Last month, the Jersey Competition Regulatory Authority fined JT £675,000 and Sure £135,000 for ‘serious breaches’ of their licence obligations between January and April 2020.
The cause of most of the disruption was, according to the regulator, JT’s call-handling agent infrastructure. There were complete outages in the 999 service on two occasions and four times the States police had to step in and field emergency calls.
After the fines were issued the JCRA proposed that the funds be ringfenced for reinvestment in the Island’s emergency call system.
But a government spokesperson said that this would not be the case.
‘Once we receive the fine imposed on JT and Sure, it will go into our consolidated fund,’ she said. ‘However, it cannot be ringfenced or spent on a specific project without it either being included in the next Government Plan or if a decision is made by the Treasury Minister to spend an equivalent amount this year from the general reserve. That would require a business case.’
The consolidated fund is effectively the government’s current account, while the general reserve can be used to fund one-off investments that emerge as priorities.
The government declined to comment on why it does not run the emergency call centre rather than JT or whether the money collected from the fines would be used to set up such a service. The Justice and Home Affairs Department did not wish to comment on the matter. JT also declined to comment.