Government accepts most of Scrutiny report findings

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a ‘substantial’ property portfolio was being mismanaged, with some ‘prominent and culturally significant properties’ in the public estate having lain empty for years.

It has accepted 17, partially accepted seven and rejected four recommendations from the Public Accounts Committee, which highlighted that while significant buildings lay unused, others ‘with limited financial or social value’ were maintained or repaired annually ‘at huge cost’.

PAC chairperson Deputy Inna Gardiner called on the government to act ‘without further delay’ over its £1 billion property portfolio, ‘to restore and maintain public trust and confidence in its ability to manage the public estate’.

The government accepted that there should be a review of the purpose and aims of the Jersey Development Company, adding that the Treasury Minister planned to initiate ‘exactly such a review’, which would be wide-ranging.

It also accepted a recommendation that ‘any future asset management system should be fully utilised, to ensure value for money and aid a co-ordinated approach to property management and maintenance’, and a recommendation that filling vacancies in the Infrastructure, Housing and Environment Department and Jersey Property Holdings needed to be given ‘top priority’.

However, the government rejected a request for an ‘urgent assessment’ of the human and financial resources needed to deliver the implementation of its estate strategy, saying it had already been reviewed.

In its report, the PAC noted that some of its recommendations had been rejected or partially accepted, and would be presenting a comments paper on the response ‘in due course’.

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