Samantha Kenny - October 2017
It’s a bit of a cliché, but in this job there is no such thing as a typical day. So this month, I’m going to explain the things I’ve got going on to give you more of an idea about what it entails.
I’ve been organising the schedule for one of the visits from the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly (KPA) to Tynwald. The KPA is a regional Parliament in Pakistan and, through the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association and British Council, they send Members to Tynwald on study visits. These include presentations from Members and Officers on every operational area. This visit, I’ve been tasked with logistics - getting them to the right place at the right time and ‘stage managing’ to make sure nothing goes wrong. It’s fascinating to meet Members from Parliaments across the world and I couldn’t help thinking- ‘How cool is my job!?’ – especially when I was invited to a dinner with Pakistani and Manx parliamentarians.
I’ve also been an email machine in my role as Assistant Clerk to the Social Affairs Policy Review Committee. The Members have asked me to contact everyone who submitted written evidence for permission to publish and/or attend an oral evidence session. Some responses need sensitive handling, some need a call back, and some just need noting down. I send an email to the Clerk of the Committee, Jonathan King, asking for his advice on some of the more complex instances. Besides that, there’s writing the minutes, setting the agenda, and making sure I’m familiar with the current state of affairs so I’m able to help brief the Committee.
Jonathan King is the Deputy Clerk of Tynwald and is also my mentor whilst I am in post so he is able to assist me on many aspects of working in a parliamentary role.
Proactive outreach and education is a very important part of the job - if we can get students interested and engaged, those students are far more likely to be politically active adults. Tynwald been working with the Department of Education and Children to produce some resources for use by year 10 students in PSHE lessons. This is very much a work in progress with the school representatives to make sure what we provide is usable in schools. We will look to see what other jurisdictions provide, and taking into consideration our own resources, we will make an action plan for our own output. There are several different elements to this so I’m gathering all those threads together to put a clear and viable proposal going forward. To see what other organisations offer, I’ll be attending the school Model UN meeting in December. I participated in this event when I was at school so it will be interesting to attend in this different role.
The Clerk of Tynwald's Annual Report is very nearly finished! From new appointments to visitors from Sierra Leone, the report covers activities in the Office the previous parliamentary year. I’ve taken it from block text and shaped it into my first ever publication! It’s now time for chasing feedback, making the final edits, getting approval, and sending it all off to the printers in time for Christmas. You can see last years Annual Report here
Other work I’ve been doing includes odd bits of research for Members - you never know when a request will come in or what it might be, so it’s certainly varied. It’s my job to upload Statutory Documents and Tynwald Votes and Proceedings as they come in, and to begin tidying up the way we store historic Government consultations.
Next month will include lots of Committee work to prepare for the evidence hearings I've been arranging this month. We will also welcome another delegation from the KPA and I hope to make some real progress on the resources for schools. Until next time, then.