More than 500 employees are due to move into the former Royal Bank of Canada building at 19 to 21 Broad Street, it was announced yesterday, with the first workers due to transfer to the premises in November.
The building will be rented for about £1million annually for at least five years. The move is a ‘short-term solution’ until a purpose-built office is developed for all of the States administrative and policy staff.
It has previously been reported that a new centralised building was being considered on the site of La Motte Street School next to the Social Security Department. Covenants on the site were lifted by the previous States Assembly, paving the way for such a project.
A States press release says: ‘[The RBC building] provides a large, flexible office building across five floors, where teams from across all government departments can work together to modernise the way services are delivered.
‘This is part of the plans to create a one-government public service, to reduce duplication, promote collaboration, increase productivity, and ensure better value for money for the taxpayer.
‘Today’s announcement marks a step towards consolidating the States of Jersey’s office estate into a single administrative headquarters where all non-frontline staff will work.’
The move will see the majority of staff moved out from the current headquarters at Cyril Le Marquand House and other large office blocks, such as Peter Crill House, where backroom staff in the Health Department are based, and South Hill, which is home to environment and planning workers. Teams will also be moved across from Highlands College and Maritime House on Route du Port Elizabeth.
Frontline staff will continue to be based in the Hospital, schools and other operational sites, while the Social Security Department’s offices at La Motte Street are due to be developed into a cross-departmental customer services centre.
Plans are being developed to decommission several buildings, including Cyril Le Marquand House and South Hill, which are likely to be demolished and the land redeveloped for key worker and other housing.
Other sites that are vacated could be sold.
It is hoped that the lease at the Broad Street building will be finalised by the end of July, with refitting work on the building due
to start in August.
Assistant Chief Minister Richard Buchanan, said that the move to Broad Street would help tackle the much criticised ‘silo mentality’ within the States, where departments operate in their own interests rather than collectively and for the public good.
‘We are bringing States employees together from across all departments, to work as one government,’ said Mr Buchanan.
‘The physical separation of teams in different buildings reinforces a silo working mentality, when what a modern public service needs is to promote a culture of collaboration and partnership among staff.
‘Moving corporate and administrative staff from outlying offices into a single headquarters will also release current sites for redevelopment for alternative uses, such as housing for key workers.
‘This move will support the reorganisation of public services and help provide better and more responsive services to Islanders, and to deliver ministers’ priorities more effectively.’