Skip to main content Skip to accessibility
This website is not compatible with your web browser. You should install a newer browser. If you live in Jersey and need help upgrading call the States of Jersey web team on 440099.
Government of

Information and public services for the Island of Jersey

L'înformâtion et les sèrvices publyis pouor I'Île dé Jèrri

  • Choose the service you want to log in to:


    Update your notification preferences


    Access government services


    Clear goods through customs or claim relief

  • Talentlink

    View or update your States of Jersey job application

Complaints in relation to social media usage of States Members (FOI)

Complaints in relation to social media usage of States Members (FOI)

Produced by the Freedom of Information office
Authored by Government of Jersey on behalf of the States Greffe and published on 28 November 2018.
Prepared internally, no external costs.


With reference to Report - R.139/2018 - In which the Commissioner for Standards Mr Paul Kernaghan, C.B.E., Q.P.M. said he did not want to get involved in Social Media disputes between members of the Public and States Members.

I would like to know the following -

Since Mr Paul Kernaghan, C.B.E., Q.P.M. appointment, why has the States of Jersey Greffe / PPC not made it clear to complainants that Social Media disputes will not be taken seriously? This despite PPC dealing with numerous complaints of a similar nature in the past.

Where it states in the Commissioner for Standards Code of Practice that the Online Behaviour of States Members is exempt from complaint?

Finally how much Tax Payers Money has Mr Paul Kernaghan, C.B.E., Q.P.M. been paid for his work in his first year of appointment, and what feedback, if any, has the States of Jersey Greffe / PPC received from Complainants with regard to Mr Paul Kernaghan, C.B.E., Q.P.M. work so far?


A and B
It should be noted that the Commissioner for Standards (Commissioner) is independent of both the States Assembly and its administration in the exercise of his functions. For further information on his role and responsibilities please refer to the

Commissioner for Standards (Jersey) Law 2017

Commissioner for Standards (Jersey) Law 2017.
The Commissioner issued a statement regarding complaints in relation to the use of social media by States members in his Annual Report for 2017-2018 in the following terms:

‘I do not see it as my role to adjudicate on ‘Twitter spats’ between participants on social media, in the absence of aggravating factors. Thus, I have dismissed several such complaints as I have judged them to be frivolous or vexatious. I have reserved the right to investigate such complaints, if the alleged misconduct by a Member involved foul language or evidence of malicious intent, for example’.

A full copy of the Commissioner for Standards: Annual Report 2017-2018 is available at the following link:
Commissioner for Standards: Annual Report 2017-2018 
In addition, the Commissioner has published a guidance statement on how complaints will be handled which is available at the following link:
Commissioner for Standards' statement
During the first year of his appointment the Commissioner for Standards has been paid:

Total fees: £9,712.60
Expenses: £1,640.65

Feedback from one complainant has been received so far on the work of the Commissioner.  The complainant was unhappy regarding the Commissioner’s report in relation to the complainant’s grievance and requested that the report be removed from the States Assembly website. The request was refused on the basis of parliamentary privilege. The request was later referred to the newly constituted Privileges and Procedures Committee who considered the matter and decided that it was not minded to revisit the decision of the previously constituted Committee.

In addition, the Commissioner has met with the Privileges and Procedures Committee and has held a briefing for States members to discuss his work and to receive feedback from members.

This response has been issued on behalf of the States Greffe. The States Greffe is responsible for the information held by (and on behalf of) both itself and the States Assembly.  Neither the States Assembly nor the States Greffe form part of the Government of Jersey and the Government was not involved either in the examination and retrieval of any information required for this response, nor in the drafting of the response itself.​​

Back to top
rating button