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Government of the Isle of Man

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Government of the Isle of Man

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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 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 2,000 employees and the total number of public sector employees including the Civil Service, teachers, nurses, police, etc. is about 9,000 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

The Government consists of 9 departments, 9 statutory boards, 5 offices, and 9 other quasi-independent agencies (Public Lottery Trust, Manx Heritage Foundation, Arts Council, Sports Council, Swimming Pool Authorities, Local Government, Planning Authority, Health and Safety Executive Authority, Road Transport and Licensing Committee) 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.


Governmental personnel

Heads of Departments

Heads of Statutory Boards

Heads of Offices

Heads of Other Agencies

  • Public Lottery Trust
    • Chief Executive: ?
  • Manx Heritage Foundation
  • Arts Council
  • Isle of Man Sport
    • Chairman: Geoff Karran
    • Secretary: Pauline Carr
  • Planning Authority
    • Chairman: Robert Quayle MHK
    • Director: Michael Gallagher
  • Health and Safety Executive Authority
    • Head of Department:Bernard Warden
  • Road Transport and Licensing Committee
    • Chairman: David Evans
    • Secretary:Brian Leece
  • Swimming Pool Authorities
    • various
  • Local Government
    • various

Government Income and Expenditure

For 2011-2012:

Department Personnel 2011-12 Expenditure (£m) 2011-12 Income(£m) 2011-12 Surplus(£m)
Community, Culture and Leisure 408 21.1 3.7 (17.4)
Economic Development 227 34.4 19.4 (15.0)
Education & Children 1,745 97.1 1.5 (95.6)
Environment, Food & Agriculture 157 16.9 1.7 (15.2)
Health 1,822 163.6 42.2 (121.4)
Home Affairs 565 32.4 0.8 (31.6)
Infrastructure 763 76.7 30.9 (45.8)
Social Care 1,017 318.7 16.0 (302.7)
Treasury 339 19.0 14.1 (4.9)
Other Executive Government 275 75.6 39.9 (35.7)
Manx Museum & National Trust 97 4.8 0.8 (4.0)
Road Transport Licensing Committee 4 0.2 0.0 (0.2)
Communications Commission 3 0.4 0.7 0.3
Financial Supervision Commission 52 3.8 1.6 (2.2)
Gambling Supervision Commission 4 0.6 1.6 1.0
Insurance and Pensions Authority 14 1.5 (0.5)
Office of Fair Trading 17 0.7 0.0 (0.7)
Legislature 26 4.9 0.0 (4.9)
Manx Electricity Authority  ? 75.4 75.2 (0.2)
Post Office  ? 24.5 27.5 3.0
Water & Sewerage Authority  ? 20.7 24.2 3.5
VAT Income 342.0 342.0
Taxation Income 190.0 190.0
National Insurance Income 166.5 166.5
Total 7,535 993.0 1,001.3 8.3

Functions of government

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".[1] 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

Brief history

Lieutenant Governor

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

After the Revestment 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 during the tenure of Lord Raglan (1902–18).

Council of Ministers

After World War I the Lieutenant Governor gradually ceded 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 ceased to chair the Executive Council in 1980, being 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]


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]

The Departments and Statutory Boards which existed before the reorganisation in 2010, and their predecessors, are shown below:

  • Treasury, 1985-present
    • Finance Board, 1961–1985
  • Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, 1986-2010
    • Board of Agriculture and Fisheries, 1946–86
      • Board of Agriculture, 1914–1946
      • Fisheries Board, 1927–1946
        • Fishery Conservators, 1882–1927
    • Forestry, Mines and Lands Board, 1950–86
      • Common Lands Board, 1915–50
        • Trustees of the Common Lands, 1866–1915
  • Department of Education, 1987-2010
    • Isle of Man Board of Education, 1946–2009 (1)
      • Board of Education, 1872–99
      • Council of Education, 1899–1946
      • Isle of Man Education Authority, 1923–68
        • Isle of Man Central Education Authority, 1920–23

(1) 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.

  • Department of Health and Social Security, 1986-2010
    • Health Services Board, 1948–86
      • Mental Hospital Board, 1932–48
        • Asylums Board, 1888–1932
    • Board of Social Security, 1970–86
      • Board of Social Services, 1946–70
        • Health Insurance and Pensions Board, 1939–46
          • Old Age Pensions and National Health Insurance Board, 1920–39
  • Department of Transport, 2004-2010
    • Department of Highways, Ports and Properties 1986-2004
      • Isle of Man Highway and Transport Board, 1946–86
        • Highway Board, 1874–1946
          • Committee of Highways, 1776–1874
      • Isle of Man Harbour Board, 1948–86
        • Isle of Man Harbour Commissioners, 1872–1948
          • Commissioners for Harbours, 1771–1872
      • Isle of Man Airports Board, 1948–86
      • Government Property Trustees, 1891–1986
  • Department of Home Affairs, 1986-present
    • Home Affairs Board, 1981–86
      • Isle of Man Police Board, 1962–81
      • Isle of Man Broadcasting Commission, 1965–81
      • Civil Defence Commission, 1955–81
  • Department of Trade and Industry, 1996-2010
    • Department of Industry, 1986-1996
      • Industry Board, 1981–86
  • Department of Local Government and the Environment, 1986-2010
    • Local Government Board, 1894–1986
  • Department of Tourism and Leisure, 1994-2010
    • Department of Tourism and Transport, 1986-2004
      • Tourist Board, 1952–86
        • Publicity Board, 1931–52
          • Board of Advertising, 1904–31
            • Advertising Committee, 1897–1904
      • Isle of Man Passenger Transport Board, 1982–86
        • Manx Electric Railway Board, 1957–82
  • Isle of Man Office of Fair Trading, 1998-present
    • Board of Consumer Affairs (1981–1998)
      • Consumer Council (1972–1981)
  • Financial Supervision Commission, 1982-present
  • Insurance and Pensions Authority, 1996-present
    • Insurance Authority, 1986–96
  • Isle of Man Post Office (1993)
    • Isle of Man Post Office Authority (1972–93)
  • Isle of Man Water and Sewerage Authority, 2010-present
    • Isle of Man Water Authority (1985–2010)
      • Isle of Man Water and Gas Authority (1974–1985)
        • Isle of Man Water Authority (1972–1974)
        • Isle of Man Gas Authority (1972–1974)
        • Isle of Man Water Board (1946–1972)
  • Manx Electricity Authority, 1983-present
    • Isle of Man Electricity Board (1932–1984)
  • Communications Commission (1989)
    • Telecommunications Commission (1985–1989)
  • Gambling Supervision Commission, ?-present


External links

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

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