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Independent oversight for spending review

19 January 2010

​​​​​​​​The Treasury Minister is looking for five islanders to act as independent reviewers for the Comprehensive Spending Review of States spending (CSR).

The minister is keen to find people who hold, or have recently retired from, a senior role in a substantial organisation, particularly those with experience of introducing changes that have improved efficiency and performance.

The CSR is due to begin in February and planning is already under way. It will analyse all areas of States spending to identify ways to save money, while also understanding the implications of any such savings.​

Indepen​dent oversight

Senator Philip Ozouf said “It is important to put in place strong independent oversight from individuals with relevant experience, as this is how to ensure value for money.

“The review will be undertaken by external experts and we are looking for at least one independent reviewer to oversee each of the main streams of work, in partnership with the relevant Chief Officer. We would be asking for a commitment of up to 12 days over a 6 month period, starting in February.”

Senator Ozouf outlined his intention to conduct a Comprehensive Spending Review in his Budget speech. He explained that although Jersey is in a stronger financial position than many governments, an ongoing deficit has been forecast as a result of the current economic downturn. This has been highlighted by the Fiscal Policy Panel and Senator Ozouf believes it would be unreasonable to plan on the basis of running a deficit.

He said “The options to deal with this deficit are stronger economic growth, which the EDD Minister will be working on as part of his economic diversification agenda; increases in taxes, which the Council of Ministers believes should be that last option; and reducing spending by improving efficiency and ending unnecessary and least important activities.”

Aims of review

The CSR will review where and how the government spends its money, with the aim of reducing spending.
It has two elements: -

  • introducing stronger financial controls, through three year cash limits, and ensuring that Ministers and Accounting Officers live within those limits
  • reviewing major spending areas to reduce costs and to identify the lowest priority services. The States would then decide whether or not such services should continue  

All areas of States spending will be examined, with in-depth reviews of 5 major areas of spending: -

  • pay and conditions of service
  • Health and Social Services
  • Education Sport and Culture
  • Home Affairs
  • Social Security

The following issues will be among those examined: -

  • buying supplies
  • using technology
  • management structures
  • use of external services
  • staffing levels

The Treasury Minister and Council of Ministers will consider the findings of the reviews, and Scrutiny committees may also decide to examine the recommendations.

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