The Public Accounts Committee (PAC) has published a report examining the use and operation of deliberative practices in Jersey, namely the Care Inquiry Legacy Citizens’ Panel, the Our Hospital Citizens’ Panel, the Citizens’ Assembly on Climate Change, and the Assisted Dying Citizens’ Jury.
The PAC found that the core cost of the Citizens’ Assembly on Climate Change had more than doubled, with the final cost over triple the initial cost provided and, therefore, has concerns regarding the quality of budgeting for this deliberative practice. The Committee, therefore, strongly recommends that the Government evaluate this process and incorporate learnings into all future bodies, to avoid significant increases in budget.
The PAC found that the Our Hospital Citizens’ Panel was not overseen by a single department, and it did not publish the identity of the external facilitator. In turn, it recommends that all deliberative bodies are undertaken by a single department with a named external facilitator. The PAC has suggested that compiling the learnings from each deliberative body moving forward to develop a framework and policy toolkit would provide Ministers with a comprehensive set of recommendations for establishing new deliberative bodies.
Chair of the Public Accounts Committee, Deputy Inna Gardiner, said: “We welcome the way participants of Jersey’s deliberative practices have engaged with the important issues being discussed and encourage the Government to provide all Islanders with the opportunity to learn about deliberative processes and encourage democratic engagement. A number of concerns regarding the budgeting and operation of these Panels, Assemblies, and Juries remain and, in turn, the Committee has suggested a framework and policy toolkit to improve the functioning of deliberative practices moving forward.”
Scrutiny Press Release.