THE Chief Minister has said ministers should be judged by ‘how they perform in their official role’ rather than their private lives, after the Financial Services Minister received his third Petty Debts summons in three months.
Deputy Philip Ozouf was called before the court yesterday morning after St-Helier-based GP surgery Health Plus Ltd claimed that he had not paid a bill. The case was adjourned for four weeks.
The minister had also been summoned in December over an unpaid St Saviour parish rates bill, and another bill of £2,500 relating to properties in Trinity. Both were paid shortly before the cases reached court.
The latest summons came just days after the Chief Minister confirmed in a letter that Deputy Ozouf would retain the Financial Services portfolio, despite previous plans to hand this to its former holder, Treasury Minister Deputy Ian Gorst.
Deputy Ozouf did not provide a comment when contacted by Bailiwick Express and the JEP, but told ITV this week that the summons related to a ‘private family matter’.
He said an ‘oversight’ had occurred in respect of a £179 bill, adding that ‘corrective action is being taken to ensure that if there are any other matters that have not been dealt with they will be’.
As Financial Services Minister, Deputy Ozouf is responsible for leading efforts to prepare for an evaluation by European monitoring group Moneyval, which is assessing the Island’s compliance with international standards.
Chief Minister Kristina Moore commented: ‘Recent media reports about Deputy Ozouf relate to a private matter and are not linked to his work as a minister.
‘Ministers should be judged on how they perform in their official role and Deputy Ozouf is doing an excellent job as Minister for External Relations and Financial Services – improving our relations with the UK, France and beyond, preparing for our Moneyval assessment and promoting our financial services industry.’