Pan-Island Commissioner for Standards

Job description

Jersey and Guernsey are seeking to appoint a Pan-Island Commissioner for Standards. Both Jersey and Guernsey are Crown Dependencies, separate from the United Kingdom, with their own distinctive legal and political systems. Although sharing the recruitment exercise, each Island will have its own legislation and Codes of Conduct and therefore the person appointed would have  two distinct roles to fill.

The role of Commissioner for Standards in Jersey was created in 2017 following the adoption of relevant legislation by the States Assembly. In Guernsey, the role is newly created through the adoption of legislation in September 2022. This will be the first time a Pan-Island Commissioner is recruited to undertake this role for the two Islands.

The Commissioner will be an independent office-holder, formally appointed by the Assembly's Privileges and Procedures Committee (PPC) in Jersey and upon nomination by the States Assembly and Constitution Committee in Guernsey.

The role of the Commissioner in Jersey relates to the Code of Conduct for Elected Members of the Assembly (as set out in schedule 3 of the Assembly's Standing Orders) and the Code of Conduct and Practice for Ministers and Assistant Ministers. In Guernsey, the role relates to the Code of Conduct for Members of the States of Deliberation.

Jersey

The Commissioner's main responsibilities in Jersey will include:

  • Receiving and investigating (or otherwise dealing with) complaints that either code has been breached
  • Initiating an investigation if he or she believes that a breach of either code may have occurred
  • Reporting to PPC on the outcome of any investigation (PPC has responsibility for forming an opinion as to whether a breach of a code has occurred and communicating that, and any recommended action, to the Assembly)
  • Advising on any matters relating to standards of conduct of elected members or standards of conduct and practice of Ministers and Assistant Ministers, including proposals to change a code.

Guernsey

The Commissioner's main responsibilities in Guernsey will include:

  • Investigating a complaint to the Commissioner that a breach of the code of conduct has occurred
  • Initiating an investigation if the Commissioner believes that a breach of the code of conduct may have occurred
  • Reporting to the States Assembly and Constitution Committee the outcome of any investigation
  • On the Commissioner's own initiative or, if requested by the Committee, to give advice on any matter relating to standards of conduct of elected members of the States, including proposals to change the code of conduct, and
  • Any other functions as may be assigned to the office of the Commissioner by Resolution of the States, or under any other enactment.

The Commissioner must publish a statement outlining the way in which he or she proposes to discharge his or her functions in each Island and keep that statement under review. The Commissioner is also required to produce an annual report (for both Islands) of the activities of the office of Commissioner for the previous year.

Both Islands are required to ensure that the Commissioner is provided with such administrative and other support, including staff, services and accommodation, as he or she may reasonably require. 

Person specification

The successful candidate has an exciting opportunity to create a new pan-Island role which will enhance public perceptions of the standing and integrity of the political systems in Jersey and Guernsey.

Candidates will have a successful, board-level or equivalent, track record within the public, private or not-for-profit sectors that demonstrates experience of:

  • working within complex organisations,
  • dealing personally with complicated and sensitive issues, and
  • building and managing relationships with multiple stakeholders.

Candidates will demonstrate an understanding of:

  • the role of legislatures and elected politicians as well as the rationale for regulating parliamentary standards, and
  • Jersey's political system (or will demonstrate the capacity to acquire such an understanding).
  • Guernsey's political system (or will demonstrate the capacity to acquire such an understanding).

Candidates will also demonstrate:

  • Exceptional judgement and the capacity to be independent, resilient and strong-minded
  • The highest standard of integrity and political impartiality and a commitment to impartial, fair, open and transparent procedures and decision-making
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills
  • The ability to work effectively with politicians and to influence people at the highest level, and
  • The ability to deal expeditiously with complicated issues in a confidential, sympathetic and sensitive manner

Remuneration and time commitment

The time commitment required will be driven by the number and complexity of the complaints which the Commissioner receives as well as the work involved in keeping abreast of international best practice. The current estimate is of the order of 20 to 25 days' work per year for both Islands.  A day rate of £350 - £450 will be payable but this, and other aspects of terms and conditions, are negotiable.

The appointment will be for a fixed term of five years from 1st March 2023. 

The Recruitment Process

The closing date for applications is no later than: 16th December 2022 at noon.

The States of Jersey and States of Guernsey are undertaking a joint recruitment process.

Applications will be reviewed by the Greffier of the States in Jersey (Lisa Hart) and the States Greffier in Guernsey (Simon Ross) in the first instance. You will be notified quickly as to whether you are required to attend a preliminary interview.

A recruitment panel will be formed to include:

  • Chair of PPC
  • Chair of the Guernsey States Assembly Constitution Committee
  • Greffier of the States (Jersey)
  • States Greffier (Guernsey)
  • Jersey Appointments Commission (as non-voting chair)

Once the process has been undertaken, the panel would make a recommendation to both Committees on a candidate for appointment.

Shortlisting will take place during the week commencing 10th January 2023.

Shortlisted candidates will be invited to a final panel interview in Jersey during the week commencing 30th January 2023.

Please make it clear on your application if you have any availability issues during the process outlined above.

The approved candidate will be expected to meet the Privileges and Procedures Committee in Jersey and the States Assembly and Constitution Committee in Guernsey before a formal appointment is made.


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