Deputies clash over supply of information

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Deputy Scott Wickenden’s comments came in response to an urgent oral States question from Children, Education and Home Affairs Scrutiny Panel chairman Deputy Rob Ward.

He called on the minister to explain why a formal response and ‘documentation requested’ had not been received after a Tuesday deadline set by his panel was missed.

‘I wasn’t asked to issue any formal response following the oral statement,’ said Deputy Wickenden. ‘Nor do I see the need for one. Nothing has changed.’

The minister said the ‘inclusion review’ report requested would be shared with the panel once it had been signed off by the Council of Ministers on 30 November.

‘That’s my preference, and it was a preference of my predecessor,’ he said.

A school-funding formula report was ‘not complete’ and would be shared in December, he said, adding: ‘I cannot share unfinished work.’

Last week, Deputy Ward accused the government of failing to provide this ‘vital’ information, after the panel was left waiting for more than a month for answers despite repeated requests.

His panel is currently reviewing the proposed Government Plan, which is due to be debated on 14 December, in the hope of presenting a report for consideration before the sitting.

Responding to a query from Deputy Ward on which part of the government code of engagement with Scrutiny said documents should go to the Council of Ministers first, Deputy Wickenden said: ‘There’s nothing in there that states it goes to the Council of Ministers but, as the minister, I have chosen to do that. It is only fair to share it with my colleagues in government before it goes to Scrutiny because that is when the finalisation of the report will be done.’

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