Wednesday 24 November 2021 - Report

Government support to businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic – co-funded payroll scheme

Topics: COVID-19

Departments: Customer & Local Services, Treasury & Exchequer

Sector: Grants, Subsidies & Other Funding

Government support to businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic - Co-Funded Payroll Scheme - report

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Background

An important part of the Government of Jersey’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic was the introduction, at pace, of schemes to provide financial support to businesses and individuals on the Island. The Government’s initial measures to assist local businesses and preserve Islanders’ livelihoods, were announced within 24 hours of the categorisation of COVID-19 as a pandemic by the World Health Organisation. The schemes introduced in the initial stages of the COVID-19 pandemic included the Co-Funded Payroll Scheme (CFPS).

Scope

The review has evaluated the robustness of the processes for the design and implementation of internal controls in respect of the CFPS. It considers:

  • scheme objectives, business case and decision making
  • design and operation of the control framework; and
  • monitoring and reporting.

Conclusions

The CFPS was introduced with some urgency in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and the need to try to protect, as far as possible, the Jersey economy, survival of the businesses within it and the income of Jersey citizens. The evidence to date indicates that the CFPS has been successful in meeting its stated objectives.

It is important however for Government to complete its planned post payment audit checks as soon as possible in order to recover any monies claimed fraudulently or in error. There remains a risk that errors and fraudulent payments are yet to be identified and that, if they are, it could be more difficult to recover monies due to the time lag since payment. It is also important for Government to undertake a formal evaluation as the CFPS ends to confirm its effectiveness in meeting planned objectives


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