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REVEALED: The new Assistant Ministers and Scrutiny Panel chairs

REVEALED: The new Assistant Ministers and Scrutiny Panel chairs

Wednesday 07 February 2024

REVEALED: The new Assistant Ministers and Scrutiny Panel chairs

Wednesday 07 February 2024


The final roles inside and outside of Government have been appointed – with some former Ministers now instead taking on roles described as the Government's "critical friend".

Politicians met yesterday for their first sitting since the election of the new Government, which was formed following the successful vote of no confidence brought against former Chief Minister Kristina Moore.

Deputies Tom Binet, Rose Binet, Carina Alves and Malcolm Ferey, plus Constable Simon Crowcroft, have been appointed as Assistant Chief Ministers by Chief Minister Lyndon Farnham, who was elected on 25 January and took office after the new Council of Ministers was confirmed last Tuesday.

Deputy Chief Minister

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In a ministerial decision signed earlier this week, Deputy Farnham also formalised his previously announced intention to make Deputy Tom Binet his Deputy Chief Minister.

This means Deputy Binet would stand in for the Chief Minister if he is absent.

States Employment Board

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A separate ministerial decision also confirmed the appointment of Deputies Rose Binet and Ferey as executive members of the States Employment Board, with Deputy Ferey subsequently revealing on social media that he was to serve as the SEB’s Vice-Chair.

Two vacancies for membership of the States Employment Board were also filled in the States Assembly, with a contest between four candidates.

Constable of St Clement Marcus Troy and Deputy Raluca Kovacs were nominated by the Chief Minister, while Deputies Philip Bailhache and Steve Ahier were also put forward.

After a secret ballot, Constable Troy (31 votes) and Deputy Ahier (23 votes) were appointed.

Scrutiny Panels

After a lengthy process of speeches and questioning, most of these roles are now occupied by members of the former Council of Ministers who are seeking to cause change and influence policy from the backbenches.

Filling these positions – which are often billed as the "critical friend" to Government – was one of the final stages of a re-shuffle of the States Assembly.

Public Accounts Committee

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Deputy Inna Gardiner – former Children's and Education Minister – was appointed to chair the Public Accounts Committee (PAC), which determines whether public funds have been used efficiently, effectively, and economically in order to deliver value for money for islanders.

Deputy Gardiner returns to the role uncontested after serving as Chair of the Panel from 2020 to 2022.

She said she was offering "continuity" and pledged to look into spending in Health, recruitment, HR, the Government's IT system, procurement and the complaints process.

She added: "It is extremely important that the Government accepts recommendations which improve efficiency and then implements them. We must follow-up and ensure we have a golden thread which connects everything."

Deputy Gardiner assured Members that her stance would be "apolitical" when it came to reviewing work from her own time in Government.

Corporate Services Scrutiny Panel

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Deputy Helen Miles – former Home Affairs Minister – fought off a challenge from Deputy Montfort Tadier to be appointed as Chair of the Corporate Services Scrutiny Panel, which reviews the work of the Chief Minister and Treasury Minister.

Its remit includes scrutinising communications, modernisation and digital, people and services and statistics.

Deputy Miles said: "It's a very diverse portfolio and we will need a range of expertise from across the Assembly to help us address that challenge."

She also confirmed that she would conclude an ongoing People and Culture Follow-up Review "as soon as possible using existing evidence" and she would focus work on a Jersey Public Services Ombudsman.

Economic and International Affairs Scrutiny Panel

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Deputy Tadier was then appointed as Chair of the Economic and International Affairs Scrutiny Panel, following a contest from Deputy Jonathan Renouf – the former Environment Minister.

In his speech, he questioned whether it would be the right move to "populate Scrutiny with old Ministers who have been kicked out", saying that he feared this could mean a return to the "personality politics" which he said was a characteristic of the Assembly between 2018 and 2022.

Environment, Housing and Infrastructure Panel

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Deputy Hilary Jeune, a former Assistant Environment Minister who held responsibility for energy and climate change, was appointed as Chair of the Environment, Housing and Infrastructure Scrutiny Panel without contest.

Health and Social Security Scrutiny Panel

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Both Deputy Louise Doublet and Deputy Beatriz Porée bid for the role of Chair of the Health and Social Security Scrutiny Panel.

Deputy Doublet, former Assistant Children and Education's Minister, won the vote 24 to 21.

She said: "We are in the middle of transformation of our healthcare system and this needs to be carefully monitored.

"We have an ageing population and they need to be properly supported. I want to understand how this can best be done."

She put forward her vision for enabling the public to have their say, which could include Facebook live sessions with the Panel where islanders could post their comments in real time.

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