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Politicians pushed to declare family members’ interests

Politicians pushed to declare family members’ interests

Monday 06 December 2021

Politicians pushed to declare family members’ interests


Jersey politicians will be made to declare the business interests of their family members or anyone they have a “close relationship with” under new plans to strengthen conflict of interest rules.

Currently, States Members only have to declare the businesses and land they have an interest in, and things that are gifted to them, as well as their spouse, civil partner or cohabit, but do not specify any wider family beyond this.

But the panel of politicians responsible for overseeing the running of the States Assembly and keeping States Members in check – the Privileges and Procedures Committee (PPC) – is pushing to tighten up protocols that protect against conflicts of interest as part of a planned overhaul of States Members’ Code of Conduct.

According to PPC Chair Deputy Carina Alves, proposals due to be lodged this month and voted on by States Members next year will extend the definition of a 'relevant person' to include:

A) The member's spouse, civil partner, or co-habiteee.

B) A child of the member or of their spouse, civil partner, or co-habitee

C) A dependent of a child referred to in Part B.

D) Any other relative or household member with whom the member has a close relationship.

Carina-Alves.jpg

Pictured: Chair of PPC Deputy Carina Alves explained that the new rules would see the definition of 'relevant person' altered.

Additionally, Deputy Alves outlined how more stringent rules will be put in place to make sure that States members declare UK land that they owned.

The rules for States Members declaring land is also outlined in the current Code of Conduct, which states "an elected member must register a description of any land sufficient to identify it, which is wholly owned, or jointly owned with another person."

Whilst some do already list their UK properties on the site, Deputy Alves said this would be "extending" the code to ensure all are registered.

The Deputy explained the the proposed overhaul of the code comes alongside a change of the definitions in the Public Finances Law, and a report from the Comptroller and Auditor General last year which set out that there was a need to review and improve policies and procedures in respect of:

  • Managing States Members' and States employees' conflicts of interest
  • Procurement breaches and exemptions
  • Scrutiny of gifts and hospitality

The proposed new Code of Conduct has been sent to the Deputy Bailiff and is expected to be lodged in the coming days, and is expected to come to the States Assembly in the first quarter of 2022.

It comes amid growing disquiet in the UK House of Commons over conflicts of interest in relation to contracts and recruitment, as well as second jobs.

READ MORE...

In a special feature published today, Express examines Jersey's current declaration rules, what interests States Members have already disclosed, and their views on business interests and second jobs...

FOCUS: States Members and their business interests

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Posted by Scott Mills on
cousins and cousins, whatabout what goes on with the "free" masons???? any members of government should have to declare this too.
Posted by John Sheen on
I'm surprised it has taken this long to happen. This is a must for transparency.
Posted by Gillian Gracia on
Agree 100% about Freemasons, all scratching each others backs hiding behind a facade of do-gooders. It all begs the question of how much our esteemed members can still get away with hiding from the public. They are not renowned for their honesty!
Posted by Jon Jon on
Freemasons,you scratch my back I'll scratch yours! Of course they need to declare everything, most of that lot are out of touch with the rest of the Island,no idea how the middle and low class live, and you can hear it in their voice when they talk be it in States or to you!
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