Friday 23 August 2019
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Committee calls for more clarity on politicians' investments

Committee calls for more clarity on politicians' investments

Friday 28 June 2019

Committee calls for more clarity on politicians' investments


A group of politicians is pushing their colleagues to provide more information on their investments in order to enhance transparency.

At present, States Members are required to publicly declare the name and address of any company in which they - or their significant others - own, as well as those in which they have shares over 1% or £25,000 in value.

This is to make any potential conflicts of interest clear to the public, as politicians often have to vote on legislation affecting areas of business that could cause them financial gain or loss.

However, if the company in question is a 'holding company', there is currently no obligation to disclose details about the subsidiary companies it controls.

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Pictured: PPC say their plans aim to ensure politicians are as "open and transparent as possible" about their financial interests.

The Privileges and Procedures Committee (PPC) – a group of politicians responsible for overseeing the running of the States Assembly – is therefore proposing to change this.

While PPC noted that some politicians already freely provide this information, the committee has put forward plans to change the Standing Orders of the States Assembly - a set of key rules that politicians have to follow - so that it becomes an official requirement for everyone, as is the case for the Scottish Parliament, the Welsh Assembly and in Guernsey.

If the changes are approved, all politicians would need to declare their interest in a company if the nominal value of the shares is greater than 1% of the total value of the issued share capital of the company, or if the value of the shares was greater than half their salary.

This would lower the value at which shares need to be declared to £23,300 and would automatically follow any changes to States Members’ remuneration without there being a need to alter Standing Orders.

In a report outlining their plans, the committee said that they are not aware of any complaints having previously been made against politicians for failing to declare their true interest in a company, but that their main aim was to ensure politicians are "as open and transparent as possible."

"For the most part, Members' obligations when declaring shareholding interests would therefore be unchanged from what they are presently; but there would be an explicit obligation introduced to declare the business of any subsidiary company in instances where a member held shares in a holding company," PPC added.

The proposals will be debated and voted on by politicians on 10 September.

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