Order, Order! – Final Instalment Of This Week’s HoK Coverage

Our final instalment of yesterday’s HoK questions – here, they discuss why a review into the DoI has been kept so quiet, Moorhouse want’s to know why gov’s website isn’t attractive and Edge and Baker have a stand off over a written question.

Jason Moorhouse to ask the Chief Minister – When the media were informed about the independent review of the DoI, which is being carried out by Beamans?

HQ – There has been no specific media release however reference was made to the review in the Courier Budget wrap. During the Budget speech Alf Cannan indicated that he would be doing it. Since then the terms of reference have been made available. 

Jason Moorhouse – In the letter to all members the comment was said to be restricted, why was this review limited?

HQ – I wanted it limited to members who have direct experience of the DoI. This will help it be completed in a timely manner.

Julie Edge – The review is published on the gov website but my question is, when were all the DoI employees told about it?

HQ –  I don’t know but I’ll get the answer.

Lawrie Hooper – You said that Tynwald was informed during the Budget speech from Alf, can you give advice when the scope decided?

HQ – I have asked for a broader review of the DoI to consider its capacity to deliver. We need to make sure that the value for money and ability to deliver capital projects below £3m and manage the gov estate can be delivered. 

Chris Thomas – Why did you exclude former members of the DoI from the review? 

HQ – I’ve asked Ms Edge, Mr Moorhouse, Mr Harmer, where do you draw the line? We want to do a review to see that it can deliver the services we want to do. If Beamans say they need more info then I will extend it. 

Julie Edge 2 – In the news release that is on the website, it says the report will be done by the end of April, is this still the target and who wrote the scope for the review? If it’s independent surely everyone should be allowed an input?

HQ – Should be finished by April 30, I asked the Chief Secretary Will Greenhow to come up with the terms of reference. Up to 70% of MHKs have actually been invited to give evidence, I think that’s pretty open. I didn’t want War and Peace, it had to be people who have actually worked in the DoI. 

Lawrie Hooper 2 – Interesting that you say experience is working in the DoI, most of us have experience of working with it. I would question that definition but have you considered asking service users to see how it actually delivers its projects such as capital programmes and maintenance?

HQ – I have asked that Beamans consults with a number of external bodies that work with the DoI, if they need to take further evidence then I will sanction that.

Jason Moorhouse – How much will this review cost? Can’t more stakeholders give input?

HQ – Don’t know the cost right now, not a fortune, just needs to be a standard review. We need to make sure the DoI acts accordingly. If Beamans feels that it needs additional evidence then I will agree to that.

Jason Moorhouse to ask the Minister for Policy and Reform – Who is responsible for the quality and content of the homepage of the official Isle of Man Government website gov.im; and how regularly the website is updated?

Ray Hamer – Cabinet Office. It is managed by the gov technology service, the majority of it is static content used to move to other areas of the website. Typically the website is updated everyday.

Jason Moorhouse – The top box on the home page has had two recent changes, on both occasions the most used features have been moved yet the Programme for Government remains, why?

Ray Harmer – The spotlighted areas are decided by departments, any changes carried out by GTS but only after departments ask them to.

Jason Moorhouse – The site looks like it is produced by committee and you’re supporting that opinion, why isn’t it more attractive? It should be better.

Ray Harmer – Format was done before me and funding has not been available but the Cabinet Office is seeking to do this in the future. 

Julie Edge to ask the Minister for Infrastructure – When he will publish the information requested in Written Question 10 on 27th October in the House of Keys relating to local authorities’ income and expenditure?

Tim Baker – Info has now been circulated. 

Julie Edge – Gov Code, you have a duty to provide accurate info to Tynwald, do you agree you should’ve made sure this answer was provided without me having to chase?

Tim Baker – Let me clarify, the info was extensive and detailed and our position was that this was already available, then Mr Speaker advised we should get the info so we approached all local authorities, that took a lot of time and has now been circulating. References to accuracy are inappropriate.

Julie Edge – I believe you just said you hadn’t approached local authorities originally but when a member puts a question in they should be given the answer, is it appropriate to say go look for it yourself.

Tim Baker – Our original position was that the info was already available which you could get in the Tynwald Library, we then engaged in a time consuming process and collated it into the answer we have since provided. Matter is now closed as far as I’m concerned.

Julie Edge – Are you not aware that local authorities provide info to your department regularly, shouldn’t you have it already?

Tim Baker – I don’t think it’s a test of if we have it, the question was did we have the detail we judged we didn’t so went out to ask all the authorities for the info.

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