Ministers accept Scrutiny’s criticism of CICRA demerger

MINISTERS have accepted a Scrutiny panel’s criticism about shortcomings in the 2020 demerger of the pan-islands competition regulator.

Senator Lyndon Farnham. Picture: ROB CURRIE. (31864895)
Senator Lyndon Farnham. Picture: ROB CURRIE. (31864895)

Economic Development Minister Lyndon Farnham has responded officially to a report by the Economic and International Affairs Scrutiny Panel about the separation of the Channel Islands Competition and Regulatory Authorities, known as CICRA.

Senator Farnham said that he accepted the panel’s finding regarding a lack of consultation with key stakeholders, and agreed to carry out a review of the move to separate the regulatory bodies in Jersey and Guernsey.

Although the panel had called for a review to be carried out within 18 months of the July 2020 demerger, Senator Farnham said that he felt three years was a more realistic timeframe for this.

Ministers also accepted a recommendation about Chief Minister John Le Fondré’s decision to transfer legislative responsibility for competition policy to the Economic Development Department in July 2020, six months after the transfer of political responsibility.

The ministerial response stated: ‘Political and legislative responsibility should ideally have been transferred together and it is regrettable that this was not the case in this instance.’

The pan-island approach to competition regulation had lasted for ten years following the creation of CICRA in 2010.

Although the two islands now have separate bodies again, the panel called for the Jersey Competition and Regulatory Authority to publish annual details of its collaboration with its Guernsey counterparts, a recommendation with which Senator Farnham agreed.

In the conclusion to his response, Senator Farnham said: ‘The ministerial team will continue to work with the JCRA, which is now in a better position to fulfil its important role, which is to ensure that practices harmful to competition in Jersey are brought to an end.’

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