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.”