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Report on CICRA Demerger and Future Operation of the JCRA

Aug 13, 2021

A report examining the demerger of the Channel Islands Competition Regulatory Authority (CICRA) and the future operation of the Jersey Competition Regulatory Authority (JCRA) in July 2020 has been published by the Economic and International Affairs Scrutiny Panel.

The report has been presented in two parts due to the Panel’s reconstitution midway through the review. Part one, carried out in 2020 by the previous Economic and International Affairs Panel, focuses on the demerger of CICRA.

The Panel found that leading up to the decision to demerge CICRA, the Minister for Economic Development, Tourism, Sport and Culture (MEDTSC) failed to address the concerns of key industry stakeholders and only consulted Guernsey counterparts. It also found that legislative responsibility for competition policy was transferred to the MEDTSC much later than political responsibility. The Panel recommend that future transfer of political responsibility is carried out in a timely manner with advance notice to the relevant Government body.

During the second part of the review, the present Economic and International Affairs Panel examined the future operation of the JCRA. Following concerns from stakeholders about additional Government funding and lack of information about the JCRA’s remit and future vision, the Panel recommend that the MEDTSC carry out an annual review of JCRA’s operating costs and review its remit within 18 months of the demerger. Whilst the JCRA states that it continues to work closely with the GCRA, the Panel found detail on the joint work carried out by the two organisations to be lacking from its business plan and requests that this be published in the JCRA’s Annual Report.

Deputy David Johnson, Chair of the Economic and International Affairs Panel, said, "Whilst it may be some time before a proper judgment can be made as to whether the demerger has proved to have been beneficial for the Island, the Panel accepts that it does provide the JCRA with the ability to chart its own course for the benefit of island residents and to become more ‘Jersey-focused’. To that end, the Panel will continue to monitor progress but, in the meantime, is pleased to note the terms of the new Memorandum of Understanding which hopefully reflects a better working relationship between Government and the Authority, whilst at the same time recognising the latter’s independence."

The Panel’s full set of findings and recommendations for each part of the review can be read in its report HERE.

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