COVID-19 Response and Recovery Review: Corporate Services
Launch date: 29/04/2022
Review status: Report published
What is the review about?
Since March 2020 the Panel have actively monitored Government activities within its remit in relation to COVID-19. This includes all related activities of the Chief Minister and the Minister for Treasury and Resources.
As part of its ongoing work, the Panel have focussed on the Government's COVID-19 financial preparations, response and recovery strategy.
The Panels have heard the views of Islanders, business owners, economists, business leaders and sector specific associations on the challenges they have faced and are facing as they look to the future and raised concerns in public hearings and via written communications with the Chief Minister and Minister for Treasury and Resources.
The COVID-19 pandemic has caused Jersey's Government to make substantial decisions which impact public finances in the short, medium and long term. The review focussed on the effectiveness, cost and sustainability of the emergency actions and financial interventions of Government in response to the pandemic.
Published in March 2021 to consider decision-making matters and provide a high-level overview on:
• The timeline of key ministerial decisions relevant to the COVID-19 pandemic.
• The strategy and core legislation in place for the response to the pandemic.
• The governance, policy, and procedure practices to manage the COVID-19 pandemic.
Fiscal Stimulus Fund
The Panel have scrutinised the Fund throughout its inception and implementation. During this time, the Panel have consistently questioned the timely, targeted and temporary objectives of the Fund through written communication and during its Public Hearings with the Minister.
As part of its review of the proposed Government Plan 2022-2025 the Panel lodged an Amendment (Amd 7) which sought to limit the ability of Government to borrow a further £20 million for the Fiscal Stimulus Fund as it was unjustified. The Amendment was adopted by the Assembly.
Government Plan 2021-2024 & 2022-2025
During its reviews of the proposed Government Plan for 2021-2024 and 2022-2025 the Panel have reviewed the intended use of Public Finance during the response and recovery phases of COVID-19.
Co-Funded Payroll Scheme
During the early months of 2022 the Panel received worrying evidence from members of the public outlining issues in the decision making, administration and customer service of the Co-Funded Payroll Scheme application and auditing process. Upon examination the Panel found that despite efforts made by the Government of Jersey to ensure clarity, guidelines to the criteria and the application process of various phases of the Co-Funded Payroll Scheme were misunderstood and at times potentially miscommunicated. The Panel subsequently lodged a report (S.R.9/2022
) detailing its findings, a summary report can be found here
Terms of reference
Undertake an in-depth review of the Government's decision-making processes regarding the preparation, response and recovery phases of COVID-19 (COVID-19 phases) considering:
whether the current and future use of Public Finance is consistent and meets the requirements of the Public Finance (Jersey) law 2019;
sustainability and suitability of emergency response structures and levels of resourcing, of all forms, allocated to COVID-19 phases being sufficient or excessive to meet stated aims;
the initial impact on Public Finance, due to the response of Government to COVID-19 phases, in relation to departmental budgets, programs and capital projects;
lines of accountability for the use of Public Finance during COVID-19 phased response.
any other matters the Panel believe relevant to the review within its remit.
Call for evidence