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Government to merge economy teams

12 February 2020

The teams responsible for supporting Jersey’s economy are being merged into a single structure, ahead of a formal consultation about forming a new economy department.

In 2018, when the Chief Executive set out the One Government structure, External Relations, and Financial Services and Digital Economy, were placed in the Office of the Chief Executive, while a separate Economy and Partnerships directorate – responsible for SME business support, partnerships, tourism strategy, sports, culture and the rural economy – was established in Growth, Housing and Environment.

When these structures were set up the Government’s Chief Executive, Charlie Parker, said that this would be an interim arrangement, which would be kept under review until the UK’s final position on Brexit was clearer and there have been discussions about the arrangements over recent months, informed by feedback from Ministers, colleagues and wider stakeholders.

Following the UK’s departure from the EU on 31 January, Jersey is preparing to deal with the impacts of Brexit. The Chief Executive and Ministers have agreed to merge the two economy teams, initially comprising 33 specialists, under the leadership of Group Director, Richard Corrigan, in the Office of the Chief Executive. Economy and Partnerships (including Locate Jersey), which is led by Group Director, Dan Houseago, will move from Growth, Housing and Environment to join Mr Corrigan’s current team in Broad Street, although the operational Sports team will remain with GHE.

The organisational merger is a first step, in which current roles and responsibilities are unchanged. The next step will be to launch an internal consultation in the spring about establishing a new economy department and appointing a Director General to lead it, subject to a further approval process. 

Deputy Chief Minister, Senator Lyndon Farnham, said: “Ministers and officers have worked hard and successfully over the past two years to ensure that Jersey’s interests were represented and protected during the UK’s Brexit negotiations and in discussions about international financial regulation. Our task in 2020 and beyond is to ensure that the whole economy is supported to take advantage of any benefits arising from Brexit and to withstand any negative impacts, so now is the time to bring all elements of the economy together in a new department. This will come together with an integrated Future Economy programme, arising from the Economic Framework that we have commissioned.”

Chief Executive, Charlie Parker, added: “In 2018 the most urgent risks to our economy were Brexit and international financial regulation, which is why I brought the teams working on these issues under my office. But no organisational structure should remain static, as it needs the flexibility to adapt to changing circumstances and needs. 

“With the UK’s position on Brexit now clear and having successfully addressed some big EU regulatory issues, bringing the economy teams together now is the right decision to help Jersey to meet the challenges of delivering a sustainable and vibrant economy outside the EU. A new, integrated department will help drive the economic opportunities that will support Jersey’s long-term future.”

The move of the Economy and Partnerships team from Growth, Housing and Environment does not affect any Ministerial accountabilities, which remain with the Minister, Senator Lyndon Farnham, and Assistant Ministers, Senator Steve Pallett (Sport) and Deputy Montfort Tadier (Arts and Culture).

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