In May this year the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) published the first of a series of reports examining a number of ‘recurring themes’ that have arisen from its previous reports and those of the Comptroller and Auditor General (C&AG). The latest report in the series has been published and focusses on the decision making aspects of the changes taking place in the public sector.
In the report the PAC welcomes change programmes such as ‘Team Jersey’ and the Target Operating Model (TOM), proposed and currently being implemented by the Chief Executive, but it is concerned that, by themselves, the initiatives do not lead to better decision making.
The Committee also assessed whether the Chief Executive has acknowledged, understood and remedied problems in corporate decision making. Its focus was on how decisions are made and the process by which a decision is arrived at, rather than the merits or otherwise of the decision itself. It has tried to ascertain what the Chief Executive and senior officers have achieved so far – and how that is objectively measured.
The PAC found that the Government of Jersey has not employed a consistent approach to Business Analysis or investment decisions. Failure to action, document and monitor any of the key steps in a business plan result in poor decision making. There have often been weaknesses in roles, responsibilities and accountabilities and often the right resources have not been in place to deliver a project.
The Chairman of the PAC, Senator Sarah Ferguson, stated:
“The Chief Executive should ensure that every project should have a clear rationale, supported by documentation such as an investment appraisal, options analysis, business case and implementation plan, based on the ‘Treasury Green Book’ (as he has committed to) and demonstrate how each project is performing against its objectives and strategic intent.”
As part of its ongoing scrutiny of the implementation of the change programmes, the PAC will question the Chief Executive and other senior officers at its next quarterly public hearing in September 2019. It is also hopeful the Chief Executive will respond positively to this report and heed all of the recommendations within it.
Public Accounts Committee (PAC) News Release