAC, Scrutiny Panels and President of the Scrutiny Liaison Committee (Chairmen's Committee) following the 2005 to 2018 General Elections .
Procedures of nomination and appointment
In the first meetings of the States Assembly after a general election the newly elected States Members follow an appointment process to agree upon who will be appointed to each role. The Standing Orders of the States of Jersey state the precise order in which appointments must be made.
It is possible for any elected member – whether Connétable or Deputy – to be Chief Minister. Those who wish to be considered for the role by the Assembly need to submit a nomination in writing to the Greffier of the States 5 clear working days prior to the meeting at which the appointment is made.
The nomination must be supported and signed by at least 6 other elected members and the candidate has to provide their vision for a strategic policy for the Island and describe how they would discharge their duties if successfully appointed. The Assembly votes upon the appointment of the Chief Minister at its first meeting. In 2022 this took place on 5th July.
In the second meeting of the newly elected States Assembly, the Chief Minister designate selects their preferred Council of Ministers (in 2022, on 11th July). This process is initiated before the meeting, when the Chief Minister designate provides the Greffier of the States with a declaration (on the working day before the meeting) setting out the States Members they wish to nominate for each Ministerial office. During the States meeting, the Chief Minister designate proposes their ministerial candidates. States Members then have the opportunity to nominate their own preferred candidates for each Ministerial office.
Voting for the Chief Minister and Ministers takes place following each candidate speaking and answering questions from the Assembly. Standing Orders were updated in 2017 to ensure that uncontested nominees are still required to speak and answer questions put forward by the Assembly. If the appointment is contested, the candidate that receives more than half of the votes cast is appointed; if no candidate has more than half of the votes, the candidate with the lowest number of votes is withdrawn from the contest and another vote is held. Additional rules for voting are explained in Part 6 of Standing Orders.
Appointment to other roles are then carried out in the following order:
Chair of the PPC
Chair of the PAC
Chairs of Scrutiny Panels
Chair of the Planning Committee
President of the Scrutiny Liaison Committee (previously Chairmen's Committee)
Membership of PPC
Elected membership of PAC
Members of Scrutiny Panels
Members of the Planning Committee
States Commissioners of the Jersey Overseas Aid Commission
This Briefing Paper also reviews the appointment of Chairs to PPC, PAC, Scrutiny Panels and President of the Scrutiny Liaison Committee (previously the Chairmen's Committee). A similar process for appointment is undertaken for these roles, in which nominations are made by a Member of the Assembly followed by candidates speaking and answering questions from the Assembly. Voting is taken to ascertain a majority consensus on the appointment, should more than one nomination be made.
Analysis of appointments
During the course of the five previous terms, there have been 91 nominations for Chief Ministers, Ministers, Chairs or Presidents following General Elections. Of these, 50 have been contested within the Assembly prior to appointment.
The role of Chief Minister has been contested in all but one of the terms, with two nominations for Chief Minister being put to the Assembly at the start of each tenure apart from 2014.
- Of the 47 nominations for Ministers made by a Chief Minister, 29 have been contested within the Assembly
The 2005 and 2018 Assemblies saw the fewest number of contested Ministerial appointments. Figure 1 shows the number of contested appointments, excluding those for Chief Minister:
Upon further examination the most contested Ministerial Portfolios have been:
- Minister for Health and Social Services
- Minster for Education (including Sports and Culture prior to 2018)
- Minister for Social Security
- Minister for Infrastructure (previously Transport and Technical Services)
Nominations made by the Chief Ministers for these appointments have been contested in four of the five periods reviewed.
Figure 2 outlines the number of nominations for each Ministerial Portfolio, broken down by year. Only one nomination in any year indicates an uncontested appointment. (Please note that the Minister for External Relations was established in 2014).
In the majority of cases the Assembly has appointed the ministerial nomination of the Chief Minister. However, this has not always been the case and at least one appointment has been made against the Chief Minister's choice in each term other than in 2014. The Table below shows those instances in which the majority of the Assembly chose to vote for a nominee standing against the Chief Minister's nominee:
Appointments against Chief Minister’s nomination
Minister for the Health and Social Services
Minister for Treasury and Resources
Minister for Transport and Technical Services
Minister for Education, Sport and Culture
Minister for Health and Social Services
Minister for Transport and Technical Services
Committees and Panels
Over the five terms there have been 39 appointments to Chairs of PPC, PAC, Scrutiny Panels and President of the Chairmen’s Committee. 17 of these have been contested by two or more nominated members as shown by Figure 3.
As with Ministerial appointments, some Committee and Panel leadership positions are more contested than others. The Chairs of PPC and the Corporate Services Scrutiny Panel have been the most contested, having been contested in four of the five terms; conversely the nomination of the Chair of the Education and Home Affairs Scrutiny Panel has not been opposed in any Assembly.
Figure 4 shows the nominations for the leadership position of the Committee or Panel broken down by year. Those years with only one nomination indicate uncontested appointments.