A major study of how politicians spend their time debating in Jersey’s parliament reveals laws take, on average, just 42 minutes to be passed.
The report, which looked at all of 2016’s meetings, shows public business in the States added up to a total of 114 hours and 43 minutes across the year.
The vast majority of that, 36 hours and 18 minutes, was spent debating the budget and Medium Term Financial Plan.
But other aspects of decision-making by politicians took significantly less time:
- New appointments: 6 minutes
- Acts: 6 minutes
- Laws: 42 minutes
- Regulations: 15 minutes
- Standing orders: 1 minute
- Ministers’ policy matters: 44 minutes
- Backbenchers’ police matters: 1 hour and 56 minutes
The 103-page report looks at a whole range of statistics about the States including the unsurprising news that it is made up of mainly older men. The average age is 56, and there are 37 men and 12 women.
It also reveals the Chief Minister answered the most questions across the year. Of the 257 questions with notice, that’s questions submitted in advance, Senator Ian Gorst answered more than 50 of them. And during questions without notice, also known as question time, he was again the politician who spent the most time being grilled by his peers: a total of 2 hours and 27 minutes.
Responding to the report, the Bailiff and Presiding Officer Sir William Bailhache said: “The middle year of an Assembly is often one where there is a consolidation, and 2016 is no exception. New Members elected in 2014 and Members elected to new positions, whether as Ministers or to Scrutiny, have settled. The number of questions asked and the number of statements made has gone up, and slightly more time has been spent on Public Business.”
“As always, this Report shows the breadth of the work undertaken in and about the States Assembly for the benefit of the Public, and it repays study. I would like to take this opportunity of thanking the Greffier and his staff for all their work over the year in supporting me and the Deputy Bailiff in our Presiding Officer duties.”
Read the full report here.