Isle of Man Government

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The Isle of Man Government (Manx: Reiltys Ellan Vannin) is the government of the Isle of Man. The formal head of the Isle of Man Government is the Lieutenant Governor, representing HM Queen Elizabeth II, Lord of Mann. The executive head is the Chief Minister.

Douglas, the largest town on the Isle of Man is its capital and seat of government, where the Government offices and the parliament chambers (Tynwald) are located.

The Civil Service has more than 2000 employees and the total number of public sector employees including the Civil Service, teachers, nurses, police, etc. is about 9000 people. This is somewhat more than 10% of the population of the Island, and a full 23% of the working population. This does not include any military forces, as defence is the responsibility of the United Kingdom.

Government structure[change | change source]

The Government consists of nine departments, ten statutory boards and three offices all reporting to the Council of Ministers. The departments all report directly to the Council of Ministers.

Statutory boards and offices are listed below the Department to which they report.

Ministers[change | change source]

Statutory Boards[change | change source]

Other Boards and Offices of Government[change | change source]

Brief history[change | change source]

Lieutenant Governor[change | change source]

Before modern times the government of the Isle of Man was in the hands of the Governor (or Lieutenant Governor), who representated the Lord of Man, assisted by his Council, consisting of the other permanent officials (the Bishop, Archdeacon, Deemsters, Attorney General, etc.).[2] The Council became the Legislative Council, the upper chamber of Tynwald, the parliament of the Isle of Man.

After the Revestment (when the rights of the Lord of Man were "placed in" or "vested" in the King of Great Britain) in 1765, the Lieutenant Governor and his officials were the agents of the British Government, and not democratically responsible to the Manx people. Conflict between the House of Keys (popularly elected after 1866) and the Lieutenant Governor came to a head when Lord Raglan was Lieutenant Governor between 1902 and 1918.

Council of Ministers[change | change source]

After World War I the Lieutenant Governor gradually gave up control to Tynwald, a process guided by the reports of commissions and other bodies in 1911,[3] 1959[4] and 1969.[5] An Executive Council, chaired by him and including members of Tynwald, was established in 1949, and gradually thereafter became the effective government of the Island. Finance and the police came under local control between 1958 and 1976.[6] The Lieutenant Governor stopped chairing the Executive Council in 1980, and was replaced by a chairman elected by Tynwald,[7] and the Council was reconstituted in 1985 to include the chairmen of the eight principal Boards;[8] in 1986 they were given the title 'Minister' and the chairman was styled 'Chief Minister'.[9] In 1990 the Council was renamed the 'Council of Ministers'.[10]

Departments[change | change source]

During the 19th century several bodies, which came to be known as 'Boards of Tynwald', were created to exercise functions under democratic control. These included the Board of Education (1872), Highway Board (1874), Asylums Board (1888), Government Property Trustees (1891) and Local Government Board (1894). However, although direct taxation was levied by Tynwald, the Boards' freedom of action before the 1960s was limited by the Lieutenant Governor's control of the Island's budget and his power to appoint certain of their members.

The structure of the Boards of Tynwald, along with other bodies variously called 'Statutory Boards' and 'Commercial Boards', became increasingly unwieldy after the 1950s, and was eventually reformed in the 1980s, when a system of 'ministerial government' was set up.[11]

Until 1 April 2010 the Departments were as follows. Created in 1985-87, they were the successors of the former Boards of Tynwald.

  • Treasury (1985)
    • Finance Board (1961–1985)
  • Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry (1986)
    • Board of Agriculture (1914–46)
    • Fishery Conservators (1882–1927), Fisheries Board (1927–46)
    • Board of Agriculture and Fisheries (1946–86)
    • Trustees of the Common Lands (1866–1915), Common Lands Board (1915–50), Forestry, Mines and Lands Board (1950–86)
  • Department of Education (1987)
    • Board of Education (1872–99), Council of Education (1899–1946), Isle of Man Board of Education (1946–2009) (The Board continued in existence as a popularly elected body, but with reduced functions, after the Department of Education was created in 1987; it was not finally dissolved until June 2009.)
    • Isle of Man Central Education Authority (1920–23), Isle of Man Education Authority (1923–68)
  • Department of Health and Social Security (1986)
    • Asylums Board (1888–1932), Mental Hospital Board (1932–48), Isle of Man Health Services Board (1948–86)
    • Old Age Pensions and National Health Insurance Board (1920–39), Health Insurance and Pensions Board (1939–46), Isle of Man Board of Social Services (1946–70), Isle of Man Board of Social Security (1970–86)
  • Department of Transport (1986) (originally Department of Highways, Ports and Properties; renamed 1994)
    • Committee of Highways (1776–1874), Highway Board (1874–1946), Isle of Man Highway and Transport Board (1946–86)
    • Commissioners for Harbours (1771–1872), Isle of Man Harbour Commissioners (1872–1948), Isle of Man Harbour Board (1948–86)
    • Isle of Man Airports Board (1948–86)
    • Government Property Trustees (1891–1986)
  • Department of Home Affairs (1986)
    • Isle of Man Police Board (1962–81), Home Affairs Board (1981–86)
    • Isle of Man Broadcasting Commission (1965–81)
    • Civil Defence Commission (1955–81)
  • Department of Trade and Industry (1986) (originally Department of Industry; renamed 1996)
    • Industry Board (1981–86)
  • Department of Local Government and the Environment (1986)
    • Local Government Board (1894–1946), Isle of Man Local Government Board (1946–86)
  • Department of Tourism and Leisure (1986) (originally Department of Tourism and Transport; renamed 1994)
    • Advertising Committee (1897–1904), Board of Advertising (1904–31), Isle of Man Publicity Board (1931–52), Isle of Man Tourist Board (1952–86)
    • Manx Electric Railway Board (1957–82), Isle of Man Passenger Transport Board (1982–86)

The structure and functions of the Departments were re-organised with effect from 1 April 2010. The existing Departments, except the Treasury and the Departments of Education and Home Affairs, were dissolved, and the Department of Education was renamed "the Department of Education and Children".[12] The Departments and their functions are now as follows:

  • Treasury
    • taxation, internal audit, currency, census, elections
  • Department of Community, Culture and Leisure
    • passenger transport, culture, sport and recreation
  • Department of Economic Development
    • tourism, employment, merchant shipping, civil aviation, trade, industry, intellectual property, companies, information technology, e-business, financial services
  • Department of Education and Children
    • education
  • Department of Environment, Food and Agriculture
    • agriculture, fisheries, animal health and welfare, plant health, food safety, burial and cremation, water pollution, environmental health, medicinal products
  • Department of Health
    • health services
  • Department of Home Affairs
    • police, fire services, prisons, probation, emergency planning, civil defence
  • Department of Infrastructure
    • local government, road traffic, highways, harbours, airports, health and safety at work, planning and conservation, building control, waste disposal, public utilities, mines and minerals, licensing and registration of vehicles
  • Department of Social Care
    • social services, social security, mental health, social housing

Statutory Boards[change | change source]

As noted above, a number of 'Statutory Boards' and 'Commercial Boards' were created at various times. Some were taken over by the Departments in 1985-1987, but others continued as separate Statutory Boards after 1987:

  • Isle of Man Office of Fair Trading (1998)
    • Consumer Council (1972–1981), Board of Consumer Affairs (1981–1998)
  • Financial Supervision Commission (1982)
  • Insurance and Pensions Authority (1996)
    • Insurance Authority (1986–1996)
  • Isle of Man Post Office (1993)
    • Isle of Man Post Office Authority (1972–1993)
  • Isle of Man Water and Sewerage Authority (2010)
    • Isle of Man Water Board (1946–1972), Isle of Man Water Authority (1972–1974), Isle of Man Water and Gas Authority (1974–1985), Isle of Man Water Authority (1985–2010)
    • Isle of Man Gas Authority (1972–1974)
  • Manx Electricity Authority (1983)
    • Isle of Man Electricity Board (1932–1984)
  • Communications Commission (1989)
    • Telecommunications Commission (1985–1989)

References[change | change source]

  1. "Home". Manx National Heritage.
  2. Report of the Commissioners of Inquiry for the Isle of Man, 1792
  3. Report of the Departmental Committee on the Constitution etc. of the Isle of Man, 1911, Cd.5950 (the 'MacDonnell Report')
  4. Report of the Commission on the Isle of Man Constitution, 1959 (the MacDermott Report')
  5. Report of the Joint Working Party on the Constitutional Relationship between the Isle of Man and the United Kingdom, 1969 (the 'Stonham Report')
  6. Finance Act 1958, Finance Act 1962, Police (Isle of Man) Act 1962, Governor's Financial and Judicial Functions (Transfer) Act 1976: Statutes of the Isle of Man
  7. Constitution (Executive Council) (Amendment) Act 1980
  8. Constitution (Executive Council) Act 1984
  9. Constitution (Executive Council) (Amendment) Act 1986
  10. Council of Ministers Act 1990
  11. Gumbley, K F W (1988), "Government Departments and Statutory Boards", Manx Law Bulletin, 10: 61–73
  12. Transfer of Functions (New Departments) (No.2) Order 2010 (Statutory Document 155/10) [1][permanent dead link]

Coordinates: 54°09′06.6″N 4°28′48.6″W / 54.151833°N 4.480167°W / 54.151833; -4.480167