Whilst States' Meetings represent the most important and significant part of a Deputy’s role – and the only part which is compulsory – as a Member of Guernsey's Parliament, for most States' Members they take up only a proportion of their time, and a larger proportion is spent contributing to Committee work.

Committees are effectively agents of the States of Guernsey, responsible for the majority of policy making, and regulatory and public service functions, and are accountable to the States of Deliberation.

States’ Committees develop and advise the States on policy, oversee operational functions for which the States have made them responsible, and review performance and budgets with a view to securing improved outcomes for the community. Members of the Scrutiny Management Committee (SMC) concentrate on examining and challenging policy-making committees.

The mandates and operational functions of the Committees are set out in The Rules of Procedure of the States of Deliberation and their Committees.

The role of a Committee president carries additional responsibilities that can be time-consuming, although this can vary between presidents of different Committees. In practice, it is the presidents of Committees who deal with media enquiries and are called upon to explain the decisions of their Committees. This is especially true for Committees with a high public profile.

Whilst each Committee will of course focus on the matters covered by its mandate, it is also very important to look to the wider strategic direction and priorities agreed by the Assembly, which often involves a high degree of cross-Committee working.

In common with all democratic government systems, the States of Guernsey cannot operate effectively without good teamwork between States' Members and civil servants.

A strong professional and non-political Civil Service plays a vital role in preparing policy letters and other reports for consideration by Committees and the States' Assembly. Both States' Members and civil servants have their roles to play, and must work cooperatively within those roles to enable the public sector to devise, implement and operate services for the benefit of the public.

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