The Corporate Services Scrutiny Panel has been denied the opportunity to review the proposals to fund the new hospital through a £400 million bond, which are due to be debated on 17th January 2017.
The purpose of the review would have been to report to States Members and the public on the proposals to issue a bond and to identify any appropriate alternative funding options that merit further consideration. Crucially, the review would also have assessed the proposed use of the Strategic Reserve as part of the "blended" funding strategy.
In light of the Christmas and New Year break, the Panel asked the Minister for Treasury and Resources to delay the debate by 4 weeks to enable it to carry out a full scrutiny review using independent expert advisors. The Minster initially offered a 2 week delay, but then withdrew the offer and insisted that the debate proceed on 17th January 2017.
Deputy John Le Fondré, Chairman of the Panel commented:
"This is the largest amount of debt the States of Jersey has ever taken on, and a delay to the debate of four-weeks seemed entirely reasonable, given the circumstances. We had advisors lined up who could have reported by 14th February, however the Minister has refused Scrutiny the time to do its job. I will be making a statement in the States Assembly on this matter next week."