States Members and planning applications (FOI)
States Members and planning applications (FOI)Produced by the Freedom of Information office
Authored by States Greffe and published on 22 April 2021.
Prepared internally, no external costs.
I would like to know whether States Members who side with certain businesses when it comes to Planning Applications have a duty to declare their real intentions for full transparency. And whether certain behaviour traits are ever picked up by Privileges and Procedures Committee (PPC) should they raise suspicions of a possible vested interest that has never been declared?
Elected States members must register their interests in accordance with Standing Order 152 and Schedule 2 to the Standing Orders of the States of Jersey.
Standing Orders of the States of Jersey
Each member’s declaration is available for inspection at the States Greffe and is made available on the member’s dedicated webpage on statesassembly.gov.je.
The declaration may include “any other interest or benefit which the elected member or his or her spouse or civil partner or cohabitee receives which, although not required to be registered under the foregoing paragraphs of this Schedule, the elected member believes might reasonably be thought by other persons to influence his or her actions as an elected member.”
Furthermore, in accordance with Standing Order 155, elected States members must comply with the Code of Conduct for Elected Members, as set out in Schedule 3 to the Standing Orders. The Code of Conduct includes obligations in respect of personal conduct (incorporating integrity, openness and honesty) and in relation to any conflict between public and private interest. In particular, the Code of Conduct states that “holders of public office have a duty to declare any private interests relating to their public duties and to take steps to resolve any conflicts arising in a way that protects the public interest.”
The Privileges and Procedures Committee does not monitor members’ behaviour in the manner suggested by the requester.
Under Standing Orders, any person may complain to the Commissioner for Standards that an elected States member has breached the Code of Conduct. Once the Commissioner has reported the outcome of any investigation undertaken as a result, the Commissioner’s report is considered by the Committee and presented to the States. A list of the complaints received by the Commissioner is maintained on the States Assembly website, including those which result in a report from the Committee to the States. None of the reports to date have related to an elected States member appearing as either part of, or before, the Planning Committee or in respect of their role in a planning application.
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.