A report examining the Government Plan has been published today by the Economic and International Affairs Scrutiny Panel. In total, the Panel examined 32 projects and capital projects from the previous Government Plan (2020-23) 6 new projects and capital projects for 2021 and 1 efficiency and rebalancing measure. The Panel’s review outlines a total of 11 key findings and makes 4 recommendations.
Using a RAG rating system, the Panel identified fifteen projects which it gave an amber status. This status means that the Panel has reviewed the project and has raised concerns about it, either regarding the content of the business case or the level of funding requested. Further details about the Panel’s RAG rating can be found here.
A number of the Panel’s findings relate to the sport division which has been hit particularly hard with the closure of many facilities including gyms and sports halls during the stay at home measures in the early phases of the pandemic. The Panel welcomes the funding identified within this Government Plan and will keep a close eye on the sector, particularly during the winter period, where tighter restrictions might be necessary going forward.
The Panel also found that there are a number of funding streams related to the future of Fort Regent. The Panel accepts that there will be a need for political priority in determining the future of the building and what it will be used for going forward. In that regard, the Panel intend on taking a closer look at Fort Regent in 2021.
Arts, culture, heritage and tourism
Other industries, such as Arts, Culture and Heritage and tourism have also been impacted by the pandemic. The Panel has rated any projects relating to these areas as amber, mainly due to the uncertainty around COVID-19 and its impact on the PRESS NOTICE economy. This includes a project where funding was identified for the Arts, Culture and Heritage sector and a project aimed at Promoting Jersey during the winter months to encourage tourists to the island.
Deputy David Johnson, Vice-Chair of the Economic and International Affairs Panel said, “This year has been particularly challenging in terms of the impact the pandemic has had on public finances. Following our review last year, we had no idea that this Government Plan would need to focus and prioritise economic recovery. Nevertheless, the Panel has reviewed past and present projects within its remit in order to ensure an appropriate level of scrutiny and due diligence over where money is being focussed.”
Scrutiny Press Release.