Guernsey’s Chamber of Commerce has endorsed the aspirations of Deputy Kevin Stewart’s ‘Project Proteus’.
The project, which aims to position Guernsey as a technologically advanced jurisdiction, came under criticism recently by Deputy Matt Fallaize, who claimed that the Project does not have backing from the States and is a “hill of beans” without it.
Marc Lainé, chair of Chamber’s ICT Subgroup and managing director of C5 Alliance Group said that the project’s vision is an important one, crucial to Guernsey’s social and economic wellbeing.
‘Chamber is fully behind ideas to further exploit technology in the island. The financial services industry is just as dependant on being able to leverage digital opportunities as any of the new and exciting enterprises that may develop here. It’s not just about new business it is about protecting and nurturing what we already have,’ he said.
Following the questions raised by Deputy Fallaize, The Chamber ICT subgroup met with Jason Moriarty, Chief Officer of Commerce and Employment, to discuss the actual progress the department had made.
‘We have identified that, as its mandate allows, the department has made good progress. However the work streams required to bring Project Proteus’ vision into reality are in the mandate of other States departments and there is no acceptance or prioritisation accorded to these work streams in any coordinated way, nor has there been any debate on the floor of the assembly,’ said Mr Lainé.
The primary concern raised by The Chamber ICT Subgroup is that expertise from the private sector is not being used. It suggests that, in the first instance, the private sector should be represented on the “Super Committee” of Ministers and Deputies put together at the start of the term of the current government, giving it technical representation.
‘Chamber believes that in order for Guernsey to remain competitive and develop new opportunities, the States should fund a non-political body with one full time executive and unpaid directors drawn from the business community, with perhaps some States representation,’ said Mr Lainé.
‘This body would be charged with determining exactly what impact Proteus will have on our economic and social success and by when. Comparative jurisdictions, such as Jersey, have already set up similar bodies and have very clear objectives, defined outcomes and timelines in place to set out what needs to be done to facilitate change and coordinate the government and private sector to work together towards a common aim.’
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