Independent review in to COVID-19
In November 2021, Tynwald voted to commission an independent review into the Isle of Man Government’s handling of the COVID-19 pandemic from the first outbreak in China in December 2019 until September 2021. Tynwald also:
- Supported the Public Accounts Committee’s (PAC) proposal that Tynwald waive privilege in relation to any evidence relating to the COVID-19 pandemic held by PAC and Tynwald Policy Review Committees and
- Resolved that such evidence may be provided on terms decided by the relevant Committee to an independent review if requested
An extensive recruitment process was undertaken in May 2022 to identify a suitably qualified and experienced Chair for the Review. A selection panel formed jointly by Council of Ministers and PAC considered a number of candidates and a recommendation that Kate Brunner KC be appointed chair of the Review was approved by Council of Ministers on 28 July 2022.
Ms Brunner is experienced in criminal law, healthcare law and public law, has a number of judicial roles, and is Chair of the Prescription Medicines Code of Practice Authority.
Following preliminary research and further consideration, Ms Brunner wrote to the chair of the selection panel Hon Jane Poole-Wilson MHK seeking two specific changes to the terms of reference:
- To extend the period within scope and
- To clarify the presentation of evidence in the review’s final report
At the same time as seeking Tynwald approval to these two specific changes to the terms of reference, PAC and Council also agreed to seek Tynwald approval for:
- A new, streamlined mechanism for further changes to the terms of reference and
- An extension of the waiver of Tynwald privilege originally agreed in November 2021
In November 2022, Tynwald was provided with an update on the Review, including the revised terms of reference. The required changes to the terms of reference were approved. The scope of the Review now extends from the first outbreak in China in December 2019 until 01 April 2022, when the last restrictions were lifted on the Isle of Man. In addition, the final report will provide a summary of the evidence on which conclusions and recommendations are based, with determination of which evidence is published to be at the discretion of the independent Chair.
Since her appointment in September 2022, Ms Brunner and her team have travelled to the Isle of Man and continue their research and preparation. This includes, and will continue to include, a combination of written evidence and verbal accounts.
The Review is to be undertaken completely independently of the Isle of Man Government and it will have entire independence of action and thought. It will also be afforded full access to all records held by, and personnel employed by, the Isle of Man Government and all its agencies.
The Chairperson will report their conclusions and identify any recommendations for consideration to Tynwald by 31 December 2023.
A list of useful documents is published on this page.