The Chief Minister certainly made his feelings known about the gay discrimination issue. This could have negative repercussions for us in the international arena, he feels. But just how free and democratic do we appear to other countries when we are still struggling to even address the lack of a Freedom of Information Act? While we adopt UK legislation, tweaking at the same time and often inserting clauses that were not included in the original version we completely ignore the issue of the FOI. OK – it’s been promised….at some point….no rush…

No wonder there are no immediate plans to introduce it despite the possible impact on our image. Not only are the powers that be dragging their feet on public disclosures, even members of Tynwald were not supplied with a full report on the independent review into the structure and processes of the AG’s chambers carried out by a UK lawyer.

Mr Karran:
The report was quite damning. The decision was taken not to make it available. Even we only saw an executive summary. They do themselves a disservice by hiding behind confidentiality.

It seems to me that a FOI Act is urgently required. Will Mr Bell address this unseemly lack of modern-day legislation with the same passion as the anti-discrimination legislation?


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