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Governance review 'derailed' – Chamber

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ALDERNEY'S Chamber of Commerce has expressed its sadness at the 'derailment' of the second part of the Good Governance review.

Chamber had canvassed members to find out if they were happy with the current system of government and found that nearly all island businesses supported government reform.

It had scheduled a meeting with the author of the report, Andrew McDonald, and its members for this week. Chamber cancelled that after a States meeting which saw several members speak out against further consultation on the matter.

The States paid £23,000 for an initial report, which issued a stark warning about the perils Alderney faced from Brexit and the Financial Relationship Review if systems of government were not overhauled.

But in September, the Policy and Finance Committee demurred over agreeing to spend £71,000 on an investigation into how the reforms might be implemented. At the October meeting they decided not to approve the expenditure and would attempt to reform, where needed, under their own steam.

Chamber of Commerce president Andrew Eggleston said: 'Our survey last week resulted in 98.5% agreement from 65 island businesses that Alderney is not being governed satisfactorily and 95.5% agreed that we need government reform. I am therefore saddened that this subject appears to have been derailed.'

The report was the subject of significant criticism at this month's meeting.

Norma Paris argued that good governance was breached by a States-commissioned report being put into the public domain before States members had read it.

'Should the need for agreed budgets before any work, consultancy or otherwise commences, be ignored?' she said.

'It is ironic that as a result of refusing to abandon the States' agreed due processes and insisting on waiting until the October P&F meeting to discuss matters that we have been accused of not wanting to act at all.'

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