Changes to the most senior Civil Service role following review announced by Chief Minister

Friday, 16 December 2022

Move will see recruitment for a Chief Executive Officer (Isle of Man Government).

The most senior role in the Civil Service is to change following a review into the role and responsibilities of the Chief Secretary which was announced by Chief Minister Alfred Cannan MHK in the May sitting of Tynwald.

The change will see recruitment for a Chief Executive Officer (Isle of Man Government) and an end to the role of Chief Secretary, a role that was created in 1987 and which has been the subject of numerous reviews.

The Chief Minister said:

"Establishing a clear and modern remit and capacity for the most senior role in the civil service is vital for the performance of government and delivery for the public. There is a need to ensure a strong accountability and performance framework, positive leadership and management in the public service and capacity for strategic advice to the Council of Ministers, as well as advice to the Lieutenant Governor.

"Changing the emphasis of the role will strengthen the understanding and accountability of the post holder as to their duties and will see the Island move to a structure comparable to other jurisdictions. There is a clear need to ensure appropriate management, leadership and accountability between the senior role in Government and chief officers of departments, as well as to continue the important work to address culture issues in the public service."

With the intention for a Chief Executive Officer (Isle of Man Government) to have capacity to pro-actively lead and support chief officers in government departments, the changes will see recruitment for a Chief Operating Officer for the Cabinet Office. They will support the delivery of government programmes and cross-departmental initiatives and head up central operational functions such as the Office of Human Resources, Government Technology Services and central transformation and policy functions.

Additionally, the Council of Ministers has agreed to establish a new Operational Performance Board to provide oversight of Government operational performance and to allow for both support and enhanced governance to be provided to the Chief Executive Officer (Isle of Man Government). The Chief Minister will chair the Board.

Chair of the Public Services Commission Kate Lord-Brennan MHK said:

"It is incredibly important that key senior roles in the Civil Service are developed to ensure a fit for purpose organisation for the future which can deliver excellent core public services and be a place where people want to work and develop in public service, where officers feel supported to deliver the priorities of government for the Island. There will be open and competitive recruitment for posts.

"I would like to take the opportunity to thank in particular all who have stepped up into interim positions during this period of change over the past few months, ahead of substantive recruitment taking place in 2023 and also thank everyone across the Public Service for their work and contributions this year."

The change from Chief Secretary to Chief Executive Officer (Isle of Man Government) will require an amendment to regulations to be put to the January 2023 Tynwald. If Tynwald agree to the amendment, recruitment will commence immediately.


The review of the role and remit of Chief Secretary 

The response to the review by the Council of Ministers

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