22 November 2023
The Minister of Treasury & Resources is pleased to present the release of the first Classification of the Functions of Government (COFOG) report, providing enhanced financial transparency and
accountability in the Island's public sector.
Deputy Ian Gorst has released the inaugural report giving detailed information about the use of
public funds, in a format designed to be comparable to other jurisdictions and over time. COFOG
reports analyse total public sector expenditure by specified categories including health, education,
welfare and public order and safety. The report covers public spending in 2022 and 2021,
highlighting resource allocation trends and government expenditures.
The COFOG classification was developed as an international standard and has been adopted by
most large economies. For the 2021 year, the OECD website includes more than 30 countries that
have provided COFOG information.
Whilst the standardised approach will aid transparency, it remains important to recognise that
analysis of expenditure is only one part of understanding how governments use taxpayers’ money.
There remain fundamental differences between the approach of jurisdictions. This could include
different systems of service delivery or different approaches to the level of tax and spend. It is also
important to consider the spend on services in the context of value and the standard of services
Jersey spends less per person, and less as a proportion of the economy than the UK, as would be
expected in a lower tax jurisdiction. Jersey also spends less on categories such as Debt Servicing
(due to low levels of public debt) and defence (which is largely provided by the UK).
Deputy Gorst said: "The COFOG classification, recognised as an international standard, is an
essential tool for promoting transparency and accountability in government spending. By providing
detailed analysis of public expenditure, the COFOG report goes beyond traditional financial
reporting, allowing us to benchmark our expenditures against those of other countries."