THE STATE OF OUR GOVERNMENT
Government has made itself busy producing wish lists and plans to make plans. These often lack thorough research into community needs and areas that are lacking, let alone delivery plans with swift implementation.
This often leads to a new administration making political decisions all over again using the same flawed system.
Too often, the focus is on drawing up policies rather than on making political decisions that can improve that process. Too often the wheels of the ‘machinery of government’ just spin or prove to be square.
We need people in charge who investigate matters deeply and objectively, who look at parts of the world who have produced the best solutions and who know how to get things done swiftly and effectively.
Councils of Ministers and senior civil servants have been too reliant on:
- the Chief Executive of government being tasked to fix things without learning from the premature departures and large payoffs of senior civil servants;
- seeking English solutions to Island problems (even when those solutions are too complex for a small island); and
- engaging UK consultants and senior management at great public expense instead of using local knowledge, resources and skills to identify needs, shortfalls and global best practice.
States Members generally must stop
- avoiding decisions to secure popularity over long-term public interest • relying on civil servants to make political decisions
- becoming snagged up in bureaucracy
- rejecting potential solutions on the grounds of technicalities without offering constructive amendments
- busying themselves with matters that create more work for civil servants and other public sector workers to do, who already lack public funding in essential areas, rather than addressing more complex issues such as flaws in government administration, tax anomalies and government’s management of the economy.
Many areas of Jersey’s government need urgent attention. To bring about positive change, most States Members will need to know not only what to do but how to achieve it and commit to doing so.