'Confusion' led to loss of up to £1.4M of Jersey public money

The Jersey Innovation Fund lost up to 1.4M of public money

Jersey's Chief Minister says Senator Philip Ozouf is not responsible for the loss of up to £1.4m of public money from the Jersey Innovation Fund.

The Assistant Chief Minister was in charge of the controversial loans scheme, which lent money to start-up businesses that was never paid back.

A damning report by Jersey's government watchdog later raised concern about suspected criminal activity linked to the Innovation Fund, which prompted Senator Ozouf to resign from his ministerial roles.

However, addressing politicians in today's States sitting, Chief Minister, Senator Ian Gorst, said Senator Ozouf could not be held responsible for the fund's failings.

He told the Assembly that "Senator Ozouf understood that the JIF was functioning effectively and he took action as soon as he discovered otherwise" and there was 'confusion' over which minister had ultimate legal responsibility for loan decisions, as well as who the officers involved answered to.

The Chief Minister says he is waiting for two separate reports concerning the role of officials involved with the fund and the scheme's financial status, which he says are expected 'shortly.'