Tuesday, 12 June 2012

Vote of Censure Lodged.

Today, the long awaited, Vote Of Censure against the Treasury Minister, Senator Philip Ozouf was lodged by Senator Sarah Ferguson and signed by Constable Dan Murphy, Deputy Roy Le Herissier and Former Assistant Treasury Minister Deputy John Le Fondre. Who have also issued a Press Release (Below).

Proposition of a vote of censure of Senator P F C Ozouf:
"The Proposition, seeking a vote of censure, is in regard to the conduct of the Treasury Minister cited in two recent reports by the Comptroller and Auditor General.

The emphasis of the proposition is upon reported behaviour which falls well below the standards required of a Minister.  The signatories are strongly of the view that the cornerstone of parliamentary government is accountability.

The summary dismissal of the Reports in the Assembly by the Chief Minister, presumably speaking for the Council of Ministers, was a worrying development.  Instead of a considered reaction to the Reports, the Chief Minister and the Treasury Minister reacted immediately and, in the case of the Treasury Minister, cast serious aspersions upon the integrity of the Comptroller and Auditor General.

We hold no brief for the Comptroller and Auditor General.  However, we believe he plays a vital role in maintaining checks and balances and we believe his Reports contain information, concerning the conduct of the Treasury Minister, which must be the subject of a thorough and considered debate." (END)

The proposition can be read HERE where it tells us there are 6 areas of concern for the proposers and they are.

1. Members will have heard the Minister for Treasury and Resources claiming that it is his job to challenge Officers and also to achieve best value for the States. We have no problem with this. Unfortunately, we have learned of a pattern of excessive challenging of officers, whether they are the Chief Executive or the Director of Property Holdings, which goes beyond that which is considered reasonable. In short, there is documented evidence by the Comptroller and Auditor General of bullying by the Minister for Treasury and Resources. We do not consider that bullying has any part to play in a robust and challenging environment, and it is particularly inappropriate behaviour for a government Minister to engage in.

2. There has been criticism by the Minister for Treasury and Resources of the price offered by Jersey Property Holdings for Lime Grove House. Should that price have been challenged? Indubitably. But when that price was confirmed by independent third-party professionals – as opposed to informal comments – should the challenge not have ceased? Instead, reliance continued to be placed on informal valuations which had not been tested to the extent that the formal valuations had been. The specialist knowledge held by the specialist officers, not the politicians, was ignored. Why was this the case?

3. The attempt to impugn the integrity and reputation of the Director of Jersey Property Holdings in order to avoid paying compensation for premature termination of his employment contract is also particularly pernicious, and is not acceptable behaviour for any elected official, particularly that of a senior Minister.

4. The unpleasant situation in the Treasury Department described in the Report was compounded by the deliberate intention to delay the transaction. According to the Report, the Minister for Treasury and Resources was in communication with a director of the company which was developing the building on the Esplanade which might have been taken by the finance company, which was in competition for Lime Grove House. But this information was not given to States’ officers or possibly to anyone else working on the project. In fact, the Minister for Treasury and Resources was deliberately trying to delay the project.1 This is most inexplicable, given the Minister’s remit for defending the public purse and, coupled with his reliance on informal valuations; it also raises serious doubts about the motives of the Minister for Treasury and Resources during the process of acquiring Lime Grove.

5. On 27th October 2010, the Minister for Treasury and Resources and the Deputy Chief Executive met with the former Managing Director and the Finance Director of WEB. The officers of WEB were told that the former Chief Minister had approved the request for WEB to provide services to the Minister for Treasury and Resources and the Deputy Chief Executive. The former Chief Minister, when interviewed, stated that he had not approved the request and, indeed, did not know in advance or approve of the exclusion of Jersey Property Holdings from the Lime Grove House transaction.2

6. Misleading the States and the Corporate Services Scrutiny Panel when stating that in order to meet £65 million savings a culture change would be required to achieve the necessary organisational changes, even though the Chief Executive made it known that it was not possible to carry out an office strategy at the same time as the Comprehensive Spending Review. (END)

Regular readers/viewers will be aware that we have interviewed the key players in this saga (before the proposition was lodged) and offer the interviews (below) as a "one stop shop" for the most in-depth and informative analyses of this subject, not offered by the State Media. We ask the questions not asked by the State Media and just as importantly give a balanced perspective not given by parts of the State Media.







13 comments:

  1. How much of this is about a vote of censure and how much of it is more about a witch hunt against the treasury minister?

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  2. http://ricosorda.blogspot.com/2012/06/electoral-commission-another-shambles.html

    Electoral Commission disappearing into the continued farce that is "Jurassic Jersey"

    rs

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  3. Sorry VFC - off tack a wee bit, but I am delighted to see that in today's RAG Jersey has had an 'unexpected' £72,000,000 shortfall reduced to £12,000,000 due to higher tax collection and budget underspends.

    No excuse to question the £2,000,000 cost of a Committee of Inquiry then really is there? Indeed rather than water it down, it can be even more open-ended!!

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  4. Jill.

    It's all down to priorities. Philip Bailhache will be looking to pull a rabbit (£14m) out of the hat to purchase Plemont. Yet there's not enough money to pay for school milk (children) There's not enough money to fund the trips to Durrell (children) There's not enough money to keep a child psychologist employed (children). There's not enough money for a Committee of enquiry into the decades of Child Abuse that went on (children). But a plot of land, worth up to a reported £14m and a chance of some good press from the State Media? There's no holding Senator Bailhache back!

    Priorities........................

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  5. http://ricosorda.blogspot.com/2011/11/scrutiny-review-findings-1.html

    Hi VFC,

    I will be publishing some old postings over the coming days. I will be reminding people of the Cover-up

    rs

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  6. ozouf is giving money away wholesale to show what a nice boy he is before the censure motion against him.

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  7. Rico, the channel online story you linked to is a further outrage to the abuse survivors. The commenters are paedophile apologists. It's horrible! Neither the reporters there nor their commenters have any grasp of the evidence and it is obvious why. They are on a mission of their own.

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  8. Congrats on the OBE Mick

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  9. http://www.channelonline.tv/channelonline/DisplayArticle.asp?ID=492864

    listen to this interview with Deputy Sean Power. It really does sum up the calibre of our States Members. He was caught red handed and yet can't even admit it.

    ReplyDelete