The Corporate Services Scrutiny Panel has today published its report on the Jersey International Finance Centre (JIFC).
The report contains a detailed examination of the JIFC project, including, in particular, analysis of the Esplanade Masterplan and the conditions imposed upon the States of Jersey Development Company (SOJDC) by the States of Jersey, in relation to when a development could commence.
Amongst other things, the report finds that:
•The States set down conditions that SOJDC had to meet before starting a particular development
•The Panel does not agree with the interpretation of how a condition was applied in order to justify starting construction of Building 4 (Now called IFC1).
•Construction of Building 4 commenced with a pre-let of 24%. This has, at best, stretched the condition set by the States.
There is a risk that key parts of the Esplanade Masterplan may never materialise
•There is evidence that shows that in 2008 (just after the Masterplan was approved by the States Assembly) the financial implications of the plans at that time were revised, and showed a loss of £50m rather than the receipt of £75m that had previously been held out to States Members.
•The Panel welcomes the current review of the Esplanade Masterplan, which is something that the Panel recommended in its interim report in October 2015.
The Panel’s interim report included a report by its advisors, EY. This report draws all elements of the review together, building on the interim report and the advice of EY. Further details are covered in the Executive Summary, the Chairman’s Foreword, Findings and Recommendations, and indeed the full body of the report.
Chairman of the Panel, Deputy John Le Fondré, commented:
“The Panel is pleased to present its report on the JIFC. The Esplanade site is in a strategically important location and has been developed piece-meal over a number of years. The relevant parties now need to learn from the mistakes that have taken place and fulfil the original intention of giving a Jersey flavour to an important landmark site which is a gateway to the Island. Development of the site will inevitably include offices, but these should not be the only driver.
We welcome the current review of the Esplanade Masterplan and we hope that our report will be a helpful contribution to the wider debate on the best use of the site.”