Jersey's ministerial government 'fundamentally flawed'

Jersey's ministerial government has been described as "fundamentally flawed" and unable to control spending.

A report by the Public Accounts Committee said there were few controls over ministers and civil servants.

The study revealed that in the years since ministerial government was introduced, millions of pounds of extra spending had been added to the budget.

Ministerial government was introduced to the island in 2005 replacing the committee system.

The change in 2005 was suggested by an independent panel led by Sir Cecil Clothier. They had been asked to look at improving the island's machinery of government.

However, Chief Minister Senator Terry Le Sueur, agreed the new system was flawed.

'Examination and overhaul'

"The original Clothier proposals were to create a unified Executive structure. Unfortunately the States decided to dilute those proposals," he said.

"I have served as both Treasury Minister and Chief Minister and I believe that both Councils of Ministers have worked as well as could be expected as a team of Ministers.

"However I agree with the PAC [Public Accounts Committee] that the system needs a thorough examination and overhaul".

The chairman of the PAC committee, Senator Ben Shenton, said there was little control over ministers or their chief officers.

He said urgent action was needed to address what was referred to in the report, as a lack of collective responsibility by the Council of Ministers.

Senator Shenton said that while ministerial government promised joined up government, exactly the opposite had happened.

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