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Independent commissioner to investigate politicians?

Independent commissioner to investigate politicians?

Friday 16 October 2015

Independent commissioner to investigate politicians?

An independent commissioner could be appointed to investigate complaints against States Members and recommend punishments.

Plans put forward by the States reform committee would end the system that allows only politicians to hear complaints about each other – but politicians would get the final say on whether a suspension, the ultimate sanction, should be imposed or not.

Two years ago, the States agreed to set up an independent commissioner, called the "Commissioner for Standards". And now the States reform and standards committee has come up with a new law setting out how the system would work.

Under the rules:

- The Commissioner would be able to investigate any complaints made.

- They would also be able to investigate without a complaint being filed.

- Only States Members would be able to complain about anything that happened in the States Chamber.

- No anonymous complaints could be investigated.

The proposals by the Privileges and Procedures Committee will be debated on 1 December.

They say that the independent commissioner – who would have to be appointed by politicians – would have to be paid around £350 per day.

Existing rules govern how suspensions from the States work.

They say that suspended members must leave the Chamber immediately, and that while they’re suspended they can’t carry out any ministerial or committee work, or file propositions, reports or questions.

And they lay out a staggered scheme of suspensions, as follows:

- First suspension in a three-year term – seven days.

- Second suspension in a three-year term – 14 days (and docked 50% of pay).

- Third or subsequent suspension in a three-year term – 28 days (and docked 100% of pay).

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