Performance of the Minister for Children and Housing (FOI)
Performance of the Minister for Children and Housing (FOI)Produced by the Freedom of Information office
Authored by Government of Jersey and published on 18 December 2019.
Prepared internally, no external costs.
With regard to Reform Jersey's Senator Sam Mezec's roles as Minister for Children and Housing I would like to know the following:
Since Senator Mezec took on the role of Minister of Housing what has the average cost of a House risen to for all categories bearing in mind he made a pledge to get prices down?
Since Senator Sam Mezec took on the roles of Minister of Children and Housing how many times has the Senator taken full sole responsibility for any adverse news or critical reports into his Ministries failings, without the need to pass the blame onto the rest of the States?
Finally with regard to Reform Jersey's Deputy Rob Ward scrutinising Senator Mezec's work as Minister for Children, what safeguards are in place to avoid any conflicts of interest?
The figures are from quarterly published reports that are publicly available; they are in tables at the bottom of pages 2 to 6 in the @Jersey in Figures’ report, available at the following link:
House Price Index
Senator Mézec was appointed Children and Housing Minister on 7 June 2018; the figures below are from Q2 2018 to the most recent quarter (Q3 2019). It should be noted that house prices are influenced by seasonality and demand.
Q2 2018 (£’000)
Q3 2918 (£’000)
|4 bed houses||883||907||+24|
|3 bed houses||567||633||+66|
|2 bed houses||442||535||+93|
|2 bed flats||412||413||+1|
|1-bed flats ||258||263||+5|
It is considered that this question is subjective and not requesting information held by the Government of Jersey. It has therefore not considered a valid request for information under the Freedom of Information (Jersey) Law 2011.
It is noted that all official news releases of the government are publicly available at the following link:
Chairs of Scrutiny Panels are appointed by, and are accountable to, the States Assembly under the Standing Orders of the States of Jersey:
Standing Orders of the States of Jersey
States members can therefore consider perceived conflicts of interest at the time of making the appointment. Furthermore, there exist routine mechanisms within the States Assembly through which Chairs can be held to account: written and oral questions asked during public meetings of the States. In addition, there are two Codes of Practice that govern the processes and proceedings of Scrutiny Panels and the actions of Chairs:
The Code of Practice for Engagement Between ‘Scrutiny Panels and the Public Accounts Committee’ and ‘The Executive’
Code of Practice for Engagement Between ‘Scrutiny Panels and the Public Accounts Committee’ and ‘The Executive’
and the Scrutiny and Public Accounts Committee Proceedings: Code of Practice.
Scrutiny and Public Accounts Committee Proceedings: Code of Practice
These can be found on the States Assembly website. In accordance with those codes, Scrutiny Panels are required to work transparently and objectively, and Chairs are required to operate their Panels in compliance with this framework and that of Standing Orders.
The Scrutiny and Public Accounts Committee Proceedings: Code of Practice contains the following section specific to declarations of interest. All such declarations are recorded in Scrutiny Panel minutes, and the minutes are published on the States Assembly website.
“J. Declaration of interests
48. Where a member of a Panel/PAC or their spouse/civil partner/cohabitee has a direct financial interest in matter under consideration or review, the member must declare an interest and not participate in any associated proceedings. If that interest is financial but not directly so (i.e. is general, indirect or shared with a large class of persons), the interest should be declared from the outset but this does not necessarily exclude participation.
49. However, members of a Panel/PAC must be mindful of being open and transparent about declaring interests. For those reasons, such disclosure may be required at different stages during a Review, not only at the outset. It is inappropriate, for example, for a Panel/PAC member who represents, or is a member of, a particular interest, stakeholder group or other organisation to participate in a review of a topic directly related to that group, without declaring the interest both at the outset and in the preparation for and holding of a hearing with that or a ‘competitor’ group.
50. A member might still withdraw from part or all of a review being conducted if he/she/the Panel/PAC considers that any interest would prejudice, or could be perceived to prejudice, his or her ability to participate in the proceedings in an impartial manner and thereby undermine the Panel/PAC’s review.
51. Any uncertainty or impasse about a potential conflict of interest on the part of a member of a Panel/PAC should be referred to the Chairmen’s Committee for consideration, who will refer the matter to the Privileges and Procedures Committee if a satisfactory resolution cannot be achieved.”
Any alleged infringements of the Scrutiny and Public Accounts Committee Proceedings: Code of Practice are reported to the Scrutiny Liaison Committee in the first instance; and the Code of Practice details the process for how such alleged infringements are addressed.
This part of the 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.