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Calls For Investigation Into Government Decision-Making 'Cabal'

The head of Scrutiny has called for an investigation into how decisions are being made within Jersey's government.

It's after two former Ministers - Senators Tracey Vallois and Sam Mézec - used their resignations to criticise the perceived lack of power they had to bring about change within their own departments.

The recently departed Education Minister said she questioned what real authority she has to influence decision-making regarding Covid-19 particularly with respect to schools, while the ex-Children's & Housing Minister said his plans were 'met with resistance and obstructed by officers'.

Chair of the Scrutiny Liasion Committee, Senator Kristina Moore, says it needs to be looked into:

"It was really interesting to see Senator Vallois' letter to the Chief Minister because recently we've also read the resignation letter from another Minister - Senator Mézec. He talked about the fact he wasn't being listened to and that there was an element of bullying within the government.

"Senator Vallois also seems to be making similar suggestions in her letter - so there is a real theme emerging here, and it's something that should be investigated."

Senator Moore went on to say there needs to be transparency and accountability in how government decisions are made - calling once again for up-to-date minutes from meetings to be made public:

"At the end of the day, STAC is there to provide advice and Ministers are there to decide. That is the way that it works, and yes the Ministers should be taking the advice of STAC, however as we can now see the meeting minutes - those that we are able to see, anyway - that at some point STAC has raised concerned that Ministers are describing 'medical advice' to the public when STAC doesn't actually feel that was their advice.

"It certainly appears as though there's a lack of transparency around the decision making - and this inability to share the minutes from meetings of STAC and the Competent Authority Ministers is not helping the situation at all. At a time like this, openness, transparency and trust with the public - when we're making such demands of the public - really are key.

"It has been said by some that there is a 'cabal' within the government who are really leading the show, and day-by-day that appears more and more to be the case."

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