Ministers are “frustrated” that the £3m payment for the 2,000-year-old Le Câtillon coin hoard still hasn’t been made due to “governance” issues.
Richard Miles and Reg Mead found the clump of Celtic treasure, which includes gold torques, silver coins, gold and silver jewellery, in Grouville in 2012.
For the finders to be paid, the Government must first make a payment to the hoard's official owner, the Crown. It will then be for the Receiver General - the Queen's on-island land and treasure representative - to compensate the finders.
But the Chief Minister, Senator John Le Fondré, yesterday told the States Assembly the payment still hadn’t been made following a question from Grouville's Constable, John Le Maistre.
Inquiring about the payment, which Treasury Minister Deputy Susie Pinel revealed last month was due to be around £3,000,512, the Constable noted he had been asking questions about it for a year. Senator Le Fondré said he and other Ministers were “equally frustrated” with the delay.
He then went on to explain the delay had been caused by “issues around making sure payments of a one-off or special nature need to be dealt with in a very special way”, adding, “as some of us bear the scars of” - a potential allusion to the £500,000 exit payment made to former CEO Charlie Parker, which was the subject of criticism as it involved a "technical breach" of Government rules.
Pictured: The Chief Minister, John Le Fondré said Ministers were "frustrated" by the delay.
The Chief Minister said the “implementation of the [coin hoard] payment” had been slowed down by governance and said officers have been told to “expedite this as swiftly as they can."
“I would have hoped to have been in the position of saying this has been resolved before the summer and we’re not there yet,” he said. “It is very much a matter of the i’s being dotted and the t’s being crossed.”
Pushed to confirm when the payment was likely to happen, the Chief Minister said it was “imminent”, as there was one final element to be resolved.
“I am told that it will be during the course of this week,” he told the Assembly, before adding he would remind officers of it “very shortly”.
The hoard of 69,347 coins, which broke the Guinness World Record for ‘Largest collection of Iron Age coins discovered’ in 2020, had previously been valued by the UK Treasury and Valuation Committee at around £2.5m. It has subsequently been valued again by a specialist French firm.
Earlier this year, the Assistant Minister with responsibility for culture, Deputy Kirsten Morel, said the Government was close to proposing a value that the Crown said it would be willing to accept.
While Deputy Pinel told the Assembly £3,000,512 was due to be paid, Express understands that a higher sum was originally discussed.
When contacted by Express, the Government only replied: “The formal process for the Government to make a payment to the Crown. [sic] The Receiver General at the Lieutenant-Governor’s office would then be responsible for making a payment to the finders.”
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