The Minister for Treasury and Resources, Deputy Susie Pinel, has approved funding for several important projects relating to Brexit, legal compliance, arts, culture and sports, public sector modernisation and the dairy sector.
In August 2018, all States departments were asked to submit requests for funding for essential projects for the remainder of 2018 and 2019.
The Minister for Treasury and Resources approved 13 bids in this first tranche, covering six main areas: Brexit, long-term strategy, culture and sport, agriculture, modernisation and digital and health and wellbeing. Other bids will also be considered in December and in 2019.
A total of £5.3 million for 2018 and 2019 has been allocated from contingency funds to support the following projects:
Review of UN Vienna Convention on Road Traffic – £120,000
The UN Vienna Convention on Road Traffic is an international treaty to facilitate international road traffic and improve road safety. The UK has ratified the treaty to prepare for the possibility of a hard Brexit, and the Brexit Ministers Group have agreed that Jersey should be included in the regime to ensure that island motorists can meet international requirements and continue to drive their own cars and hire vehicles in the EU.
International growth activities – £400,000
The External Relations team works to improve international relations, and activity has increased in recent years, largely as a direct response to Brexit. This business case requests funding to continue with these activities to maintain engagement with the EU and other countries.
New Island Plan – £350,000
The States of Jersey is required by law to produce a new Island Plan every ten years. The last plan was reviewed in 2011 and a review must be completed by the end of 2021.
Culture and Sport
Sports (Jersey Reds) – bridge funding – £150,000
Funding the Jersey Reds to support them through the remaining 2018/2019 season.
Options review – Sustainable sports facilities, including professional rugby on the island – £40,000
Consultancy support to review the long-term sustainability of sporting facilities in Jersey, including professional rugby in Jersey.
Culture review – Sustainability across sector – £50,000
Funding an independent review of the cultural sector – including financial sustainability, commercial development and opportunities for enhanced partnerships, to ensure the long-term future of this sector.
Art House Jersey – The Jersey Arts Trust – £160,000
Funding for Art House Jersey to expand commercial operations in 2019.
Dairy sector – drought relief funding – £100,000
Jersey Dairy farmers have had difficulty dealing with this year’s exceptional weather conditions, which saw prolonged wet weather during winter/spring and a very hot summer. This affected the cost of animal feed and bedding, reduced animal fertility and resulted in the need to reseed pastures. Funding will subsidise these increased costs and enable farmers to start the recovery process for 2019.
Modernisation and Digital
Digital and Modernisation strategic partner – £2,200,000
The States of Jersey will appoint a strategic partner to manage the design and delivery of new systems to support the new structure for the organisation, and to support the digital modernisation and change programme.
Corporate intranet site – £100,000
There are several different intranet sites across the States of Jersey, and more than 1,000 staff have no access to electronic internal communication. Funding will be used to create a unified One Government intranet site to which all employees will have access.
New Public Finances Law – £300,000
The Finance Law has been amended piecemeal since its adoption in 2005 and no longer meets the needs of the organisation during a period of modernisation. A new law needs to be in place before lodging the Government Plan, and a guidance manual for staff will be created to accompany the new law.
Data protection and information security – £1,270,000
Updates to the States of Jersey data protection processes and systems.
Health and Wellbeing
Wellbeing support – £126,000
Flu vaccines available for all employees across the States of Jersey as part of the health and wellbeing strategy.
The funding bids were considered through a new, more rigorous assessment process, by a new Investment Appraisal Board (IAB). The Board was set up to allow for the more efficient and transparent management of funding requests. Because the budgets for departments are fixed for four years, they sometimes need to ask for additional funding to cover new or unexpected demands. The Board considers all funding requests over £50,000 and makes recommendations to the Treasury Minister, the Chief Executive and the States Treasurer.
Commenting on the projects that have been approved for funding, the Assistant Minister for Treasury and Resources, Lindsay Ash, said: “The Minister and I are confident in the professional and rigorous approach taken by the new Board in giving its recommendations for funding, and we have approved 13 bids. I am pleased that we will be giving funding to a wide range of sectors and feel certain that this funding will benefit both the running of the government and the island as a whole. Subject to funding being available for priorities, we shall be giving consideration to further recommendations in December and through 2019, as plans are refined.
“The Investment Appraisal Board was established to support the development of best practice in project development and evaluation. This is an important step in the development of a new investment framework, improving the governance around spending across the States.”
States of Jersey Press Release.