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Reflecting on the last four years...

Reflecting on the last four years...

Sunday 22 March 2020

Reflecting on the last four years...

Sunday 22 March 2020

Limited time and resources bottlenecking the States' ability to implement new changes and policies has been just one of the challenges the assembly has faced this time, according to a newly released report.

The Committee for Policy & Resources has released commentary on this States term as its scheduled end fast approaches, looking at the successes and challenges this Assembly have faced.

This was released alongside a policy letter focused on the Future Guernsey Plan 2016 - 2020, which sets up the passing of the baton to future assemblies on fiscal and economic affairs, social affairs, environmental issues, population use and more. 

The policy letter itself incorporates the handover reports from each committee ahead of the election, and will ask the current States to approve "revised policy priorities" and also to note the Commentary itself. 

However, since the report was compiled, there has been a formal request to extend this term of government by pushing the election back until after the corona virus crisis is over. 

P&R policy and resources

Pictured: The commentary was put together by Policy & Resources, Deputies Gavin St Pier, Lyndon Trott, Jonathan Le Tocq, Jane Stephens and Al Brouard. 

In the commentary, P&R said the current covid-19 crisis would likely see government policies even for this year changed: "Since the financial crash in 2008 the States of Deliberation has steered the island into a very strong financial position which allows for significant mobilisation of resource to support the community and economy through this demand/supply shock for however long this will last: it will undoubtedly challenge our public health services and will damage our public finances.

"While the Policy & Resources Committee has met its obligations in lodging this policy letter, there is no doubt that the Island’s priorities are being re-written for 2020 as a consequence of the covid-19 pandemic and quite possibly will be for the four-year period forming the next government plan."

The Future Guernsey Plan was established as a 20 year framework to help improve leadership, coordination and accountability. It was also a way to monitor progress.

Frossard House handshake

Pictured: One of the challenges identified was the finite capacity of the civil service.  

One key area was identified by P&R as a success: "The Guernsey Annual Better Life Indicators Report shows Guernsey is performing well compared with other jurisdictions in a wide range of areas which reflect Islanders’ quality of life: long-term unemployment is extremely low, and measures such as life expectancy (benchmarked as at 2016 with latest OECD available data) and disposable household income which are among the highest of any jurisdiction."

But even that area had issues: "The OECD Better Life indicators suggest that Guernsey offers, for most people, a good quality of life. However this is not necessarily the case for everyone and there are people both above and below the averages presented. The Future Guernsey Plan has the overall aim of securing an environment to foster sustainable well-being for all."

Other challenge areas included the amount of time the States had to implement and plan for the new model of government, both the lack of time and competing resources restricting the States getting to goals, limited policy prioritisation and the finite capacity in the public service to deliver work streams. P&R also recognised that not everything that was initially identified as a priority has been properly resourced, which had meant work had not progressed as far as intended.

"Through the continual improvement of the Future Guernsey Plan and its supporting processes; through greater visibility, measurement and reporting on progress; and through improved resource allocation, it is intended to more effectively manage the impact of these challenges."

Pictured top: The next States Assembly is currently set to be elected in June. 

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