Potential conflict of interest in safeguarding of children (FOI)
Potential conflict of interest in safeguarding of children (FOI)Produced by the Freedom of Information office
Authored by States of Jersey and published on 19 March 2018.
Families with children need stability and a stable home life where possible.
In my opinion Non Qualified families in Jersey have been prevented for decades from having a basic need of a stable family home. In my opinion families are being forced into homelessness or constant moving mode as a direct result of the discrimination against families in Jersey. They have in my opinion been poorly let down by politicians and key agencies responsible for
safeguarding children and MASH.
I have just read the UK document "Equality Matters for children" on www.crae.org.uk website.
"Part 6 Public sector equality duty and children's services" of the "Matters for children" report states that the public sector equality duty (PSED) applies to local authorities and children's services and that they must "in exercising public functions have due regard to the need to eliminate discrimination."
Jersey is still part of the British Isles, a British Crown dependency and not meant to be a 3rd world country. I would expect it should be following UK / English statutory laws and immediately following suit in implementing them in Jersey. The Equality Act 2010 in the UK is the Act which legally protects people from the very discrimination I believe is in Jersey and making people homeless. The US Federal fair Housing Act 1968 specifically prevents discrimination against families.
Please can someone explain why eight years later in 2018, Jersey is still not implementing this Act and protecting the children living in Jersey and preventing this discrimination? The landlords who are doing this should not be being rewarded for this disgraceful behaviour but being penalised in my opinion. Jersey appears to be now 50 years behind the US.
I can think of only one reason why this law has not been implemented for all these years.
Please answer the following for each of the last eight years:
How many politicians were involved in deciding this Act should not be brought into Jersey?
Of those politicians involved for each year including the present time, how many are landlords?
Of those politicians involved for each year including the present time, how many are landlords or have immediate family or close family who are landlords?
Do the States allow people with a clear conflict of interest to be allowed to decide on a law (if that is the case)?
What are you doing to ensure conflicts of interest do not happen going forward (if that is the case)? Do you now prevent politicians with conflicts of interest from voting?
The extension of Acts of the U.K. Parliament to Jersey requires the approval of the States Assembly in accordance with Article 31 of the States of Jersey Law 2005. There has never been a proposition brought to the States Assembly to extend the Equality Act 2010 to Jersey. The Assembly has instead adopted the Discrimination (Jersey) Law 2013 and, in subsequent years, Regulations made under the Discrimination Law.
Article 31 of the States of Jersey Law 2005 reads as follows:
31 Duty to refer certain matters to the States
(1) Where it is proposed –
(a) that any provision of a draft Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom should apply directly to Jersey; or
(b) that an Order in Council should be made extending to Jersey –
(i) any provision of an Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom, or
(ii) any Measure, pursuant to the Channel Islands (Church Legislation) Measures 1931 and 1957,
the Chief Minister shall lodge the proposal in order that the States may signify their views on it.
(2) Where, upon transmission of an Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom containing a provision described in paragraph (1)(a) or of an Order in Council described in paragraph (1)(b) to the Royal Court for registration, it appears to the Royal Court that the States have not signified their agreement to the substance of the provision or Order in Council –
(a) the Royal Court shall refer the provision or Order in Council to the Chief Minister; and
(b) the Chief Minister shall, in accordance with paragraph (1), refer it to the States.
B and C
As there has never been a proposition brought to the States Assembly to extend the Equality Act 2010 to Jersey, it is not possible to answer this question directly. Furthermore, the States Greffe does not hold information specifically on which elected members are landlords.
However, under Standing Order 152, elected members are required to register their interests. The interests which must be registered are specified in Schedule 2 to the Standing Orders of the States of Jersey. Paragraph 7 of Schedule 2 states that an elected member must register a description of any land which is wholly owned (or jointly owned with another person) by themselves or their spouse, civil partner or cohabitee. Elected members are not required to register their principal place of residence.
Members complete a register of interests at the beginning of each political term and are required to update it as and when necessary.
The full text of Standing Order 152 and of Paragraph 7 of Schedule 2 to the Standing Orders of the States of Jersey is as follows:
152 Elected members’ interests that must be registered
(1) Schedule 2 has effect to specify interests that must be registered by an elected member.
(2) The requirement to register applies to all interests, whether received, arising, held or owned within or outside Jersey.
(3) If the requirement to register depends upon an interest having a monetary value in excess of a specified amount, and the elected member does not know the exact value of the interest but believes it to be in the region of the specified amount, he or she must register the interest.
(4) An elected member is not required to provide information regarding the monetary value of any interest that must be registered, but may do so if he or she wishes.
(5) An elected member is not required to register any interest of his or her spouse or civil partner or cohabitee of which the elected member is not aware.
7 Land (from Schedule 2)
(1) An elected member must register a description of any land sufficient to identify it, which is wholly owned, or jointly owned with another person –
(a) by or on behalf of the elected member or his or her spouse or civil partner or cohabitee; or
(b) by or on behalf of the elected member and his or her spouse or civil partner or cohabitee jointly.
(2) No declaration is required in respect of land so owned which is the principal place of residence of the elected member or of his or her spouse or civil partner or cohabitee.
(3) An elected member must register a brief description of any land from which the elected member or his or her spouse or civil partner or cohabitee derives an income.
D and E
Declarations of interest for a debate in the Assembly are addressed by Standing Order 106. If it is a direct financial interest (either for themselves or their spouse / civil partner / cohabitee), the member must withdraw for the duration of the debate and cannot take part in any voting on the relevant proposition. If it is not a direct financial interest, or if the interest is not financial, the interest must be declared but the member concerned can take part in the relevant debate. All three types of declaration of interest are recorded in the minutes.
The full text of Standing Order 106 is as follows:
106 Declaration of interest
(1) A member of the States who has, or whose spouse or civil partner or cohabitee has, an interest in the subject matter of a proposition must –
(a) if it is a direct financial interest –
(i) declare the interest, and
(ii) withdraw from the Chamber for the duration of the debate and any vote on the proposition;
(b) if it is not a direct financial interest, but a financial interest which is general, indirect or shared with a large class of persons, declare the interest;
(c) if it is an interest which is not financial, declare the interest.
(2) A member of the States asking or answering an oral or written question and who has a financial interest in, or whose spouse or civil partner or cohabitee has a financial interest in, the subject matter of the question must declare the interest.
(3) All declarations must be made as soon as possible.
(4) A financial interest in any subject matter is direct if it is immediate or personal to the person concerned.
(5) A member of the States is not required to declare any interest of his or her spouse or civil partner or cohabitee of which the member is not aware.
(6) The Greffier shall record declarations in the minutes.
A full copy of the Standing Orders of the States of Jersey can be accessed at the following link: