The role of Scrutiny
Scrutiny panels and the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) work on behalf of the States Assembly (Jersey’s parliament). They examine and investigate the work of the Government. They do this by reviewing and publishing reports on a number of areas:
- Government policy
- new laws and changes to existing laws
- work and expenditure of the Government
- issues of public importance
Parliamentary Scrutiny acts as an important inspection system of the Government. It is the way that the States Assembly holds ministers to account for their decisions and actions.
This helps improve government policies, legislation and public services. If changes are suggested, Scrutiny helps to make sure that the changes are fit for purpose and justified.
Scrutiny panels and the Public Accounts Committee
There are five scrutiny panels and the PAC, which review different parts of the Government:
- Corporate Services (Chief Minister, Minister for Treasury and Resources)
- Economic and International Affairs (Minister for Economic Development, Tourism, Sport and Culture, Minister for External Relations and Financial Services, Minister for International Development)
- Children, Education and Home Affairs (Minister for Children and Education, Minister for Home Affairs)
- Environment, Housing and Infrastructure (Minister for the Environment, Minister for Housing and Communities, Minister for Infrastructure)
- Health and Social Security (Minister for Health and Social Services, Minister for Social Security)
- PAC (responsible for overseeing the Government’s expenditures)
Scrutiny panels are made up of States members (politicians). The PAC is made up of States members and members of the public. Along with the Standing Orders of the States, there are two Codes of Practice that set out the rules by which the Panels and PAC operate. One Code governs engagement with the Government with another covering the proceedings of Panel and PAC work.
Scrutiny panels and the Public Accounts Committee carry out reviews of government policies, legislation and public services. They do this by gathering and examining evidence from various stakeholders. This includes the Government and members of the public. They have the power to call for evidence and witnesses relevant to their work.
Panels choose topics to review by looking at the Government's work programme. This usually includes new policies and laws. They also identify topical issues in the Island. They can look at any issues of public interest, including topics suggested by members of the public.
Panels receive support from a team of scrutiny officers in the States Greffe. They undertake administrative work, research and provide procedural advice. Panels can also appoint expert advisors if they need extra expertise.
At the end of a review, panels publish reports of their findings and recommendations. The Council of Ministers (Government) has to consider the findings and recommendations. They then have to publish a report about what they will do in response.
Panels also sometimes publish comments papers or amendments. These are linked to a proposition from a States member or draft law. Panels can also lodge their own propositions for the States Assembly to debate, as well as ask questions in States meetings.
Members of the public and interested groups or organisations can submit evidence at any time. Find out how to get involved or submit evidence by clicking these links.
Current Scrutiny Reviews
Visit our 'reviews' page to find out which scrutiny reviews are currently taking place.