Information released through a Freedom of Information request has outlined when and by who decisions around appeals in the Dr Ranson tribunal were made.
The information was requested by our sister website Gef.im and Isle of Man Television's Paul Moulton and has been released while appeals are ongoing into the release of other information around the submission of the appeals.
The narrative response of the Chief Minister, Cabinet Office and the Department of Health and Social Care released to both ourselves and Mr Moulton focus on the ‘common elements’ of each of the requests.
The appeal was launched following legal advice and the final instruction was made by DHSC officers, following consultation with then minister Rob Callister, the Chief Minister, Deputy Chief Minister and Chief Secretary.
In the released info, the gov said that the second appeal, which relates to the matter of legal professional privilege, was lodged on August 4, was submitted following instruction by the DHSC’s advocates, namely the Attorney General's Chambers.
On August 10 ,2022, law firm Callin Wild took over conduct of all proceedings before the court and tribunal, including Appeal 2.
On Wednesday September 28, legal arguments for the appeal had to be submitted by 4pm that afternoon.
However, the government has said: ‘DHSC supplied a Paper (“the DHSC Paper”) at 17:41 on Tuesday, September 27, 2022, to the Council of Ministers intended for confidential discussion in Council of Ministers at its usual sitting on the morning of Thursday, September 29, 2022.
‘As per usual practice, the DHSC p\per was sent to officers stationed within Cabinet Office. Those Cabinet Office officers provide the secretariat function to the Council of Ministers. The DHSC paper contained the background to the appeal and contained privileged legal advice seeking direction from the Council of Ministers on how to proceed with the appeal.
‘Owing to the belated submission of the DHSC Paper and the Court deadline for filing the legal argument, the DHSC Paper could not be discussed by Council of Ministers in full at its meeting on Thursday, September 29, 2022.’
It goes on to say that at that time, Chief Minister Alfred Cannan consulted with the Chief Secretary and Deputy Chief Minister Jane Poole-Wilson and later on September 28, sent the email after his executive assistant had spoken to the DHSC Minister (who was then Rob Callister).
Also included in this reply is an email from the DHSC Minister to the executive assistant to the interim chief executive officer sent at 3.25pm on Wednesday, September 28, 2022 regarding the appeal.
The government adds: ‘There was no direction from Council of Ministers to DHSC under section 6 of the Government Departments Act 1987 relevant to this course. The Chief Minister does not have a personal power to mandatorily direct any department to pursue a particular course as to the exercise of Departmental functions.’
As such, officers from the DHSC instructed Callin Wild at 3.27pm on Wednesday, September 28, to file the skeleton argument for the court hearing on Thursday October 6.
Meanwhile, Douglas South MHK Claire Christian has said she will be able to question the Chief Minister in Tynwald next week.