Business Groups suggest proposed political oversight of Development Agency is “robust and proportionate” without Meerveld Amendment

Ahead of this week’s States Meeting, the IoD and Chamber of Commerce remain in favour of the proposed Development Agency and see a significant and exciting opportunity for the island to benefit if the Agency can deliver on its vision of “creating great places to live, work and visit more easily”.

The findings of 2020’s Scrutiny Management Committee report – which looked into States capital spending – showed a chronic underspend and highlighted a number of reasons for inaction. As a result, the establishment of a Development Agency was included as a top 10 priority in the Government Work Plan to help address this.

The two business groups fully support the concept of political oversight and accountability – and believe that the arrangements set out in the Development Agency policy letter are robust and proportionate without inhibiting delivery.

One of the key tenets of the Development Agency is to ‘ensure that States processes do not unduly inhibit the ability of the development agency to discharge its responsibilities or meet its objectives.’

Therefore, the business groups believe that Amendment 8, proposed by Deputy Meerveld which seeks to require a policy letter, and consequential States debate, for each project undertaken will extend the proposed proportional level of political oversight to the extent where it will hinder its progress and may delay critical infrastructure projects – many of which have been under discussion for over a decade.

As previously stated, the IoD and Chamber of Commerce believe that by devolving a level of responsibility to the Development Agency, projects will be able to move forward more efficiently and utilise the expertise available from the private sector and social enterprises, whilst following the direction and operational principles set out by the States of Guernsey.