During the first part of 2017 the Department of Economic Development commissioned a high level strategic review of the Department to establish how it could effectively support the Government’s ambition for economic growth, which it has now concluded.
The review included a significant level of external and internal input as well as research carried out by PWC into nine similar economic jurisdictions. The report makes six specific recommendations:
- The Department should remain in place as an essential enabler of our economic ambitions – there are many great foundations in place and committed staff in support of economic development.
- A new Economic Strategy & Policy function should be developed to focus on understanding, planning and ‘creating the environment to enable our economy to flourish’.
- Four new Business Development Agencies should be developed – ‘Finance’, ‘Digital’, ‘Business’ and ‘Visit’. They will work with specific industries, entrepreneurs and innovators in understanding and creating the right climate and conditions for success and growth, thereby ensuring that ‘the Isle of Man is the place where you can’.
- The four principal Registries for Companies, Central, Ship and Aircraft should remain as the third critical pillar of the Department.
- To enable the Department to have a clear focus, a number of existing functions will move to other Departments in Government where additional public value can be created. They are:
- Management of the Villa Marina and Gaiety Theatre will be transferred to the Department of Education and Children
- ‘Training Services’ will be consolidated with adult education in the Department of Education and Children
- Treasury’s Social Security division will take on ‘Employment services’
- Energy policy will switch to the Department of Environment, Food and Agriculture
- Mining and Minerals operations will be transferred to the Department of Infrastructure.
- In recognition of this refocus, the Department will be renamed the ‘Department for Enterprise’ signalling a clear emphasis on supporting enterprise in line with the ‘Programme for Government’s’ national ambition to be ‘An Island of Enterprise and Opportunity’
Laurence Skelly MHK, Minister for Economic Development, commented:
‘The clear objective that has emerged from the review is that we have to increase the Department’s ability to enable and support economic growth – this is through a stronger emphasis on strategy and policy, through harnessing the vast expertise we have across our diverse economy in an agency model structure and through refocusing the Department around the core functions that enable economic prosperity.
‘I firmly believe the core recommendations outlined in this report will allow us to drive forward our commitment to build a more focused and integrated department that is demonstrably delivering on our ambition to be “an Island of Enterprise and Opportunity” where our people and industry work together to ensure our Island remains a special place to live and work.’
The restructure will reduce the Department’s size by around a quarter, moving it towards a net neutral financial position. The new structure will see some staff moving from the Department and a number of job functions changing.
The restructure will now be further developed over the summer with a planned, phased roll-out of the new structure starting from October 2017.
For a copy of the Department of Economic Development review go to www.gov.im/dedreview