Le Fondré backs plan’s ‘clear flow of information’
THE Chief Minister has responded to criticism over the transparency of his Government Plan, claiming it has the ‘clearest flow of information’ he has seen in his time in politics.
Backbenchers including Senator Kristina Moore and Deputy Kirsten Morel have recently attacked the document, which sets out government spending for the next four years, claiming that not enough detail of planned ‘efficiencies’ of £100 million were included.
Deputy Morel has also pointed out that on one page of the plan the only detail provided regarding four years’ of spending of £20 million were the seven words ‘replacement costs of various IT infrastructure assets’.
During a public hearing yesterday with the Corporate Services Scrutiny Panel, which Senator Moore – the panel chairwoman – did not attend, Constable Richard Vibert asked Chief Minister John Le Fondré whether he thought that this level of detail was ‘adequate’.
Senator Le Fondré said that he believed that the wording indicated that a lot money was required to be spent on IT infrastructure.
And he added that he believed the Government Plan was clear compared to other documents he had seen during his time serving as a Deputy and Senator in the States.
‘I would say that the flow of information in this Government Plan is the clearest I have have ever seen,’ he said.
‘I was speaking to an external third party about this recently, and I won’t say who she was, but she said to me that she really liked the Government Plan and really liked the flow of information.’
The Senator has also come under fire recently, including from the Comptroller and Auditor-General, for not releasing details of planned efficiencies of £100 million quickly enough.
When asked about the matter by panel member Constable Karen Shenton-Stone, he said that the government would like details of efficiencies to be released early next year.
‘I think that we would prefer for it to be done earlier. We have to bear in mind a major piece of transformational work is going on,’ he said.
‘Certainly we would like to see the efficiencies plans for 2021 published in March or April.’
The Chief Minister said that he wanted to be ‘clear’ the aims of the programme were to ‘find efficiencies’ and not simply to make cuts which could involve job losses.
He added that one way that this could be achieved was by moving staff who were claiming sickness benefit towards other roles that would be more suitable for them
‘If you take someone who is claiming sickness pay and move them to somewhere more appropriate then they are going to be more productive,’ he said.
‘And you would not just reduce the sickness pay you could also reduce the agency pay you need to make as you would fill those roles.’
The hearing was also attended by chief executive Charlie Parker and panel member Deputy Steve Ahier.
JEP asks 11 of Jersey's biggest stores whether they would open every Sunday if the States approve changes this week