The news States Chief Executive, Charlie Parker, is a man on a mission and today announced proposals for a comprehensive restructuring and modernising of the States of Jersey public services. At the same time, he responded to the rejection of the workforce modernisation pay and conditions offer. Charlie set out his ambition to create one government service, which is ‘relentlessly focused on the needs of customers, on supporting economic growth and on protecting children and vulnerable adults’. The restructuring aims to reorganise the public services to ‘better join up the machinery of government, breaking down long-established departmental silos’. Sounds good huh? It’s so that the States can provide better and more responsive services to islanders, and get Ministers’ plans oiled and in motion with maximum ease. Here’s how it goes down.
There will be a simpler structure, with fewer layers between the most senior management and frontline staff, reduced duplication, more transparent decision-making, greater accountability for performance standards, and a culture based on teamwork, collaboration and getting things right first time. As a result of the reorganisation, a number of functions will move between departments, some new departments will be created and some departments will cease to exist in their current form. These are administrative changes and there are no changes to any Ministerial roles or accountabilities, which remain the responsibility of the Chief Minister and the Council of Ministers.
Overall, there will be three fewer administrative departments and 22 fewer senior roles in the first phase of the restructuring. The initial reduction in senior roles alone will reduce staff costs by more than £1 million a year.Mr Parker said: “This restructuring is a vital step in modernising the States of Jersey, so we can meet the aspirations of Ministers and islanders to develop an effective, efficient and responsive public sector, with outstanding public services at its core.
“These changes are about creating a more modern, flexible and innovative public administration, which is better organised to serve Ministers and islanders, while reducing the cost of government by streamlining the most senior levels of the organisation.”
Chief Minister, Senator Ian Gorst, said: “We recruited Mr Parker to modernise and improve our public services and provide better value for money. He has set about that task with impressive speed and I’m confident that the proposed restructuring and the focus on economy, customers and vulnerable children and adults, will lead to swift and visible changes in the government’s services to islanders.”
The proposals were approved by the States Employment Board last week, shared with the Council of Ministers and endorsed by the Chief Minister.
The proposed new States of Jersey structure:
Office of the Chief Executive – initially responsible for keeping oversight of two critical areas of activity: Brexit and trade, plus the impact of changes on financial services. It is also responsible for the effective coordination of the government’s relations with Ministers, islanders, island stakeholders and international governments, financial regulators, partners and stakeholders.
Department for the States Treasurer and Exchequer – will ensure that the financial responsibilities of public servants are properly discharged and that public service administration finances are better managed. It will give greater emphasis to the strategic finances of the island, with a focus on the organisation’s longer-term goals and improved value for money.
Department for Customer and Local Services – will put customers at the heart of the new government structure. It will be the front door to all of our frontline customer services, except health and education. At present, islanders have to deal with multiple teams in multiple departments in lots of different ways – face to face, by post, by phone and online – and in most cases they have to provide the same information to us each time.
This new department will establish a single, streamlined service for all those direct interactions that islanders have with government, from applying for income support to filing taxes. We’ll also seek to integrate this front door approach with closer working arrangements with the Parishes.
Department for Children, Young People, Education and Skills – will put the care, welfare, education and whole life chances of children and young people absolutely at its heart. The pace of reform, and the scale of cultural and service change we need to ensure that our children and young people are protected and enabled to flourish, is currently too slow.
This new department will be responsible for putting children first, completing the urgent Care Inquiry reforms and adopting worldwide best practice in the care of children and young people. It will also modernise and improve the standards of academic education and vocational skills in Jersey.
And it will strengthen the links between Jersey’s businesses and our schools and colleges, so that our young people have better opportunities to build careers in the island, reducing our reliance on skilled migrants, and improved whole life chances.
Department for Health and Community Services – will be responsible for health matters from the cradle to the grave, and will coordinate the wide range of frontline health services, whether in the community or in hospital.
We need to ensure that not only are our medical services of the highest standard, but that the services we provide in the community to vulnerable groups – the elderly, the disabled and those suffering from mental ill health – also meet the high standards of care that they deserve.
The department will retain most of the functions of the current Health and Social Services Department, but will place a greater emphasis on community care for vulnerable groups and stronger preventative services.
Department for Justice and Home Affairs – will integrate the elements of public protection that in bigger countries are too cumbersome to bring together. It will provide more effective and co-ordinated management of the services that keep islanders safe, including the bringing together of key blue light and emergency services, including Police, Fire and Rescue, Ambulance Service, Customs and Immigration, Field Squadron, Emergency Planning and Coastguard.
Department for Growth, Housing and Island Environment – will bring together all the elements we need to provide the right environment for economic growth and business competitiveness – from the smallest start-up to the largest multinational.
It will ensure that we continue to develop a sustainable island, with urban planning that enhances, rather than undermines, our natural and cultural heritage. It will enforce the many regulations – from consumer protection to biodiversity – that protect our quality of life in our unique island environment.
It will ensure that the environment and economy are not competing forces, but are complementary partners in developing our island’s future, and it will also include a stronger focus on special infrastructure projects and partnership with our arm’s length organisations.
Department for Strategic Policy, Performance and Population – will bring together the long-term strategy and the policy and performance framework that underpins the effective functioning of government in delivering for our island. It will also help improve the oversight of Future Jersey.
Chief Operating Office – will bring together the many internal and back office services that support and enable the effective functioning of our public service, and will be a “hub and spoke” operation. It will have centrally-provided and co-ordinated ‘hub’ services, partnered with the ‘spoke’ departments that include HR and IT activities.
It will also host a new Commercial Division, which will create a more rigorous approach to contract management, procurement and commercial negotiations for services, on behalf of the States of Jersey.
There will be a 45-day consultation among the most senior leaders on the changes that directly affect them (tier 1 and 2 managers), which will include consulting on changes to terms and conditions as part of the reshaping of the public service.
There will also be a 90-day consultation on the overall restructuring proposals, starting today and ending on 4 June 2018. In addition, we intend to launch a further consultation for tier 3 managers during the 90 days, on a date to be determined, because we recognise that the changes at tiers 1 and 2 will have an impact on tier 3, so we will need to consult on the consequences of those impacts.
Mr Parker also announced the formal response to the rejection of the workforce modernisation offer by the majority of employees in recent ballots.
Mr Parker said: “We have explored the implications of the rejected offer and have continued to discuss with the unions what is possible and what is not. The unions have offered no realistic alternative proposals, and there is still no more money, so we have been left with no other option than formally to withdraw the workforce modernisation offer.”
Chairman of the States Employment Board, Senator Andrew Green, said: “The States Employment Board has approved the withdrawal of the workforce modernisation offer and has authorised the States to progress as quickly as possible to settle the 2017 pay deal and negotiate a two-year deal for 2018-19.
“The States and unions negotiated for three years to put together the workforce modernisation offer, which was the best deal that we could offer with the funding available. We’re disappointed that the majority of employees in the recent ballots voted to reject the offer, because we made clear at the time that there is no additional money. But we now need to move on to address the outstanding issues of pay, terms and conditions swiftly and responsibly.”
Mr Parker added: “We will honour the workforce modernisation offer for those groups who voted to accept it. But the remaining workforce modernisation pay groups will now be offered the same 2% consolidated pay offer that we made to the non-workforce modernisation groups for the 2017 pay deal, although we’re offering 2.5% to nurses, in line with the States Employment Board commitment to achieve pay comparability with Allied Health professionals for this group.
“I then want to negotiate a two-year pay deal for 2018-19, which will include a pay freeze for senior managers earning £100,000 or more, as we progress with reshaping of the public service.”