A ministerial decision allocating the funds to revamp the communications team was signed last week after a report found that the current structure is ‘inefficient’, ‘inadequate’ and perpetuates ‘extensive spend on external agencies’.
In a letter in yesterday’s JEP, Charlie Parker, the new chief executive of the States, said that the States had ‘run a shoestring communications operation for years, relying on temps, contract workers and outside agencies to plug the gaps’. He added that the government was now building a team of ‘joined-up professionals’ in order to inform the public about the work the States is undertaking.
Following the ministerial decision further information has since revealed that an 11 additional posts will be created within the restructure which aims to bring existing communications roles across government into one team.
A States spokeswoman said that there will be a total of 24 roles within the team, of which 14 are permanent full or part-time posts. Nine of the positions will be agency or temporary positions and there will be one interim.
‘The creation of a single communications function, bringing together existing roles from across government into one team, is part of the public sector restructuring announced in March,’ the spokeswoman said.
‘We will shortly be recruiting to replace people who are leaving or moving, to give temporary communications staff the chance to secure permanent roles, and to bring in some new people.
‘We will be bringing design and digital communications work in-house that we are currently paying external agencies to do for us. Staffing the new structure will require up to 11 additional posts.’
The standard States of Jersey recruitment process will be used to hire the successful candidates, the spokeswoman added.
‘We are advertising locally and using social media to reach Jersey communications professionals,’ she said.
‘If we can’t fill the roles locally, we will recruit externally, though that is not our preference.
‘We want to build a sustainable team, in which people can develop careers, so we want to attract people who have a commitment to Jersey.’
The £300,000 signed off in the ministerial decision will be used to provide interim funding for a new director of communications as well as on resources for the overhauled team.