A TOTAL of £5.8 million was spent on a change programme to create a ‘one government, Team Jersey culture’ in the civil service started by former top civil servant Charlie Parker, it has emerged.
UK consultancy TDP – which had previously worked with Mr Parker during his time leading Oldham and Westminster councils – beat off 23 other companies for a £3.5million ‘culture change’ contract in September 2018.
The firm was tasked with improving teamwork, collaboration and leadership in the wake of a damning report by HR Lounge exposing a ‘high level’ of bullying across government and concerns from Mr Parker and the then-Chief Minister John Le Fondré that a ‘deeply entrenched, siloed mentality’ was prevalent.
Overseen by programme director Andy Bell, the project was initially meant to run until March 2021, but was extended by a further 12 months due of the impact of the Covid pandemic on the work – pushing up the final cost by more than £2m.
As part of the scheme, TDP’s Jersey company undertook work across the public service with the aim of improving a range of formal processes from recruitment and induction of staff, to appraisal and mentoring. More than 50 workers became designated ‘change leads’.
In response to a written States question from Deputy Carina Alves, Chief Minister Kristina Moore revealed that the project had cost £5.8m.
She said: ‘The programme timescale was from September 2018 to March 2021, a total of 31 months. In view of the Covid-19 pandemic impact, a programme extension of 12 months was agreed, with final closure in March 2022, prior to the General Election in June 2022 and the formation of a new government in July 2022. Elements of the programme have been taken forward into business-as-usual activities.’
Mr Parker’s controversial ‘One Gov’ scheme involved restructuring the civil service, removing the silo mentality across government and the creation of seven new departments in a bid to save money and work more efficiently.
Deputy Moore added: ‘Team Jersey’s programme director presented a closure report to the programme board. As part of the legacy activity, the programme wider organisation supported and implemented a people and culture plan per department to continue work on developing internal teams and values.’
According to Deputy Moore, 86% of those within the leadership programme said that ‘they are applying their Team Jersey learnings to their leadership practice’, while attendees on the colleague programme reported that they were ‘more confident in their ability to create a positive workplace culture’.
Meanwhile, 100% of the 11 respondents who took part in the people and culture plan support said that the support received from Team Jersey was ‘useful to help us identify priorities, create a people and culture plan and embed it,’ according to the Chief Minister’s response.
At a Leadership Jersey event in March 2022, chief executive Suzanne Wylie said that the ‘Team Jersey’ leadership programme would be relaunched to help make the public sector ‘an employer of choice’ so that improved employment practices and career progression could be embedded into the public service.