Monday 20 April 2020 - Report

Use of enforcement powers

Topics: Governance

Departments: Housing

Sector: Regulation

C&AG Report - Use of Enforcement Powers - 20.04.2020

Report: pdf (444.10 KB)

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The Government of Jersey operates a number of regulatory functions, predominantly within the Growth, Housing and Environment Department. The applicable legislation gives certain powers to the Government of Jersey to enforce compliance with decisions, legislation and regulation.


The review has evaluated:

  • the effectiveness of design and operation of arrangements for engagement with citizens through provision of information and advice that might minimise the need for enforcement action
  • the design and operation of the existing arrangements for monitoring compliance and determining whether and what enforcement action is taken; and
  • the design and operation of the existing administrative arrangements for challenge of the proposed or actual use of enforcement powers.

 In undertaking the work, the review considered:

  • the extent to which the recommendations of a 2014 internal review by the former Department of the Environment of the use of enforcement powers in planning and building control have been implemented; and
  • the extent to which there is scope for learning between enforcement activities across the Government of Jersey.


There needs to be a stronger and consistent focus on engaging with individuals and organisations about the nature of regulatory activities and the enforcement powers available to the Government of Jersey. Enhancing communication and engagement should reduce the subsequent need to use enforcement powers.

Some enforcement activities have well documented procedures supported by adequate training of the staff involved and good systems for documenting and reviewing decisions. This is not however consistent across all areas. The Government of Jersey should focus on ensuring that good practice is shared and operated across all enforcement activities.

In order to demonstrate the objectivity of enforcement decisions there need to be more explicit processes to manage conflicts of interest and clear published policies for the exercise of discretion.

There has been an inadequate focus on monitoring performance on or implementing structured improvement in enforcement activities. In the case of planning and building control, performance on enforcement has been poor. At the same time, there has been no structured approach to the implementation of previous recommendations relating to enforcement in planning and building control and performance has deteriorated further. Implementing the Target Operating Model may ensure that the team is adequately resourced to improve performance in the short-term and implement longer-term improvement initiatives.


Associate Member of EURORAI - a cooperation project between public sector supervisory bodies in Europe