Investing in public sector reform
Further investment in the reform of Jersey’s public sector is being proposed as part of the Medium Term Financial Plan (MTFP), which will be debated in the States Assembly next month.
This ongoing programme of work, which has already produced concrete changes in the way that States departments are delivering their services to the public, covers five main areas:
Modernising the workforce
Working closely with union representatives, the States is balancing pay, terms and conditions across the 23 separate pay groups that make up its workforce, while ensuring that employees receive equal pay and terms for work of equal value.
More than 7,000 appointments, covering nearly 3,000 roles across a range of professions, have been evaluated to create a standard way of assessing the worth of public sector jobs.
The number of employee policies has been halved (from 70 down to 35), which means that subjects like maternity, adoption, paternity, special leave, discipline and grievance are now easier to access and are treated fairly across the workforce.
Managers are being given special training to help them lead their teams through the changes that are happening in the public sector. Since the launch of this scheme earlier this year, nearly 100 senior managers have been trained. In the autumn, a new group of team leaders and middle managers are scheduled to receive the training.
There has also been investment in Lean training at all levels across the organisation. This internationally recognised system aims to provide people with ways of developing fresh, efficient approaches to tried-and-tested tasks without compromising quality.
Work is ongoing to ensure that the States’ central hubs, where the Island’s key services are accessed, are up to date and fit for purpose. This is why the Government is investing in a new police station and hospital; it is also the driving force behind improvements that are being made to the Island’s school facilities, as well as work to reorganise public sector buildings into more efficient office spaces.
Making services more efficient
Service reviews aimed at reducing red tape and unnecessary regulation have taken place, or will continue, across secondary education; policing; infrastructure; sports and culture; social security and tax; justice; support services; economic development; external relations, and financial services; and environmental services.
A new primary care model has been set out for Health and Social Services to help them get more services out into the community and to ensure that people only come into hospital if they really need to.
The changes to Ports of Jersey and the creation of Andium Homes are examples of how arms-length bodies have been used to get the best services to Islanders in the most sustainable and cost-efficient way possible.
There are approximately 30 projects running across the States which are focusing on streamlining services that can be made available online to the public and to States employees.
Customers now only need to inform the States once for new resident registration, new business registration, registration of births and registration of deaths.
Many more forms are now available online, such as those for applying for long term care, paying Social Security contributions and instalments, submitting an FOI enquiry, registering a vessel with the Coastguard Safety Identification Scheme and reporting a defective vehicle.
Equipping our police force with mobile devices will make it quicker and easier for officers to file reports on location, giving them more time to prevent and tackle crime.
Commenting on the reform programme, the Chief Minister, Senator Ian Gorst, said: “Work to reform the public sector is well underway and we have already seen some significant results. However, there is still much to be achieved if we are to ensure that Jersey will be in a position to maintain its high quality of public services under the strain of an ageing demographic and continuing economic pressures. This is why ongoing investment in this area is just that: an investment, both in our Island’s future and in the way of life that we value.’