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Ozouf apology letter to Chief Minister over Petty Debts "oversights" revealed

Ozouf apology letter to Chief Minister over Petty Debts

Monday 06 February 2023

Ozouf apology letter to Chief Minister over Petty Debts "oversights" revealed

Monday 06 February 2023

The External Relations Minister has pledged to not to let “oversights” in his personal life happen again after losing responsibility for financial services amid concerns over the reputational impact of his recent three Petty Debts summons.

In a letter to Deputy Kristina Moore sent on Sunday, and made public this afternoon alongside a reply, Deputy Philip Ozouf said: “As Chief Minister you have rightly set out the need for a government that delivers for Jersey and conducts itself against the highest standards. I accept that this requirement extends to both professional and personal affairs.

"Recent oversights in the administration of my personal affairs should not have occurred and I apologise for this. Personal matters need to be dealt with properly and pressures of work are not an acceptable reason for letting matters slip. I recognise that being in public office requires the need to maintain the highest of standards of personal administration. This is a requirement of all ministers including myself. I have undertaken to you not to allow issues of this nature to re-occur."

Just four days after stating that Ministers should only be "judged on how they perform on their official role" rather than their private lives, Deputy Moore confirmed in an email to States Members on Sunday that Deputy Ozouf would no longer be carrying responsibility for financial services, stating that "Ministers must uphold and be seen to uphold the highest standards in all aspects of their lives".

Instead, financial services will be looked after by the Chief Minister, Deputy Chief Minister Kirsten Morel, and the Treasury and Social Security Ministers Ian Gorst and Elaine Millar - the latter two acting as Assistant Chief Ministers.

The U-turn over Deputy Ozouf's role has since drawn strong criticism.

Deputy Lyndon Farnham called the handling of the situation by the Chief Minister as a "shambles", while Deputy Sam Mézec accused Deputy Kristina Moore of creating "political instability".

"Our financial services industry is vitally important to Jersey's economic wellbeing and the employment of many thousands of Islanders. This year the industry will be subject to an extremely important assessment from MONEYVAL, and it is essential that we have strong political leadership in place so that every effort is constantly being made to ensure that Jersey complies with all the required international standards on governance and transparency in this industry," he said.

He later added: ""This episode is already likely to have undermined public trust in the government. The Chief Minister must account for these events in an open and transparent manner, to prevent developing further disillusionment."

More to follow tomorrow...


External Relations Minister Deputy Philip Ozouf's letter to Chief Minister Kristina Moore...


The Chief Minister's response...



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