The Review has a wide remit to examine the Isle of Man Government’s handling of the pandemic.
The full terms of reference as amended in November 2022 are here.
Individual complaints fall outside the scope of the Independent Review, including complaints relating to service delivery and cases of provision of care. These types of complaints should be referred to the relevant Isle of Man Government department using their complaints procedure.
The objective of the Review is to scrutinise and evaluate the Isle of Man Government’s handling of the response to the coronavirus pandemic; during the period December 2019, to 1 April 2022. The Review will assess the decisions made by Government at the time and identify any lessons to be learned. Further, the Review will make recommendations, as necessary, to ensure that the lessons learned are embedded into current working practices, and to enhance preparedness for any future emergency response to a pandemic. It should also capture what worked well, and how or if this way of working ought to be continued.
Without aiming to restrict the areas or matters which the Review may consider, it has been asked to cover the following:
- Circumstances and decisions leading to the Proclamation of Emergency, Emergency Powers and the use of legal restrictions under the Emergency Powers Act 1936, together with the Public Health Act 1990, and any restrictions in the areas listed below
- Border closures and subsequent restrictions
- Education provision following school closures
- Government quarantine requirements imposed for returning residents
- Loss of life as a result of Covid
- Benefit provision for self-employed persons and businesses, and the broader economic recovery and support schemes provided
- Individual and household isolation in relation to positive cases and close contacts
- Testing in relation to symptomatic cases, close contacts and following travel
- Contact Tracing in relation to positive cases and how it was conducted
- Vaccination governance and roll out
- Preparedness for the outbreak of a pandemic
- Genomic sequencing for positive cases
- Communications – internally to government and Tynwald, and externally to the public
- Command structures and decision-making processes
- February 2021 Covid Outbreak and its relation to the Isle of Man Steam Packet Company (IOMSPC), to the extent not already covered by the Public Accounts Committee’s 2020-21 Annual Report.
Amendments to Terms of Reference in November 2022
The Terms of Reference were expanded and clarified in November 2022, at the Chair’s request. The initial terms of reference are available here.
The initial period of the Review set by Tynwald when it commissioned the Review was from December 2019 to the end of September 2021, which was the end of the previous government administration. The Chair of the Review asked that the end date be moved to April 2022 which was the end of Covid restrictions. This change enables the entirety of the Government response to the pandemic to be considered. The change was supported by the Council of Ministers, the Public Accounts Committee, and approved by Tynwald in November 2022.
Further amendment and clarifications were made to the Terms of Reference in November 2022.
Click here to read the request sent by the Chair to the sponsors; and their response. The changes amount to clarification that makes it explicit that, as is usual in Reviews, the Chair has discretion as to what parts of the Review will be heard in public, and what evidence will be published.