ATF Fuels (ATF) have welcomed the news that Kassie Smith QC of Monckton Chambers will steer an investigation into why the Channel Island Competition Regulation Authority (CICRA) incorrectly ruled that ATF had abused its market position. This decision from the regulator lead to legal proceedings that came at a cost of around £500,000 to taxpayers, when ATF refused to continue an unlawful arrangement at Jersey’s airport.
ATF’s COO Jonathan Best commented: ‘We are reassured that someone of Ms Smith’s calibre and experience has been appointed to lead this investigation. The recent comments from CICRA have demonstrated that they still don’t comprehend their own failings as an organisation, and that this review is more needed than ever.
Whilst we are pleased that the review will focus on the court case surrounding the airport fuel supply, we would like to see a further, wider review follow this one. Questions need to be asked about how Jersey has ended up with a fuel monopoly in the first place, and why CICRA enabled this situation, by allowing Rubis’s acquisition of La Collette Terminal.
We also know that other industries, such as telecoms, would like a review to consider decisions relating to them. The majority of the Royal Court decisions that CICRA have lost have been telecoms related, despite CICRA claiming that their work in the telecoms industry has been a success. This doesn’t make sense.
We also hope that new States Members, and in particular the new Chief Minister, will support this review, as well as any necessary changes in terms of how the regulator operated. CICRA’s decisions regarding things like fuel prices directly impact the day-to-day cost of living for Jersey people, and cannot be left unchecked.’