Friday, April 30, 2010

Geoff's Written Questions to Ministers May 11 2010

1. To ED minister

Following his promise at the last session, will the minister inform members what request he has made to JCRA over the consultation timescale concerning the granting of class 1 postal licences to two competitors to Jersey Post and inform members what the new timescale for the process now is?

Will he state what meetings he has had with stakeholders to address the concerns expressed by Jersey Post and the CWU and inform members and if not why not?

What steps has he taken to ensure that the consequences of the introduction of new competitors in this sector will have on the maintenance of postal Universal Service Obligations are made clear to the Jersey public, and if none, when will he do so?

2. To T & R Min

Will the minister inform members of the terms of the new Voluntary Redundancy (VR) package to be applied to public sector workers and state how it differs from the previous scheme and how it compares with the new statutory redundancy terms soon to come into force in the island?

Will the minister state why public sector union representatives have not been consulted over the drafting of the VR terms and at what stage does he intend to consult them? Does he not accept that the absence so far of such consultation constitutes bad employee relations practice?

When he comes to investigate public sector terms and conditions as part of the Comprehensive Spending Review at what stage does he intend to consult with union representatives? Will he assure members that he will properly seek agreement with employee representatives before bringing any proposals to the States for ratification?

3. To ED min

Will the minister inform members:

a) why Jersey Finance commissioned the report “Transfer mispricing and child mortality” by Richard Teather;

b) how much the report cost, and

c) the extent to which Jersey is involved in the practice of transfer pricing (or mispricing) of goods and services?

4. Notwithstanding the response he gave to question 5289 on 20th April, when he stated that over 1,000 civil servants (over one sixth of the workforce) have access to “livelink”, will the minister advise members how many of these are senior management above grade 10?

Further can he state how many officers, and at what grades, are involved in the process of producing a single Ministerial Decision to appear on the government website?

Can he explain to members why there has been a massive reduction in the number of decisions published on the website compared with the old committee system of “acts” published along with the accompanying reasons or briefing papers? Does he not accept that “livelink” has reduced the information available to scrutiny and the public rather than, as it was designed to do, increase accessibility and accountability?

Does he not accept that with set up and hardware costs at over £2m and annual running costs of £131,000 (the cost of 3 committee clerks it replaced) “livelink” has been an expensive and inefficient failure?

5. T & R min

Can the minister explain to members when he felt able to confirm on the 20th April that he had comprehensive information on the first stage of the CSR as follows:

“I have now received proposals from all ministers detailing how they would save 2% of their gross budgets along with user pays initiatives, growth bids and invest to save schemes.”

Why he was unable to release this data to union reps and to scrutiny on 23rd April?

Will he now detail for members his new schedule for releasing this information to all stakeholders and ensuring that all proposals get the most thorough debate and scrutiny before coming to the States in the Business Plan 2011?


  1. Can you explain what or who the initials refer to as I found the above hard to understand. For example To ED min, VR, T & R min.

    I am sure that is not your fault for the accronyms but if you can explain them it would help me. Thanks

  2. Usually I expand Geoff's acronyms to the full versions, but I had other stuff to do today, and didn't want to spend time editing this.
    ED is the Economic Development Minister, Alan Maclean, VR is Voluntary Redundancy, T&R is the Treasury and Resources Minister, Philip Ozouf and CSR is the Comprehensive Spending Review.

  3. This is just a suggestion but wouldn't it be a worthwhile idea to post the answers to these written questions. Likewise make some comment to the answers that are given to the JDA Deputies oral questions? I also think that it would be a good policy for the party to make sure that you follow up any decions on your propositions with both the result and some commentary on what you think of this. This must be especially worth doing on things like Geoff Southern's victory on minimum wages being gradully lncreased to 45% over the next five to fifteen years. Thanks.


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