Monday, 21 February 2011

The COCF "Could" be used.

WRITTEN QUESTION TO THE MINISTER FOR TREASURY AND RESOURCES

BY SENATOR F. du H. LE GRESLEY

ANSWER TO BE TABLED ON TUESDAY 15th FEBRUARY 2011

Question

Would the Minister, after consultation with H.M. Attorney General if necessary, advise if the use of money in the Criminal Offences Confiscations Fund could be applied for the purpose of funding the cost of a Committee of Inquiry into historical child abuse by virtue of Article 24 (4)(a)(ii) of the Proceeds of Crime (Jersey) Law 1999 which states that “the Fund shall be applied by the Minister…. in promoting or supporting measures that, in the opinion of the Minister, may assist….. in dealing with the consequences of criminal conduct”?

Would the Minister also advise the current balance of the Criminal Offences Confiscations Fund?

Answer

Having consulted with H.M. Attorney General, I have reached the view that monies in the Criminal Offences Confiscation Fund ("COCF") are unlikely to be capable of being applied for the purpose of funding the cost of a Committee of Inquiry into historical child abuse.

The COCF is established under Article 24 of the Proceeds of Crime (Jersey) Law 1999. Article 24(4) sets out the circumstances in which the COCF, which is separate from the general revenues of the States, can be used.

Article 24(4) and (5) are the relevant provisions:

(4) Subject to paragraph (5), monies in the Fund shall be applied by the Minister for the following purposes, that is to say –

(a) in promoting or supporting measures that, in the opinion of the Minister, may assist –

(i) in preventing, suppressing or otherwise dealing with criminal conduct,

(ii) in dealing with the consequences of criminal conduct, or

(iii) without prejudice to the generality of clauses (i) and (ii), in facilitating the enforcement of any enactment dealing with criminal conduct;

(b) discharging Jersey’s obligations under asset sharing agreements; and

(c) meeting the expenses incurred by the Minister in administering the Fund.

(5) Before promoting or supporting any measure under paragraph (4)(a), the Minister shall consult the Attorney General and other persons or bodies (including other Ministers) as the Minister considers appropriate.

Where there has already been a full criminal investigation and prosecutions have taken place, it would be difficult to construe such an Inquiry as "dealing with the consequences" of criminal conduct (Art 24(4)(ii)).

A final view could be taken when the terms of reference of any such Committee of Inquiry are published. However, on the basis of present information, any link with criminal conduct is likely to be indirect or tangential.

The total available balance in the COCF as at 31 December 2010 was £8,257,520. (End)
 
One has to ask are the Attorney General and the Treasury Minister looking for reasons as to how the COCF “CAN’T” be used to subsidies the PROMISED Committee of Enquiry, rather than looking at how it CAN be used?

It must be said that if this is their argument AGAINST any of the £8.2M being used then it is pretty lame. Put in the POSITIVE rather than the NEGATIVE then the Treasury Minister’s and Attorney General’s answers are, IMO, a good argument as to how the COCF COULD  be used.

Here is but one example……..there are plenty of others.

“(i) in preventing, suppressing or otherwise dealing with criminal conduct,”

With the right Terms of Reference the Committee of Enquiry could establish how it was possible for our children to be abused for decades, in the Jersey “care” system, without it coming to light. It could, with the right TOR, establish how NO SENIOR MANAGEMENT of the Jersey “care” homes have, to this day, ever been charged with abuse or covering it up. Then put measures in place to ensure that this is not able to happen again. Depending on the Committee of Enquiry’s findings, then those in Senior Management who have escaped justice, thus far, could then be prosecuted. Those who have been falsely accused can be given the opportunity to have their names cleared.

The bottom line is, that going by the Attorney General's and Treasury Minister's answers, the COCF COULD be used for a Committee of Enquiry. The question being do "they" want a Committee of Enquiry and could it's findings bring down the government (the Law Offices)? And doesn't that make the Attorney General, once more, wholly conflicted? What if the TOR  were wide enough to look into what the AG and Law Office(r)s have been to? Is it pure coincidence that no senior management have ever been charged? Is it coicidence that nobody with political responsibility for the "care" homes have ever been held to account, let alone charged? How does a senior Civil Servant at the Education Department remain in post while under investigation by the police? And how does the Chief of Police who are investigating the Civil Servant get, possibly "un-lawfully" suspended on alleged managerial issues?

And not least the victims and survivors of Jersey's "care" system will have their experiences put into the public domain and the History books. It will give some of them just a little closure, and the Council of Ministers would have delivered on a promise.

Supporters for a Committee of Enquiry have set up a Facebook page which is now gaining political support by a number of politicians joining the group. If you agree there should be a Committee of Enquiry, please go to this LINK and press "like."

23 comments:

  1. The real poopeaker21 February 2011 at 13:32

    No stopping Team Voice and again right on the money

    ReplyDelete
  2. Where there has already been a full criminal investigation and prosecutions have taken place, it would be difficult to construe such an Inquiry as "dealing with the consequences" of criminal conduct (Art 24(4)(ii)).

    How about dealing with the consequences of having to get through certain people first in relation to a full criminal investigation? Is this not a consequence of criminal conduct?

    ReplyDelete
  3. If the Attorney General wanted a Committee of Inquiry he could do it. He knows it the public knows it.

    That this is even being debated Pfffft.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Is it pure coincidence that no senior management have ever been charged? Is it coicidence that nobody with political responsibility for the "care" homes have ever been held to account, let alone charged?......................NO!

    ReplyDelete
  5. Another question that needs to be asked in the public States.

    Has at any time monies from this fund be allocated to projects by senior civil civil servants ?

    A lot of people know the answer to this,proof is buried deep in documents.

    Would you give away your fund when you and handfull of comarades can decide how it should be spent subject to wide guidelines.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Banners for next election, those who believe that the 'corporate soul' does not need to honour the promise given on its behalf by Frank Walker, should be listed under those who can never be trusted on any promises they give!!

    Perhaps list some of the broken promises, like raising GST etc..

    Not having a public inquiry, could be deemed anti democratic and anti trust.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Sadly, they just don't care.

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  8. The fund is not there for this kind of thing. Actually I would rather see the fund being used to improve childrens services than go over this old news all over again.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Old news it may be.

    I dont see how you can improve childrens services without a Committee of Inquiry and evidence of outstand issues to this day.

    You cant have one without the other.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Why waste taxpayers money on this?

    I work hard and pay taxes to be used on public services like health not to fund this

    ReplyDelete
  11. ''This kind of thing''?

    Child abuse exists in Jersey. Impalpable as it is.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Nick.

    Clearly you haven't read the Blog. Tax payers money, is not being asked for. It is the proceeds of crime money, the clue was in the title of the Blog and was spelt out in the content of the Blog. It's the "Criminal Offences Confiscation Fund. Hope that helps you.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Furthermore the Committee of Inquiry was promised in 2008. A draft proposition was prepared. Now if this wasn’t an empty promise, then the money for the COI would have been put aside in 2008. Surely the Council of Ministers weren’t telling lies in 2008 were they?

    ReplyDelete
  14. The Troll Catcher General21 February 2011 at 20:15

    "Why waste taxpayers money on this?

    I work hard and pay taxes to be used on public services like health not to fund this"

    Listen up Troll I will say this only once

    You didn't bother reading the post so

    "FCUK OFF" Im sick and tired of your negative junk on every outlet. LOWLIFE

    ReplyDelete
  15. The Troll Catcher General21 February 2011 at 20:34

    VFC

    Do not entertain anyone who doesn't even bother reading the main post. For anyone who thinks VFC could be stopping free speech you are wrong. Where he goes I go. It must no pollute these pages with it's vile trash.

    ReplyDelete
  16. Further to the money for this Committee of Enquiry. I re-produce this part from Deputy Bob Hill's amendment to Senator Le Gresley's Proposition (P19/2011).

    Financial and manpower implications

    It should be noted that the previous Council of Ministers did not produce any financial or manpower details; however a commitment was made irrespective of the cost. Members will recall the public assurances given that all necessary resources would be made available to enable a full investigation to be carried out relating to the historical child abuse enquiry. Therefore a sum of money must have been set aside. If it was not, then what does it say about the Council of Ministers’ intentions?

    Funding is not the proposer’s problem as nothing new is being proposed. The money set aside by the Council of Ministers in 2008 must still be available because of the commitment made. No doubt the Chief Minister will inform Members what sum of money was set aside.

    However, as a figure must be provided as per Standing Order 21(2), I estimate that the cost will be no greater than the provision made by the Chief Minister when the commitment to hold an inquiry was made, and in any event will be less than £500,000.

    ReplyDelete
  17. The Criminal Offences Confiscations Fund should only be used to enhance crime detection or prevent crime and not just for any enquiry and especially not one that the police have already covered back to front like this one. So I do not agree with this suggestion and doubt it will be approved by the Assembly anyhow.

    ReplyDelete
  18. Anon.

    Are you reading any of the Blog or any of the comments? Scroll up and you will see Deputy Hill’s “Financial and manpower implications.” The money would have, should have, been budgeted for in 2008.

    As for the COCF “only be used to enhance crime detection or prevent crime” you will need to read the Blog where that is covered also, here’s a part of it. “ With the right Terms of Reference the Committee of Enquiry could establish how it was possible for our children to be abused for decades, in the Jersey “care” system, without it coming to light. It could, with the right TOR, establish how NO SENIOR MANAGEMENT of the Jersey “care” homes have, to this day, ever been charged with abuse or covering it up. Then put measures in place to ensure that this is not able to happen again.”

    ReplyDelete
  19. My advice would be to put to one side the issue of funding the proposed Committee of Inquiry. The States, on behalf of the people of the Island, should concentrate on the principle of whether or not there should be such a COI.

    If the States decide that there should be a COI - and I personally think there should - then the Treasury Minister should be tasked with finding the necessary funding.
    Bob Hill's comments about the setting-aside of funding back in 2008 are most appropriate!

    Justice must be seen to be done. Just as funding for the overall cost to the States incurred in prosecuting - and defending - a major drug baron has been found then, in the interests of justice being seen to be done, funding for a COI should be found.

    ReplyDelete
  20. Here we have it in the treasury Minister's (AG's) own words.

    "A final view could be taken when the terms of reference of any such Committee of Inquiry are published".

    Like the Blog title says "the COCF "could" be used". It all depends on the Terms of Reference.

    ReplyDelete

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