Tynwald to debate plans for smaller govt

A press conference in December with Chief Minister Allan Bell,during which he announced ministerial changes

A press conference in December with Chief Minister Allan Bell,during which he announced ministerial changes

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Plans for the radical reform on government will go before Tynwald for approval next week.

The proposals, unveiled last month by Chief Minister Allan Bell, will see the creation of a new Cabinet Office, which combines the Chief Secretary’s Office, the Office of Human Resources, the Information Systems Division and the Economic Affairs Division of Treasury.

A new Minister of Policy and Reform will be appointed to work within the Cabinet Office and will also be chairman of the Civil Service Commission, the Business Change steering group and will lead the Transforming Government programme.

Mr Bell’s proposal to make government ‘smaller, simpler and stronger’ would also see the loss of two ministerial posts.

The departments of Health and Social Care will be merged to created a new single department, with the Social Security division transferred to the Treasury which will take over responsibility for welfare reforms.


In addition, the Department of Community, Culture and Leisure will be disbanded and its functions transferred to the departments of Economic Development, Education and Children, Infrastructure and Environment, Food and Agriculture.

The Council of Ministers’ report on modernising government also recommends the merger of the Manx Electricity Authority and the Water and Sewerage Authority to create a single Manx Utilities Authority.

A sixth recommendation proposes that CoMin should consider opportunities for further reforms of the criminal justice system, the potential benefits of streamlining certain corporate services and functions and whether there is any merit in turning the government into a single legal entity.

Ministers will be asked to report back on these matters to the July Tynwald.

Ahead of the Tynwald debate on modernising government, three transfer of functions orders will be laid before the court allowing the proposed changes to go through.

If the reforms are approved, this will be the first restructuring of government since April 2010.

Following DCCL’s scrapping, its sports functions (including NSC, regional swimming pools, Sports Development Unit and Isle of Man Sport) and the Arts Council will go to the Department of Education and Children; Leisure (including the Villa Marina/ Gaiety Theatre) and the Welcome Centre in the Sea Terminal will move to the Department of Economic Development who could work with Manx National Heritage, as appropriate, to deliver these services.

The Wildlife Park will come under the DEFA and public transport will move to Department of Infrastructure pending decision on future arrangements.

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