Charter flight for Estonian Ambassador (FOI)
Charter flight for Estonian Ambassador (FOI)Produced by the Freedom of Information office
Authored by States of Jersey and published on 05 July 2017.
In December 2016 Senator Ozouf commissioned a private plane to take Lauri Bambus, the Estonian Ambassador, to the UK at a reported costs to the tax payer of £4,050.
Did the Senator comply with all the required States of Jersey protocols to sign off such an expense?
After recovery of costs, through insurance etc, what was the final cost of the flight paid for by the taxpayer?
Ministers and Assistant Ministers with delegated powers are ultimately responsible for departmental budgets. In the normal course of business, expenditure decisions are taken by the Accounting Officer although Ministers are capable, in exceptional circumstance, of overriding an Accounting Officer decision by way of letter of instruction.
The Ambassador’s scheduled flight was cancelled late into the evening of 17 November 2016 and no other scheduled airline alternatives were available that night or until the afternoon of 18 November 2016. Prior to committing this expenditure on private aviation, the Assistant Chief Minister tried to consult with officials during the night of 17 November but was unsuccessful. Consequently, the he took the decision to charter the private flight.
The actual gross cost of the flight was £4,050 and was charged to the States of Jersey. A rebate of £1,500 was refunded to the States of Jersey on 15 December 2016 for the sale by the charter of the return empty leg back to Jersey. Accordingly the current cost borne by the States of Jersey is £2,550.
Further refunds remain pending of £1,080 and will come from statutory compensation payable to the passengers together with refund of airline charges from the scheduled carrier and are to be paid to the States of Jersey when received. These are still being pursued with the relevant authorities. Accordingly, the estimated final cost to the States of Jersey is £1,470, subject to the above.