Simply Change (FOI)
Simply Change (FOI)Produced by the Freedom of Information office
Authored by Government of Jersey and published on 04 July 2022.
Prepared internally, no external costs.
IT financial management, conflict of interest / declarations and Simply Change Ltd access to accommodation on island (whilst collecting accommodation, travel and subsistence expenses)
Pursuant to an FOI request published 23 February 2022 regarding Simply Change Ltd and their engagement with the Government of Jersey, a response was issued that Simply Change Ltd was awarded work under a "direct award" and that "accommodation expenses" were paid if on-island presence was required in support of the role(s) providing services.
Simply Change engagement FOI (gov.je)
Simply Change Ltd is a UK Registered Company which lists its registered offices in Banbury, Oxfordshire, however a "mutual company" is also linked by association on this filing to a subsequent company called "Clear Alignment Ltd".
Simply Change Ltd (suite.endole.co.uk)
"Clear Alignment Ltd" is registered by UK Registered Company with a UK Address also in Banbury, Oxfordshire, and is "mutual company" to Simply Change Ltd albeit listed as dormant.
The Company website for Clear Alignment Ltd shows a Contact Address\information basing itself in Jersey. This website is associated by the company filing to the UK Company Registration and provides these contact details on their publicly available website:
Clear Align Contact (clearalignment.co.uk)
GET IN TOUCH
Phone +44 7797 741692
Address New Ways Park Estate St. Brelade Jersey, JE3 8EQ
Please can the following be answered under the FOI law:
If a UK Registered Company, uses a Jersey domestic address for its business, or has access to that premises, why is the government of Jersey paying thousands of pounds per year in accommodation, travel and subsistence expenses as the UK Company is demonstrating (via its website) that they have on-island accommodation?
Can you confirm the employees of Simply Change have remote working technology (remote access, teams, etc) and if so, which year was this provision made? If that information is not stored e.g. date account created and date Office365 license or Remote access solution license assigned, then confirmation this was provided at the beginning of the engagement in 2019 as set out in the P59 report listed on the States Assembly website will suffice.
Consultants: Reporting on their use by the Government of Jersey (P.59/2019) - Report of the Chief Minister - June 2021 R.118 (statesassembly.gov.je)
Search - Assembly Reports - P.59/2019 (statesassembly.gov.je)
Additional information for P.59/2019 (statesassembly.gov.je)
Was consideration given by the Director of Modernisation and Digital to use remote working technology since the start of the work in 2019 and if not utilised, what was the justification given for being on site?
Can you confirm whether Simply Change employees continued to claim accommodation expenses during the pandemic despite other non-essential staff in the GoJ working from home?
Which roles were accommodation expenses claimed for during the pandemic?
Please provide the email to M&D staff confirming which roles should be working at home and what the criteria was for attending GoJ sites / working in M&D Offices during both wave 1 and wave 2 of the pandemic?
How do Treasury or commercial services or procurement function / the GoJ resolve any conflict of interest scrutinized and resolved between UK registered companies and Jersey based interests such as this when "Direct Awards" are issued?
Can you confirm the process for raising a concern and who which role will be responsible for the investigation?
Can you confirm that if a local on-island address is used to promote business interests (be it a dormant company or company registration linked associations to a live company as in this case by mutual connection), then does the GoJ have rules in place that this company then needs to register as business on-island?
Did Simply Change Ltd or any party with knowledge of this arrangement for clearalignment.co.uk declare this conflict of interest during any of the Direct Award processes?
What background checks are undertaken as part of the Government of Jersey award process with reference to the Public Finance Jersey (Law) for a) competitive tenders and b) direct awards c) any other award?
What process did Commercial Services carry out regarding standard background checks with the original or any subsequent awards? Please explain the process a date it was implemented for each award listed on Question D of the Simply Change engagement FOI?
Simply Change engagement FOI (gov.je)
What registered business address is used for the commercial engagement of Simply Change Ltd e.g., for payment of invoices and accommodation, travel, subsistence expenses?
This information is not held by the Government of Jersey. A Scheduled Public Authority (SPA) is not required to manipulate and create new data sets to respond to a request, but to provide the requester with information the SPA holds which has been specifically requested. Article 3 of the Freedom of Information (Jersey) Law 2011 applies.
It is considered that providing this information may cause a security risk and Article 42 (a) (Law Enforcement) of the Freedom of Information (Jersey) Law 2011 has been applied
This information is not held by the Government of Jersey in accordance with Article 3 of the Freedom of Information (Jersey) Law 2011.
If the question is "Can you confirm whether Simply Change employees continued to claim accommodation expenses during the pandemic" the response is yes, some Simply Change employees did continue to claim accommodation expenses during the pandemic.
Simply Change provided a number of change consultants as part of their service provision. Information relating to the contract between Modernisation & Digital and Simply Change is publicly available on www.gov.je in response to a previous Freedom of Information request. (Section I, part iii). We do not hold a record which details expenses claimed per role as the engagements are not structured on covering 'roles'; Simply Change provided a number of change consultants as part of their service provision.
Simply Change engagement FOI (gov.je)
This email was sent to all M&D Staff on 12 March 2020:
As I am sure you are aware, the Government of Jersey has stepped up contingency planning for the current outbreak of Coronavirus or COVID 19, and M&D is fully participating in this work. Centrally, the Government has established a number of committees to plan, manage and respond to what is a fast developing situation and the Emergencies Committee, chaired by the Chief Minister, is meeting today.
Within M&D we have been reviewing and refining our business continuity plan to ensure we can maintain our services, and protect our colleagues, and will be sure to share these with you as they are agreed and aligned with other Government plans. This includes considering home working for those people whose job can be done remotely. Through the use of Teams and other Office 365 applications a number of us can continue to do our jobs, communicate and collaborate without being in the same room or the same building. If you feel that you are able to work effectively without being in the office, and would rather do so, then from now onwards you can elect to work from home. If you choose to do this, you must agree this with your line manager in the first instance, and then be available for work and able to receive communications by Teams, email and phone during the normal working day whilst you are working from home. Home will then be your place of work until agreed otherwise with your line manager.
If you choose to work from home then you are still working, so there are a couple of points to consider if you are going to be absent from work:
- Notify your line manager in the normal way if you are ill and unable to work
- Any pre-agreed/ approved annual leave or flexi leave during the period you are working from home will continue to be annual leave or flexi leave
- Any future annual leave or flexi leave requests, including any during the period you are working from home should be requested in the normal way
I am sure you will appreciate that this is a fast moving global situation, and as such our plans need to be fluid and responsive and will continue to be updated as we move forward. Please keep up-to-date with all communications and if you have any questions or concerns please raise with me, your line manager or any member of the M&D Senior Leadership Team.
Thank you for your continued support.
Information relating to conflict of interests is publicly available on www.gov.je within the Public Finances Manual (PFM) – Section 18 'Conflict of Interest'. Article 23 of the Freedom of Information (Jersey) Law 2011 has been applied
Public Finances Manual (gov.je)
The Government of Jersey has a Whistleblowing Policy which is publicly available on www.gov.je. Article 23 of the Freedom of Information (Jersey) Law 2011 has been applied.
Whistleblowing policy 0.4 (gov.je)
No, there are no rules specifically to this point, however, please refer to the PFM for wider procurement guidelines.
There is no requirement for business to register as an on-island business.
Information is publicly available on www.gov.je in response to a previous Freedom of Information request. Article 23 of the Freedom of Information (Jersey) Law 2011 has been applied.
Simply Change engagement FOI (gov.je)
Financial Due Diligence is carried out during the competitive tendering process on procurements that are of a strategic and complex nature for goods and services above £250k.
Commercial Services were not required to and did not carry out any background checks.
The registered business address for Simply Change Ltd is Kineton House, 31 Horse Fair, Banbury, OX16 0AE
Article 3 - Meaning of "information held by a public authority"
For the purposes of this Law, information is held by a public authority if –
(a) it is held by the authority, otherwise than on behalf of another person; or
(b) it is held by another person on behalf of the authority.
Article 23 - Information accessible to applicant by other means
(1) Information is absolutely exempt information if it is reasonably available to the applicant, otherwise than under this Law, whether or not free of charge.
(2) A scheduled public authority that refuses an application for information on this ground must make reasonable efforts to inform the applicant where the applicant may obtain the information.
Article 42 - Law enforcement
Information is qualified exempt information if its disclosure would, or would be likely to, prejudice –
(a) the prevention, detection or investigation of crime, whether in Jersey or elsewhere;
(b) the apprehension or prosecution of offenders, whether in respect of offences committed in Jersey or elsewhere;
(c) the administration of justice, whether in Jersey or elsewhere;
(d) the assessment or collection of a tax or duty or of an imposition of a similar nature;
(e) the operation of immigration controls, whether in Jersey or elsewhere;
(f) the maintenance of security and good order in prisons or in other institutions where persons are lawfully detained;
(g) the proper supervision or regulation of financial services; or
(h) the exercise, by the Jersey Financial Services Commission, of any function imposed on it by any enactment.