Friday 21 April 2017
The Population Management Office has confirmed that transitioning from the former housing licence system, with about 900 applications made under the Housing Control Law still to process, to dealing with applications under the new law, has resulted in longer turnaround times in the short term.
More than 200 applications have been made since the new population management law came into effect.
Esther Ingrouille, Administrator of Population Management, said:
'This is a time of the year when, under the former Housing Control Law, we would usually expect to have a high volume of live applications in progress.
Right now, we have approximately 900 applications that were made under the old system and many of the 200+ applications made under the Population Management Law cover periods of time before that law was in force. This means that there is on-going "transitional" work for the team here to manage, and this adds to the complexity of processing these particular applications. The team continues to work really hard to process applications, but it is going to take a little time, perhaps a month or more, for us to get up to date with processing. When we do, we expect that our application turnaround times will be significantly quicker than they have been in the past.
Added to the processing work, we've also had a high volume of enquiries as customers get used to the new law and, despite our best efforts to engage with employers via leaflets and a series of masterclasses over the last 12 months explaining the changes and the on-line system, some employers are only now starting to get on board.'
Mrs Ingrouille said the team had also needed to adapt at short notice to new transitional arrangements for some guest workers, as a result of the States of Deliberation's decision.
'At short notice, we produced tri-lingual information, in the form of letters, fliers and posters, to explain the change to the transitional arrangements made by the States only a few days before the Population Management Law came into force.
The first couple of weeks have been pretty hectic as both the team and our customers get used to a very different way of working. As you would expect with any new IT system, some aspects of it need fine tuning. The good news is that the portal has been developed locally, and we have a strong and long-standing working relationship with our IT provider, so as we find we need to make tweaks and changes they can react very quickly.
This system has to cater for all our customers, from large employers right through to students taking on their first part-time job, all of whom now use our portal to make their applications online. This online application system is a massive venture for the States to undertake, and we are helping our customers through the online application process when they need a little support.
We are committed to offering a first class service to all our customers, but we are asking for those who have made applications to bear with us as we clear the backlog from the former system and transition to the new.'