Clerks from Isle of Man and Jersey visit Anguilla for Secondment

Published 06 June 2022

Theodore Stone stands next to the Speaker of St Helena during a Benchmarking exercise facilitated by CPA UK

Theodore Stone stands next to the Speaker of St Helena during a Benchmarking exercise facilitated by CPA UK

Clerk Attachments are a welcome opportunity for the exchange of insight and ideation between nations. As such, they are a key part of CPA UK activity across the globe. 

In July 2022, Theodore Stone, a Research and Project Officer Theodore Stone from the Jersey States of Assembly journeyed to Anguilla for a Clerk Attachment. It was a valuable opportunity for both Theodore and his peers in Anguilla to discuss key topics and share ideas.

Read his account below:

“Anguilla’s House of Assembly contains thirteen members. Its Public Accounts Committee has five members, featuring four members from the opposition party and one member from the governing party.  Due to the size of its membership, there are two committees in operation, with the PAC functioning as its only scrutiny committee. Parliamentary conduct is overseen by the Administration Committee. The PAC is aptly supported by the House’s Clerk of Committees and had spent the last few months focusing on this review.

Prior to the Attachment to Anguilla, I was provided with the opportunity to meet with Joann Corkish, the lead Clerk for this secondment and Clerk of the Tynwald, Clerk for the Legislative Council. Importantly, we discussed the key issues that I would be supporting. This - as well as the briefing pack received from CPA UK - provided me with a stronger understanding of the work of Anguilla’s PAC and helped me to identify the key area to prepare resources and guidance on in terms of opportunities for the PAC to publicise the release of its report findings and recommendations.

Following my arrival in Anguilla, meetings with the Clerk of Committees and the Clerk of the House of Assembly provided a strong insight into the existing opportunities for publicising the final report, and its respective findings and recommendations. On the second day of the secondment, I was given the opportunity to watch a live session of the House of Assembly, which provided additional opportunities for me to understand and refine the resources I had prepared for the PAC, as well as explore alternate ways to improve public engagement with its work. 

We met with the PAC on the fourth day of the secondment, and discussed ways to release the final report and improve public engagement. This included opportunities around press releases, social media graphics, and interviews with local media. Noting the level of engagement achieved through the publication of PAC public hearings on Facebook, the Committee further agreed to explore the opportunity to film and publish a series of short videos on social media, using a series of scripts that I had prepared as templates.

The PAC was keen for the public to become more engaged with and aware of its work. However, they acutely aware of the need to separate the work of the PAC from the work of its members acting as members of the opposition party. The members were very enthusiastic about using media opportunities and resources to boost engagement, and were keen to learn how other jurisdictions seek to publicise the work of their respective committees.

Overall, it was an incredible experience: The secondment provided a valuable insight into the workings of other small parliaments, and how they use social media to engage with the public. I was also provided an insight into how party politics can influence publicity and engagement, an area that is of growing interest within Jersey’s States Assembly.”


Before his Attachment to Anguilla, Theodore met with Joann Corkish, Deputy Clerk of Tynwald and Clerk for the Legislative Council, and the lead Clerk for his secondment. Read her account below.

"The email called for a clerk to assist the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) of the Anguilla House of Assembly with preparing a report about their recent inquiry into the Anguilla Tourist Board (ATB). Initially proposed as a three-week, one clerk placement, in fact, two clerks, with different skill sets were chosen. I was delighted to be invited to work with the PAC and their clerk, Vanisha Proctor, for two weeks, to produce the report; for the second week Theo Stone from Jersey joined to assist with media promotion."

"The PAC chose to undertake this inquiry following concerns raised in five audit reports about the ATB, a statutory body in receipt of a Government subvention, spanning 2012-2017. The PAC had undertaken a number of oral evidence sessions with witnesses who could provide information about the operation of the ATB since 2012. These sessions were all recorded but not transcribed so over the two weeks I watched a lot of excellent questioning; the main issues were all covered and witnesses were very politely, but firmly, encouraged to share what they knew."

"This was a very positive attachment for me... Work like this is always a two-way learning experience, and friendship given and received endures long after the visit is over."

"To identify the key issues, I worked with their clerk in the first week to produce some draft recommendations, and then met with the PAC to discuss these and to allow them to identify any other points. Using these as the starting point, I worked with the clerk to show her how I would produce an outline, building the report section headings and key issues from the recommendations."

"This is a technique that can work well when there is a very large amount of evidence. We presented this outline to the PAC at a second meeting to seek their agreement regarding the inclusion of key points. In the remaining time, I drafted a detailed report for the clerk to finalise with the PAC."

"It was satisfying to be able to complete a substantive draft and to spend some time talking about how future inquiries could work. I also took away some really useful information on how their sessions are recorded and streamed, how to use the media to promote committee work, and some thoughts about how to manage evidence-heavy inquiries. Work like this is always a two-way learning experience, and friendship given and received endures long after the visit is over."

Joann Corkish, Deputy Clerk of Tynwald and Clerk to the Legislative Council

Joann Corkish, Deputy Clerk of Tynwald and Clerk to the Legislative Council