It has been announced that the competition authorities in Jersey and Guernsey will revert to operating as separate island regulators.
Since 2012, the Guernsey Competition and Regulatory Authority (the "GCRA") and the Jersey Competition Regulatory Authority (the "JCRA") have operated together on a pan-island basis as the Channel Islands Competition and Regulatory Authorities or "CICRA", sharing cost, expertise and administrative support. Now CICRA will be disbanded, and up to four new members of staff will be appointed to operate the JCRA.
The driver for this change came from the Jersey Minister for Economic Development as part of the Government of Jersey's decision to refocus the remit of the JCRA. It has expressed a desire to enable the JCRA to concentrate on consumer matters impacting people in Jersey, supporting islanders' living standards and improving the competitiveness of businesses.
Jersey's decision has been accepted by Guernsey's Committee for Economic Development. In a letter from the President of the Committee to the Chief Executive of the GCRA, the President noted that although the combined approach has been effective to date and the Committee was not actively considering reverting to an insular authority, it is timely from a Guernsey perspective given the renewed focus of several areas of policy in the telecommunications and energy sectors (and Guernsey's competitive position post-Brexit). The Committee has said it will take this opportunity to re-energise and refresh the role of the GCRA in key areas of the economy as a single and separate authority.
A transition plan is being implemented by the JCRA to ensure that competition regulation in the island is not affected by the change and, in Guernsey, it is expected to be business as usual for the GCRA with minimal impact on businesses. The intended effective date of the separation is no later than the end of June 2020.
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