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#IJCI some initial thoughts ahead of tomorrow

The Oldham report highlights a political approach that in the past too often failed to ask questions and failed to recognise the importance of learning from evidence from the world beyond Jersey Jersey has much to be proud and has achieved much over the centuries which has changed the world around us for the better However like many places the Jersey Authorities from the 50’s to early 2000’s did not acknowledge the existence of Child Abuse The Oldham Report acknowledges it was not intentional However it is clear that this attitude failed and damaged irrevocably the lives of many There should have been for more questioning by politicians There has been too much reliance on process and hierarchy If a minister has appointed or accepted the continued employment of their most senior and therefore accountable that minister – whether assistant or not – is  responsible for the acts and decisions of those officials and departments whether they know or knew of those acts or them or not It’s the fundamental foundation stone of parliamentary democracy There has been a failure to take responsibility There has been a failure to act There has been a failure to put in place the appropriate and qualified leadership in the States This has failed children and others for too long The expression the ‘Jersey Way’ was in common parlance 10 or more years ago and has recently re-surfaced Some will disagree, but to me this terminology has always had too many associations with isolationism inward-looking island nationalism a closed society  sweeping things under the carpet being secretive and segregated detached  a blinkered parochial approach...

Updated Statement 18 June 2016

Why am I writing this blog? The Chief Minister is facing a Vote-of-Confidence Whilst I have always supported the CM he is being pressurised by an unnamed group of people – and for the vote on Tuesday – members of the States including some ministers – who are demanding my re-appointment should be reversed.  Certain ministers are conditioning their support justifying their demands because they have never agreed with me being a member of the Council of Ministers and/or they disagree with the CM’s Statement of the Jessica Simor QC report into the Jersey Innovation Fund.  Democracy is about debate, discussion and appropriate challenge: it is how politics works. Ministers are responsible and accountable for policy decisions that impact people’s lives.  The Jersey Action Group have run an online campaign against me. They have published the Ozouf Dossier This has the risk of compromising my ability to serve – I have now no option to defend myself. I will always put people and Jersey first. Votes of No Confidence Chris Taylor, the Constable of St John, first threatened a vote of no confidence in October 2016.                   The C&AG report into the Innovation Fund was published on the 12th January 2017.               Any member is entitled to bring a Vote of No Confidence in any Minister, Assistant Minister, the Council of Ministers or the Chief Minister. That’s democracy at work.   A proposition was finally lodged on the 7th June 2017.                 There are three reasons cited for the...

Updated Statement 18th June 2017

Why am I writing this blog? I have no option but to speak out as it’s clear the CM – who I support – is being pressurised by an unnamed group of people who are demanding my head for allegations that have either been investigated and dealt with and being tried by kangaroo courts with no option to defend myself. I will always put Jersey first. But what has been going on in recent days is beyond the pale. Votes of No Confidence A vote of no confidence was threatened in October 2016 by Chris Taylor, the Constable of St John. The C&AG report into the Innovation Fund was published on the 12th January 2017. Any member is entitled to bring a Vote of No Confidence in any Minister, Assistant Minister, the Council of Ministers or the Chief Minister. That’s democracy at work. 9 months of after threatening, a proposition was lodged on the 7th June 2016. The are three reasons cited for the Vote of No Confidence in the Chief Minister 1. Hospital Funding late withdrawal 2. Alleged failures in Human Resources 3. Innovation Fund – disputed findings of Simor Inquiry I wish to serve the people of Jersey, and, as repeated, doing so with a defined role and a States-Assembly mandate to discharge the job that I have been asked to do. The pressure to resign, and leaks of my alleged sacking, is intensifying ahead of the Vote of No Confidence in the Chief Minister which has been brought allegedly for a number of reasons.  My reappointment is Now said to be the catalyst. However, the proposition...

FOI Question on Expenses – voluntary enhanced disclosures

Here is what I hope is an a more detailed explanation to the Expenses which were answered in a recent FOI. The FOI answer https://www.gov.je/Freedom%20of%20Information%20library/ID%20FOI%20Senator%20Ozouf%20Expenses%2020170221.pdf BACKGROUND Jersey has some of the far reaching Freedom of Imformation Laws of any country. Here is our law https://www.jerseylaw.je/laws/enacted/Pages/L-15-2014.aspx                                                    The following request was received.   The following answer was given                                                       My concern is that the data issued had no explanation. It does not the full picture of a ministers  travel, transportation and accomdation costs. There is understable concern amongst most islanders say that expenses should be valid and justified. After numerous scandals about in the expanses of UK MP’s and other places – it’s quite understandable the public want assurances that there are not incidents such as the expense of business class travel to Cape Town. Whilst there had been previous little criticism in Jersey about expenses – as its public money the public has a right to know more than just the totals but the detail of expenses should explain the activity, why it was incurred and justified.  I announced some ago the intention to publish a more detailed breakdown of the expenses.  An FOI been published from records held, however it is not complete and doesn’t not give the information. I’ve spent of hours of work to check the information published...

Statement 17th June 2017

I am once again being pressurised to resign, step down. The pressure is coming from within and without the States. There is a specific online campaign group which has published an ‘Ozouf Dossier’. This alone has generated a significant amount of social media comment – much of it by anonymous, shadowy figures hiding behind aliases. The Waterfront Action Group or Jersey Action Group is attacking me again after ditching its obsession with campaigning just against the International Finance Centre. This group has said the Finance Centre was going to bankrupt Jersey, wasn’t needed, and prejudiced the private sector. They have said: Jersey’s Public Finances had a massive inherited and previously hidden black hole which I was responsible for and we were going to go into massive debt. The Finance sector is going into melt down and zero-ten is a disaster. Police Station was a disaster and should have been built at Lime Grove and the existing site. And so on and so on. There are certainly some issues which should not have been allowed to happen by this and the previous Council of Ministers. The Group’s grievances have caused huge angst and arguably have been an extraordinary waste and diversion of valuable time. This group appear to be riding on a wave of global dislike for the ruling establishment – most especially me – as they see them and riding the crest of the wave of the issues which have gone wrong in Jersey such as the Innovation Fund and so on. This group is an alliance of the the genuinely dissatisfied, often undisclosed conflicted self-interested vested interests who...

Statement Regarding Jersey Innovation Fund Review

I wish to echo the disappointment and dismay of the Chief Minister with the findings of the Comptroller & Auditor General in respect of the Jersey Innovation Fund. That dismay is of course shared by members of this Assembly and many Islanders. However, whilst disappointed, I was not surprised. The report documented many of my own concerns, concerns that I had expressed on repeated occasions to the JIF Accounting Officer, the Chief Minister, my own Accounting Officer and the Chief Executive of the States and others. As the Comptroller and Auditor General recognised, the Jersey Innovation Fund was – and remains – a positive idea. Our future economic growth and diversification depends on competition and innovation. The portfolio of Innovation was given to me in November 2014. However legal responsibility for the Jersey Innovation Fund was not transferred by this Assembly to me until January 2016. This delay prevented me from being able to discharge that role. That said, as the Assistant Chief Minister with current responsibility for Innovation, I accept the recommendations of the Comptroller & Auditor General in full. I have not been able to comment on the operational changes to JIF since the C&AG launched her inquiry – to do so would prejudice her work. However, I can confirm that many of the recommendations have already been implemented because of the actions taken last year. The Chief Minister last week committed to a review of political involvement with JIF and separately, through the Chief Executive of the States, a review of officer involvement. I endorse this approach wholeheartedly: I will fully support and willingly participate in...
🇯🇪 Jersey becoming an Innovation Leader

🇯🇪 Jersey becoming an Innovation Leader

The Innovation Report  At the heart of our Strategic Plan is a vision for Jersey to become an innovation leader Evidence is clear that, in a world where labour and capital resources are finite, innovation is key to unlocking economic growth and job creation. And with the economic uncertainty surrounding Brexit and the UK’s forthcoming negotiations with the EU, there is an even greater imperative for Jersey’s Government and business community to continue to raise standards of innovation and competitiveness. Implementing the recommendations of the Innovation Review is critical to this. Published in September 2015, the Review made suggestions as to how we can create an environment in which entrepreneurs can flourish and businesses can prosper. Since its release, our Innovation Review team have been working hard with delivery partners to make its recommendations become reality. We are now starting to see some results from the Review and I want to offer my thanks to the team and to the many departments and delivery partners who have been responsible for implementation. Advances have been made in a number of key areas over the past six months: • An independent external expert is being appointed to evaluate the economic performance of the Jersey Innovation Fund and recommend the future policy approach to the funding of innovation. In support of this work, the Funding of Innovation Steering Group has been established to propose options for the future funding of innovative new business ideas in Jersey. The Steering Group comprises experienced individuals from the private and public sector (recommendations 1, 2, 3 and 5). • A pilot scheme is making it easier...

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