Response to COVID-19
Launch date: 20/09/2021
Review status: Report published
What is the review about?
Following the announcement of the first diagnosed case of COVID-19 in Jersey on 10th March 2020, the Government of Jersey introduced a range of measures during 2020 and 2021 to mitigate the spread of the virus, in line with the Safe Exit Framework.
Scrutiny Panels had previoulsy analysed and scrutinised aspects of the Government of Jersey's response to the pandemic, including policy measures and legislation. In tandem, the Comptroller and Auditor General had reviewed several strands of the Government's response, including:
Procurement and supply chain management;
Support to businesses and individuals;
Management of public finances;
Management of the healthcare response;
The Public Accounts Committee agreed to add value to the work carried out by Scrutiny and by the C&AG through the undertaking of a retrospective, objective review of the Government of Jersey's implementation of the measures agreed by the States Assembly, Emergency Council and the Council of Ministers. The Committee evaluated the robustness and clarity of the Government's decision-making by examining its procurement procedures, financial management, and performance management.
The Review sought to address the following key issues:
The implementation of measures in response to the COVID-19 Pandemic;
The impact of COVID-19 response measures on departmental business as usual activities;
The methods of the Government in measuring, monitoring, and reporting on its performance and the impact of the Covid response on work programmes;
Identifying and assessing the resilience of internal processes, including whether all processes for monitoring performance (such as self-assessments and Key Performance Indicators) continued to operate adequately during the disruption of key workstreams;
Whether the Government applied public funds for the purpose intended by the States in responding to the pandemic and complied with the Public Finances (Jersey) Law and Public Finances Manual;
Whether departmental authority was changed during the Pandemic; and
Whether sound financial practices were applied throughout the administrations of the public sector during the crisis and where key lessons in governance and financial management could be applied to future crises.
The Review was coordinated by the Committee's COVID-19 Response Sub-Group, which consisted of:
Connétable Karen Shenton-Stone (Vice-Chair and Lead Member for this Review)
Connétable Andy Jehan
Connétable John Le Maistre
Dr. Helen Miles (Lay Member) served as a member of the Sub-Group until her resignation from the PAC on 29th March 2022
The PAC sought evidence from a number of key stakeholders, including Officers from across the Government of Jersey and organisations involved in partnership with the Government's response to COVID-19. The PAC also welcomed comments from members of the public and on-island organisations about the Government of Jersey's response measures.
Members of the Public were able to make submissions using the online form, or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Terms of reference
1. To assess the Government's implementation of the Covid-19 Response measures;
2. To examine the impact of COVID-19 response measures on departmental business as usual activities, including the secondment of Government staff to other departments to aid the response effort.
3. To assess the methods of the Executive in measuring, monitoring, and reporting on its performance, financial management (including value for money and cost benefit analyses) and impact on work programmes during the Covid-19 pandemic.
4. To examine whether the Government has applied public funds for the purpose intended by the States in responding to the pandemic and complied with the requirements set out by the Public Finances (Jersey) Law and Public Finances Manual.
5. To consider the effectiveness of the Government's governance procedures during the pandemic, with particular regard to its:
b. Procurement and Supply Chain Management;
c. Healthcare Response;
d. Management of Public Finances;
e. Communication; and
g. Support to Businesses and Individuals
6. To determine what key lessons in governance and financial management have been learned and will be applied to future crises, including evaluating the Government's response to the C&AG's reports and recommendations on the pandemic response.