Latest Blog News

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 BACKGROUND Jersey has some of the far reaching Freedom of Imformation Laws of any country. Here is our law                                                    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... read more

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... read more

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... read more

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