A review examining the Government’s spending in response to the COVID-19 pandemic has been launched by the Public Accounts Committee (PAC).
The purpose of the review is to understand whether taxpayer’s money was used efficiently, effectively, and economically to deliver value for money for Islanders. The Public Accounts Committee’s remit allows it to examine how Government officers implemented policies agreed by the States Assembly. It follows work previously undertaken by the Comptroller and Auditor General, Corporate Services, Economic and International Affairs, Health and Social Security Scrutiny panels, which examined the political decisions made during the pandemic.
The PAC intends to evaluate the robustness and clarity of the Government’s decision-making by examining its procurement procedures, financial management, and performance management. The review will seek 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 (BAU) activities;
- How the Government measured, monitored, and reported on its performance and the impact of the COVID-19 response on business as usual 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 business as usual 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 administration of the public sector during the pandemic and where key lessons in governance and financial management could be applied to future crises.
Constable Karen Shenton-Stone, Vice-Chair of the Public Accounts Committee and Lead Member for this review, said: “It’s essential that we reflect on all aspects of the Island’s response to the pandemic in order to learn and be better prepared for the future.”
The Panel will be conducting a series of private briefings and public hearings to help evaluate the evidence already received, including the reports of the C&AG, Corporate Services, Economic and International Affairs and Health and Social Security scrutiny panels. Details of the public hearings will be published on the States Assembly website and publicised on the States Assembly’s social media channels.
The Public Accounts Committee also welcomes written comments from any member of the public or on-island organisation about the Government’s response measures, with a particular emphasis on the delivery of support measures including expenditure and governance of departments, supply chain procurement, and measures to safeguard public health. Please submit your comments to [email protected]. The Committee present their findings and recommendations to the States Assembly in December 2021.
Scrutiny Press Release.