Public Accounts Committee concerned for Island’s Digital Strategy

29th September 2023

On Wednesday 27 September, the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) held a Public Hearing with Assistant Chief Executive Officer responsible for Strategic Policy, Planning and Performance, Tom Walker, regarding its follow up Review of Performance Management. The follow up Review was launched to investigate how performance management processes have been applied in Government.


The questions asked by the PAC covered topics including:


1.     Performance Management

  • The Panel heard that there is no statutory protection for the Chief People and Transformation Officer, and that this is a matter for the States Assembly to address as it requires a change in legislation.
  • The Committee heard that if the Chief People and Transformation Officer was less experienced, that this may lead to the postholder feeling exposed. Furthermore, the Committee learned that if there was misconduct amongst Senior Officials, the position could become untenable without statutory protection.


2.     Digital Strategy

  • The PAC expressed concern about oversight by Chief Officers of significant digital projects. An example of this is the Integrated Technology Solution Programme (ITS), which is a large investment in new Government systems and technologies.
  • The PAC also queried whether there would be a disconnect between the Digital Strategy, that will be ready by the end of 2023, and what is being implemented before the Digital Strategy is finalised.
  • The Committee was assured that the Digital Strategy Working Group provides cross-departmental oversight of the implementation of digital projects in relation to the Digital Strategy.


Deputy Lyndsay Feltham, Chair of the Public Accounts Committee, said: "The Public Accounts Committee is particularly concerned about the oversight by Chief Officers of significant IT projects. The Digital Strategy is due to be presented at the end of the year, but the Panel are concerned about a disconnect between the Digital Strategy and the implementation of digital projects."

A full recording of the Public Hearing with Tom Walker can be found here.

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