Civil servant likely to be criticised after minister misled the House of Keys

David Killip

David Killip

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A senior civil servant is likely to be censured by Tynwald over his part in an affair in which a government minister misled the House of Keys.

David Killip, the chief executive of the Department of Health, is criticised in a report to Tynwald of the Standards and Members’ Interests Committee.

The issue stems back to a letter sent by hospital consultants expressing concerns about management at Noble’s Hospital.

Click here to read a story about that.

Health Minister David Anderson told the House of Keys in June: ‘Some of those consultants subsequently withdrew their support for that letter because they believed it overstepped the mark and there where other processes which they could have gone down in place to relay their concerns to management about clinical areas of concern.’

In fact, none of them had.

The issue led to 10 backbenchers calling for Mr Anderson to resign.

Click here to read that story.

The matter was sent to Tynwald’s Standards and Members’ Interests Committee.

Its report is due to go to Tynwald on February 18.

It concludes:

1. That Mr Anderson’s personal statement and his other statements were not correct, in that the consultants stood by both the content of the letter and the medium, while regretting in some cases the impact of the letter in making (consultant urologist Stephen) Upsdell resign.

2. Mr Anderson was sincere when he made the personal statement of June 25 and earlier on June 11 and he did not knowingly mislead the House.

3. The House was misled because of a series of miscommunications within the hospital and the Department of Health - the personal statement as drafted should not have been issued in the terms in which it was given. The Minister bears responsibility for this.

Although the Minister is personally responsible for the statements which he made, he was badly let down by the officials who advised him.

The personal statement was insufficiently vetted by the department’s officers and there was insufficient care given to preparing this important matter, for which the chief officer of the department, Mr Killip, deserves censure.

Mr Killip has sent a letter to Tynwald, via the Clerk of Tynwald, Roger Phillips, in which he makes a number of observations.

He concludes: ‘I accepted responsibility for the circumstances relating to the minister’s personal statement, a matter regarding which I have proffered an apology to my minister. With regard to Tynwald, I have separately written to Madam President (Clare Christian).’

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