Auditor General called in over Police HQ fiasco
Jersey's Auditor General has been called in to investigate the botched purchase of a new police headquarters.
A scrutiny panel probe into the loss of the Lime Grove House in central St Helier has raised serious concerns about government integrity.
After the purchase of the property fell through, a scrutiny panel was formed to look at what led to the failure and the financial implications of that.
It has been estimated that the saga has cost the States £100,000, although Treasury Minister Philip Ozouf told us last week this figure is more like £60,000 - because £40,000 worth for architectural work can be reapplied elsewhere.
The site was initially the first phase of the Jersey's Office Strategy - a project which had already taken a decade to get going. The panel now believes the project will be stalled for at least two or three years.
Senator Ozouf has promised to deliver a new police HQ on the approved budget of £19 million.
During the review, the panel identified various issues which they were unable to investigate because they fell outside of their remit, including whether the transaction was carried out in the best interests of the States and if the procedures for the purchase of the property were appropriate.
Now all of the paperwork has been handed to Auditor General Chris Swinson for some answers.
Mr Swinson said: "As there are a number of detailed points of evidence to resolve, it is possible that the investigation may take some time. I will however use my best endeavours to publish a report as soon as possible."