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Procedures to censure government (FOI)

Procedures to censure government (FOI)

Produced by the Freedom of Information office
Authored by States of Jersey and published on 16 March 2016.

​Request

1) What is the correct procedure to follow to have the government censured with a vote of no confidence?

2) What procedure needs to take place for the public to be able to vote a sitting government out of office?

3) How do we go about rescinding ministerial decisions regarding the amount of autonomy granted to the civil service?

4) What needs to happen for us to ensure that our government returns to the committee system and not ministerial 'collective responsibility' system?

Response

1) There is no procedure that is available to censure the government as a whole with a vote of no confidence. A States member may bring a vote of no confidence in relation to a person or body of persons (for example, the Chief Minister and the Council of Ministers) as long as the proposition is signed by at least three States members and is accompanied by a report setting out why the vote of no confidence should be adopted. A member of the public may approach a States member and request that they bring such a proposition but the decision ultimately rests with the member as to whether they wish to do so.

2) There is no procedure for the public to be able to vote a sitting government out of office.  Elections for the government are held every four years with the next election being held in 2018. At this time, the electorate may choose to vote or not vote for each individual member that is standing in their electoral district.

3) If a member of the public is unhappy with a decision or administration process by any minister or department of the States, they can submit a complaint to the Jersey Complaints Board for review. Details of how to submit a complaint can be found online.

States of Jersey Complaints Board

Alternatively, a member of the public can approach a States member and request that they bring a proposition to rescind a particular ministerial decision, however, as above,  the decision ultimately rests with the member as to whether they wish to do so.

4) If you would like the government to return to a committee system you would need to either approach a States member and ask them to bring a proposition to ask the States to agree to this or you would need to present a petition requesting the States to look into reforming the current ministerial system. If you decided to initiate a petition, you would need to find a States member who would be willing to present your petition for you.

Presenting a petition to the States

Further details of the legislation concerning the constitution and administration of the States of Jersey can be found on this website and the Jersey Law website.

States of Jersey Law 2005

Standing Orders of the States of Jersey

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