Public Accounts Committee Hearing with Government of Jersey Interim CEO
15th September 2021
On Monday 13th September, the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) held a public hearing with the Interim CEO, Treasurer, Director General of IHE (Infrastructure, Housing and Environment) and Director General of SPPP (Strategic Policy, Planning and Performance) of the Government of Jersey.
A number of key findings were identified in the public hearing, including concerns regarding the following areas:
The Department of Infrastructure Housing and Environment's commitment to a normalized recruitment strategy within Jersey Property Holdings. It was evident in the hearing that the progress is very slow with recruiting key roles and there is no clear commitment target to complete the hiring process.
There are concerns with the Regeneration Steering Group because of a lack of clarity regarding roles and responsibilities for estate management.
Although the PAC was assured that the Government is overseeing a review of the Jersey Development Company, with a report due in October, it notes that the review has been commissioned by Jersey Property Holdings and the Development Company and is not the independent strategic review of the Development Company that was recommended by the C&AG.
The Jersey Care Model has already cost the taxpayer over £6.6 million without a Board or proper governance in place. There is a lack of detail in what £5.8 million on growth investment means and what the value for money is for taxpayers. The PAC will be holding a public hearing with members of SPPP on 4th October to carry out further questioning of the policy and procedures of the Jersey Care Model. Members of the public are encouraged to send in their questions for SPPP via email@example.com
The Corporate Parenting Board's last meeting was in June 2020. The PAC has concerns regarding why the Board has not meet recently especially considering the Government of Jersey's commitment to children in Jersey.
The PAC welcomed news of performance reviews and look forward to observing further processes in place. The PAC is pleased to hear that the Covid Recovery Plan is ahead of schedule and the Government are following up some of their original policy commitments including an acknowledgement of concern for staff morale.
The PAC was reassured that the correct processes are in place to recruit the new permanent CEO as per its recommendations and looks forward to receiving the executive response on those measures and its wider recommendations on the States Annual Report and Accounts processes later this month.
The PAC welcomed the Government of Jersey's awareness of the three top areas which require performance improvement, including; the critical housing situation, the Health department particularly the long waiting lists and Corporate Parenting.
Chair of the PAC, Deputy Inna Gardiner, commented:
"I would like to thank the Interim CEO and his team for attending the public hearing and sharing updates. The PAC is very interested to hear from the public regarding what they think of performance measures to improve public sector service before our next public hearing with the Director General of SPPP on 4 October."
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