FTP

Financial Transformation Programme

I made the following speech during the debate on the Financial Transformation Programme at the January 2013 States meeting.

 

In anyone’s book the FTP is a massive undertaking. Trying to make 10% recurring cost savings would result in a sharp intake of breath from any self-respecting COO.  However, when an income stream dries up overnight  radical measures do have to be undertaken to reduce costs. The question is what to do and how to do it. The former has been considered by many today so I am going to concentrate on aspects of the latter that have raised concerns for me.

What surprised me when reading the report was that whilst a key aim of the FTP was to  create ‘a culture of cost consciousness and shared responsibility for delivery’ the FTE failed to engage those who basically held all the cards. I welcome the honesty in admitting that, and hope that lessons have been learnt that are disseminated across and within Departments.

Samuel Johnson is often good for a quote and he comes up trumps here again . He said,’ Change is not made without inconvenience, even from worse to better.’

He was right but attempts should be made to reduce that inconvenience as far as possible. Change can be frightening.  The status quo is comfortable, known and doesn’t challenge.  As Deputy Lester Queripel makes clear frequently, communication is key to enable real change to happen and it works both ways. Clearly this has been a lesson learnt.

Having said that,  it does appear that the programme has moved from one extreme to another.  It seems that the FTP has morphed into an enormous black hole that sucks up everything in its path and from which nothing re-emerges.

It was always appreciated that Departments had to accept resources would be needed and Members resolved to accept the necessary diversion of staff resources away from routine work in order to deliver change. However, I feel this has gone beyond the original understanding and the approach taken has significantly impacted on the day to day operations of Departments.  As staff haven’t been able to be brought in to cover there has been a rise in overtime and more pressures on departments.

Of additional concern is the amount of senior officer time taken on FTP.  The Chief of Police is head of the procurement review of the FTP and I wonder how he can now fit that with his new role as Head of Law Enforcement.

I believe it was thought that things would improve after the implementation of the STSC and the upgraded SAP system. However, from what I have heard from different departments, it would appear that this won’t happen any time soon. Financial accounts for January haven’t been able to be produced and there are problems with various aspects of the system that are having knock on effects for departments.  I would therefore like to seek the CM’s assurance that matters are being resolved as quickly as possible and that issues are prioritised on a risk basis.

In relation to the STSC, I would  like to raise an issue that came out of the presentation given to Deputies on 9th January.

It was explained that credit would be given to Departments for those staff transferred or lost as a result of the creation of the Hub, with costs being retained within T&R. This means it will be far harder for anyone outside T&R to know whether savings have been made. Bearing in mind we were advised that the £7.9 million cost of the STSC would be recouped largely through the reduction of 50 posts, whereas we are now being told 30 posts are going, does the Chief Minister agree with me that, in order for greater transparency, a recharge of the cost of the Hub should be made to each Department.

Finally, and despite the issues I have raised, I am happy to support the FTP as I believe that it is the only way of bringing its costs under control. I think it has resulted in a slow gradual change of culture from spend, spend, spend to a more business-like footing.  That will be its ultimate legacy.

FTP Question to Chief Minister

At the October States Meeting I asked the Chief Minister the following question, following his statement on the FTP;

 

Sir, in his letter to States members of 18 October 2012, the Chief Minister stated that the Report to be presented in January 2013 will, amongst other things, ‘chart the evolution of the programme’.

Can he confirm that this will include mapping out the evolution of the 107 Summary Opportunities identified in the Phase 2 Report of July 2009 to the current position in order that States Members can properly access the progress that has been made to date?

 

The Chief Minister responded by saying he would relay this to those responsible for the report.

 



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