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Cock up or cover up? What exactly happened down at the fuel farm?

Cock up or cover up? What exactly happened down at the fuel farm?

Wednesday 18 May 2016

Cock up or cover up? What exactly happened down at the fuel farm?


Have the States let the Island down by failing to take control of our fuel supply? It is a question that the Scrutiny spending watchdog wants to answer today.

The Public Accounts Committee is grilling the Jersey Development Company and Ports of Jersey this afternoon to find out if it would be better if taxpayers owned the fuel farm, rather than a private foreign-owned company.

The fuel farm is run by French firm Rubis, which has recently extended its lease of the States-owned site. Infrastructure Minister Eddie Noel negotiated the deal despite objections from rival fuel supplier ATF Fuels, who said they could supply fuel to Islanders cheaper than Rubis.

Ahead of today's hearing, PAC chairman Deputy Andrew Lewis said: "This looks like a clear example of no joined-up thinking. 18 months before re-signing the lease, the States had an opportunity to buy the fuel farm equipment off Rubis, which would have allowed us to move it closer to the tanker berth and free up valuable space at La Collette. Where the farm is now, development is severely restricted by safety regulations brought in after the Buncefield fire.

"But PAC can see no evidence of that possibility ever going before the Council of Ministers. Was it a cock-up or cover up? It was more likely to be the former because it was easier to make no decision than to think strategically. Remember, the States-owned Ports of Jersey is now running the Airport fuel farm so we have the capability. The States could either offer lower fuel prices to Islanders or use the extra money to plug the deficit. We'll explore all these options at the hearing."

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Posted by Trevor Carre on
The States should have employed a UK consultant for a pay out of £500k to look into the possibility, so that then they could have said they looked into it and then ignored the advise as usual.
Posted by nigel pearce on
Probably both.
What has happened to our chief minister? Is he still in charge overall or has he abandoned all responsibility for being the supposed leader of the States?
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