27 September 2005
Despite participation not being as sizeable as anticipated, States services will be more streamlined and better coordinated as a result of the recent Red Tape Reform. The Policy and Resources Committee is reporting back to the States today on the outcomes of the initiative to cut government red tape for businesses and individuals.
Launched last year as part of the States’ commitments towards government reforms, the campaign set out to address what is seen by many as unnecessary regulation, excessive legislation or over-bureaucracy.
As well as inviting comment from the public and business community, each States Committee set up working groups to examine more than 400 pieces of legislation, reviewing each one against a set of guidelines drawn up to identify where simplification could be made, if at all.
Comments on the legislation controlling business registration, housing regulations, such as J category licences, and planning rules and regulations were the most common. However, the report recognises that some processes and policies are already earmarked for review – the new migration policy and a major review of planning procedures will address many concerns. Other comments will be considered as part of new finance legislation, the revised income support scheme and ongoing income tax review.
There were few laws that the working groups considered unnecessary, although some were recommended for improvement such as the legislation concerning public utilities, which affects the digging up of roads by service companies, and the Island’s licensing legislation.
Speed of delivery of service (rather than the service itself), lack of communication between departments and accessibility of information were mentioned on several occasions in the review. These are issues that will be improved through the move to a ministerial system of government.
Senator Frank Walker said: “We were disappointed not to receive more responses to the survey, but it is encouraging that the areas that received most comment are the ones that the States is already addressing. Others, such as licensing, will involve further consideration by departments and it will be important for the public to contribute to any new policies.
”Auditing our processes through Red Tape Reform has made us look critically at the legislation and processes that departments work with. It has given departments a chance to think about new ways of approaching legislation in the future. It has also highlighted the need for the States to focus on good customer service. The message put out for the future is clear – before we regulate or create a process we must ask, firstly, whether what we are proposing is necessary and, secondly, is it being handled in the most efficient and customer friendly way?”
Senator Walker continued: “The benefits of Red Tape Reform will be felt both inside and outside the States for a long time to come as we promote the new approach to reduce the burden of regulation, wherever we identify it. The real success will be in achieving an environment where necessary regulation exists, but where people do not feel that they are bound by red tape. Finally, I would like to thank everyone who took part in the reform. Ultimately, their contribution will lead to a more efficient public sector in Jersey.”
Policy and Resources will be asking Committees/Ministers to report back in July 2006 on their progress in implementing the recommendations.
- Of the 75 organisations formally invited by Policy and Resources to participate in the initiative, five did so.
- States employees were also invited to take part and 38 did. Their comments were mostly about overly bureaucratic processes, such as payment systems and approvals processes. Comments were passed directly to the relevant areas of business.
- 44 responses were received from the public and organisations. Popular areas of comment were the Regulation of Undertakings and Development Law and planning processes.
- In total, 132 separate comments were collected through the campaign.
- The agricultural returns system was the only area in which it was questioned whether the collection of information was necessary.
Details of the comments received and the recommendations for changes to legislation are listed in Appendices A and B, respectively, of RC 70/2005.
For further information, contact:
Bill Ogley, Policy and Resources Chief Officer. Tel 603401
Senator Frank Walker, P&R Committee President. Tel 603401