States' Assembly & Constitution Committee - P.2020/55
The States are asked to decide whether, after consideration of the policy letter entitled "Remote attendance at Committee Meetings and extending proxy voting at States' Meetings" dated 13th March, 2020, they are of the opinion:-
1.To agree that the Rules of Procedure of the States of Deliberation and their Committees should be amended with immediate effect as follows:
a) Insert the following immediately after paragraph (3) of Rule 26 as paragraph 3A:
"(3A) The Presiding Officer may, from time to time, upon representations from the Civil Contingencies Authority in light of circumstances prevailing in the Island, prescribe certain reasons for absence ('Authorised Absence') from a meeting of the States, which shall entitle a Member to arrange for their vote to be cast by another Member acting as a proxy (a proxy vote) if their circumstances require them to take an Authorised Absence from one or more States Meetings. The manner in which the proxy arrangements between Members will operate in respect of an Authorised Absence will be as directed by the Presiding Officer. Proxy voting arrangements in respect of an Authorised Absence shall only be valid during the period prescribed by the Presiding Officer."
b)In paragraph (5) of Rule 26 after the words "A proxy vote", insert ",other than one being cast pursuant to Authorised Absence,"
c)Substitute paragraph (13) of Rule 26 to read:
"The provisions of paragraph (3) that enable a Member to vote by proxy do not apply to the Alderney Representatives;
an Alderney Representative may act as a proxy for another Member, other than a Member who is an Alderney Representative"., and
d)Insert the following paragraphs immediately after paragraph (7) of Rule 40:
"(8)Paragraphs (9) and (10) shall have effect only when the Presiding Officer has made a determination upon representations from the Civil Contingencies Authority in light of circumstances prevailing in the Island which make it appropriate for them to have effect; and those paragraphs shall have effect only until the Presiding Officer makes a further determination upon representations from the Civil Contingencies Authority that they shall cease to have effect.
(9)A member of a Committee of the States who is in communication with the other members by telephone, live television link or any other means of telecommunications, so that each member can hear or read what is said or communicated by each of the others, is deemed (subject to paragraph (10) below) to be present and participating at the meeting of the Committee for all purposes, including the quorum and voting.
(10) In the event that the link fails or is corrupted or confidentiality is compromised, the person presiding at the meeting shall have discretion at any point during the meeting to determine that a member who is in a remote location can no longer be regarded as in attendance.".
2.To direct the States' Assembly & Constitution Committee to review the operation of and requirement for Rules 40(8) to (10) and 26(3A) and, if it considers that changes are necessary, to return to the States with proposals no later than the end of 2020.
The above Propositions have been submitted to Her Majesty's Procureur for advice on any legal or constitutional implications.