A Caribbean political delegation has spoken in glowing terms of its recent visit to the island.

‘Ahead of travelling to the Isle of Man for this study visit we had a list of objectives and they have been more than met,’ said Linton Leonard, deputy clerk to the House of Assembly of the British Virgin Islands (BVI).

Mr Leonard was speaking at the conclusion of a study visit to Tynwald he attended, together with the Caribbean Assembly’s clerk, Bethsaida Smith.

Organised by the Clerk of Tynwald’s Office, the week-long capacity-building programme aimed to give the clerks an insight into the day-to-operation of the office and its procedures and processes.

Mrs Smith said: ‘Our principal focus was to learn how the office supports members, in particular in committee work. In the BVI we have a committee support structure but it is not as effective as Tynwald’s.

‘After observing a private meeting of the public accounts committee we were impressed by the committee’s evidence-gathering process, the provision of briefing packs and the content and structure of committee reports.’

Mrs Smith and Mr Leonard had observed a sitting of the House of Keys, prompting Mr Leonard to comment: ‘What stood out for me was how sittings and committee meetings are scheduled a year in advance – and how everything runs on time, like clockwork.

‘I was also impressed by the structure and content of the order papers and how the question-and-answer session was so streamlined.

‘We had the opportunity to attend a Clerk of Tynwald Office’s management meeting where we observed team members sharing updates with their colleagues.

‘We learned how interns attached to the office are given meaningful levels of responsibility. We heard from the engagement services team about their work with schools, young people and the wider community, and learned about the Tynwald youth select committee.’

Mr Leonard went on to say that the BVI’s youth parliament was currently ‘dormant’.

Mrs Smith added: ‘The gift shop in the reception area gave us ideas about how we might be able to provide something similar.

‘Crucially, though, this visit has shown us how the office, although quite small in numbers, supports members so effectively and efficiently, especially when it comes to committee work. There is much to take away from this visit. We recognise, however, that if change is to happen, then there will be a need to condition members’ minds to what could be achieved.’

Summing up, Mr Leonard said: ‘We need members from the BVI to visit Tynwald and see for themselves. Coming to Tynwald has been very productive. I could write a book about this week.’