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Chief Minister proposes government changes

18 March 2014

The Chief Minister has lodged a proposal to improve the way Jersey’s government operates.
Following two years of consultation, Senator Ian Gorst is proposing to introduce collective responsibility for the Council of Ministers and Assistant Ministers. This is the system used in many parliamentary democracies, including the UK, whereby decisions made by the Cabinet are the joint responsibility of all ministers.
The proposal would also ensure that the Chief Minister is made accountable for the overall organisation of the Council of Ministers and the allocation of roles to Ministers. This would allow a more flexible system of government for the Island, which can respond to new challenges by amending ministerial portfolios as circumstances demand.
The Machinery of Government Sub-Committee was established by the Privileges and Procedures Committee (PPC) in February 2012 to review the structures and functions of government in Jersey.  These proposals reflect the recommendations of that Sub-Committee.
Senator Gorst said “This amendment to the Law is intended to implement those recommendations of the Machinery of Government Sub-Committee that gained broad support through an extensive two year consultation process.  I am grateful to the Sub-Committee for all their good work and hope these changes will be supported by the States Assembly.
“The procedure for the appointing the Council of Ministers as a group, rather than individually, would allow the Assembly to demonstrate its confidence in the collective government of the Council of Ministers, rather than in individual Ministers, as is presently the case. 
“The Assembly would be demonstrating that it expects individual Ministers to adhere to the important principle of collective responsibility - representing and implementing agreed policy as set out in the Strategic Plan approved by the Assembly. This would result in a much more efficient and effective system of government for the Island.”
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