Conducting competition and regulatory policy well is hard, but the economic benefits can be substantial. In small-island economies, such as Jersey, competition policy, and regulation where competition is not possible, faces particular challenges. However, it is just as important that markets work well as it is in larger economies. The States of Jersey set up the Jersey Competition and Regulatory Authority (JCRA) as a regulatory body in 2001 and as a general competition authority in 2005. The Government of Jersey commissioned Oxera to review the JCRA and the regulatory and competition framework applied in Jersey.
This review identified whether, in order to improve the outcome for the Jersey economy in general, and Jersey consumers in particular, changes could be made to the way the JCRA functions, the framework under which it operates, and/or the way stakeholders interact with the JCRA. The review focuses on the operation of the JCRA itself, but also considers the broader policy and institutional context in which the JCRA operates.
Oxera’s review entailed an extensive consultation process with a range of stakeholders. In addition, we looked at the legal framework for competition and regulation, examined past reviews that have considered the role of the JCRA, and assessed information from publicly available sources, as well as literature on best-practice principles applicable to small economies.
We reviewed five key areas as part of the review:
- the organisational structure of the JCRA;
- interaction and relationship with government;
- the competition framework;
- the regulatory framework;
- the appeals mechanism.
For each area, specific recommendations are set out throughout the report. The intention is that the 23 recommendations are considered as a package that could lead to significant improvements in the operation of the competition and regulatory regime in Jersey. Some of the recommendations require changes in legislation, while others can be implemented by the JCRA itself, or require government involvement.
We understand that the States of Jersey will now work with the JCRA to develop an action plan and implement the report’s recommendations.