Jersey’s Digital Policy Framework – starting the conversation

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On Friday 10 June, during my speech to the Chamber of Commerce we announced the start of what I hope is a major conversation about Jersey’s digital future.

Back in December, the Council of Ministers set out government’s clear and bold ambition to develop a Digital Policy Framework for Jersey.

Since then, with the strong support and leadership of the Chief Minister, and with the unified support of all ministers, a cross-government team has been working hard.

With excellent support and encouragement from Digital Jersey, Jersey Finance, Jersey Business and our Regulators – the JFSC and Data Protection Commissioner, and many others, there has been a huge in-house effort to produce what the tech industry might call a “beta version”. Or put another way, a ‘test version’ or a ‘draft’. A beta Digital Policy Framework – published on last Friday for public comment.

This is the first time that government has brought all of its digital ambitions together into one framework.

The Financial Services Policy Framework, published with an Action Plan in April 2014, has been a huge success for the finance industry in Jersey. We want to replicate that success for our Digital Economy.

The Council of Ministers is determined to ensure that everyone on the Island can benefit from the huge opportunities that digital technology offers.

We’ve identified three main areas where digital will play a major role in Jersey’s future:

  • Creating a more efficient government where high-quality public services are simply and effectively delivered through eGov
  • Helping to diversify our economy to drive economic growth and employment
  • Building a connected society where everyone can access technology and where they have the skills to benefit from it

Although this is called the Digital Policy Framework it isn’t just for or about tech firms or the very tech savvy.

We want to encourage every organisation and every Islander to have the opportunity to benefit from digital technology. This means we must focus on developing digital skills for all, maintaining and growing resilient digital infrastructure, and transforming government so that it operates in a user-friendly way.

What we have published is far from the finished article – and it isn’t meant to be.

This is very much our first draft, and I am inviting everybody in the Island to have their say in how it develops. I want to have a genuine conversation about what Jersey’s digital future looks like and what we need to do to deliver it.

I believe strongly that this conversation isn’t one just for government, or for our growing Digital Sector, or for our firmly established financial services sector.

The success of government policy derives from a strong and engaged community.

Everyone in Jersey has a role in building our digital future, and I encourage people and businesses to let us know their thoughts through this consultation: whether you are a young coder, a retailer interested in selling your goods online, a digital start-up entrepreneur, or a teacher – we need your input.

Over the next few weeks we will be seeking this through our consultation, through workshops and over social media.

Visit the consultation here:

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