20 March 2012
The Chief Minister, Senator Ian Gorst, has issued the following statement: -
"I am grateful to the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) for his thoughtful reports on the issue of compromise agreements and welcome his recommendations, which provide useful guidance for some of the work that has already begun on transforming the public sector and governmental system.
"Since becoming Chief Minister I have made it clear that I want to be transparent about policy decisions and these reports are another step in dealing openly with past issues that have caused concern among Islanders.
"I fully intend to implement all the recommendations contained in these reports and have already been liaising closely with the Acting Chief Executive of the States on many of the issues highlighted in them. A central part of the Council of Ministers’ Draft Strategic Plan is the reform of the public sector and the development of a flexible organisation that focuses on serving Jersey effectively and efficiently. Service redesign is a major aspect of this reform programme and it will mean a change in our culture, values and behaviour.
"The CAG recommends that the role of the Chef Executive should be reviewed as 'the post currently attracts expectations which frequently exceed the post holder’s powers.' A review is being carried out by a sub-committee of the Privileges and Procedures Committee into the machinery of government. This should take account of the CAG’s recommendations for the Chief Executive’s role.
"I support a more rigorous code of conduct for Ministers which clarifies the sanctions for ministers if they do not comply with it. Officers are currently in the process of amending the code and I agree that embedding a culture based on mutual respect is the best way for our organisation to function effectively.
"The States Employment Board (SEB) has reviewed the use of compromise agreements. The Board will now look again at its draft policy in the light of the CAG’s recommendation that SEB should know of all such agreements to ensure that lessons are learned from failures in relationships.
"The Performance Review and Appraisal system is already under review by our HR Director as part of the public sector modernisation process.
"I agree with the CAG’s assertion that 'to build a self-confident, highly performing organisation requires the development of a culture based on mutual respect and shared values. Ministers must be seen to be a part of that culture.'
"SEB will now examine all the CAG’s recommendations in detail and consider how we will deal with any issues that are not already being tackled."
Senator Ian Gorst