The States has published its travel expenses for January to June last year following criticism from the Public Accounts Committee earlier this month over its failure to disclose up-to-date details of claims exceeding £500 – something which was promised in the wake of the flights-cost scandal of 2016.
In February 2016 the JEP revealed that two senior civil servants spent £13,000 of public money on flexible business-class flights to Cape Town to attend a mining conference, sparking a public outcry.
Following the story’s publication, the PAC recommended that from January 2017 the States chief executive should ‘regularly and routinely’ publish travel expenditure of more than £500 for all departments at a ‘minimum of six-monthly intervals’. According to the latest figures, a total of £82,955 was spent on flights and transport costing more than £500 between January and June last year.
The Bailiff’s Chambers had the largest single claim – £3,604 – for a business-class flight to Dubai for an eight-day trip to attend a conference of speakers and presiding officers of the Commonwealth.
Health and Community Services was the department which made the highest number of claims. The department’s 37 claims included ‘continual professional development’, student training and bringing a candidate to the Island for interview.
In comparison, for the first half of 2017, the travel expenses claims bill was £64,438, and in the second half of that year almost double that amount was spent – £120,649.