Vision Nine (Part 2)
Oops, they did it again. . .and again, and again and, well, you get the message. . .
It looks like Minister Skelly and the DED are now embroiled in yet another dispute over a tender. Back in August I wrote a blog post ‘Promotion and Management of the TT Festivals – did Vision Nine have it in the bag before the tender process started?’ and during my interviews, the so-called constituency debate programme and during my campaign, I called Minister Skelly on his waffle about the economy and the inadequacies of his tenure in DED. In my blog, I warned of the perils of the Vision Nine contract and the lack of credible evidence presented to Tynwald. Did anyone listen? I suppose some did but not enough because Minister Skelly was voted back in. Now, I’m not accusing him of anything nefarious, but a lot has gone on under his nose and I am stating that he’s out of his depth, has no control over DED at all and knows very little about the economy and what makes it tick and how to diversify it (he thinks, aping the words of the failed Chief Minister, Allan Bell, that growth is the key to saving us from the mess he helped to create).
Some of the DED tender failings and contentious tenders to date are:
- The Fire Extinguisher contract and a separate breach of data protection pertaining to tenders http://www.iomtoday.co.im/news/business/we-made-error-over-isle-of-man-tt-tender-admits-ded-1-7489204
- Tom Jones and Tiny Cow http://www.iomtoday.co.im/news/isle-of-man-news/government-department-s-100-000-dispute-with-company-behind-tom-jones-gig-1-8088936
- The Jacksons and Tiny Cow (Minister Skelly wasn’t in post when The Jacksons were signed but he was in post when controversial claims were made about when contracts were signed – see Isle of Man News Facebook page) http://www.iomtoday.co.im/news/isle-of-man-news/jacksons-gig-claims-lead-to-suspension-of-villa-marina-manager-1-8121941
- TT World Series – cost us £332,000 that we know of, total cost suspected to rise to over £400,000. http://www.iomtoday.co.im/news/isle-of-man-news/the-tt-world-series-report-is-made-public-1-7895281 Questions abound over how economical with the truth the Minister and DED have been about the costs. http://www.energyfm.net/cms/news_story_399953.html
Other nonsense from DED
- Partners in selling The Nunnery for less than its market value with ICT Limited allowed to become a Limited company (formerly a charitable foundation but now able to claim commercial confidentiality, just like CineManx); education provision was to start in January 2016 but is at the time of writing, anything between 12 to 18 months away. In the mean time, the University College of Mann is providing courses and staff (questions abound over who is paying for what and how much this is costing the taxpayer). If there was such a dire need for ICT staff, as declared by Minister Skelly and cronies in Tynwald when presenting the case for ICT Limited then there should have been assurances about ICT’s ability to provide accredited courses. http://www.tynwald.org.im/business/hansard/20002020/t141119.pdf 1525
- Villa Gaiety outsourcing http://www.iomtoday.co.im/news/isle-of-man-news/villa-gaiety-complex-could-be-outsourced-1-7251481
- IsleExpo – I cornered Minister Skelly on air and he stumbled to admitting that he thought A Level students attending the event and preparing for it was more important than them studying for their A Levels – parents, take note. http://www.manxradio.com/election-2016/constituencies-2016-folder/2016-rushen-sec/ (This was not a debate programme by the way, far from it).
- Timewarp – trapped into a loop of thinking that financial services and eGaming are the be all and end all of the economy. Also, insistence that economic growth is our saviour, no idea about diversification and utilising natural assets.
The lists go on and on but anyway, back to Vision Nine.
Vision Nine dropped – Chief Minister claims the matter is sub-judice and can’t comment
I have to ask how some thing can be sub-judice when legal papers haven’t been served?? An excerpt from a statement from Vision Nine (‘V9’) which disputes the press release from DED issued on Monday 28 November 2016 at 18:30 states:
“As of the time of this statement we have not received formal written confirmation from the DED, or any other government department, that the tender process has been discontinued. We are disappointed that the first we learnt of this development was from the media.”
The term sub-judice is defined in the Standing Orders of the Tynwald Court on Page 58. “Sub-judice” includes any civil case in which papers for the commencement of proceedings have been filed in the office of any court or tribunal, whether or not they have been served on or communicated to the other party or any criminal case where a person has been charged or summoned to appear at court. A case will remain sub-judice until it is discontinued, or judgment has been or verdict and sentence have been delivered and until the time for appealing has expired; it will continue to be sub-judice after papers for the commencement of any appeal have been lodged until judgment or discontinuance.” http://www.tynwald.org.im/business/sto/Documents/20160727PP2016-0130TSO.pdf
So, no formal notification, no papers served by V9 on DED so surely no sub-judice then? Has the Chief Minister and the Acting AG made a blunder, a very big faux pas or is there a darker motive here, perhaps a desire or a design to sweep things under the carpet (shakes head), much like how things were done under the Bell Administration. I’ve stated this on my FB page before now, that I think the Quayle Administration will follow the model or (bad) example of Allan Bell and his Government.
Much as I think the V9 contract was a farce and that Tynwald weren’t in possession of all of the facts but were in possession of spurious and grandiose unsubstantiated claims when they voted on the tender back in April, I can see things from V9’s position here. They are right to be annoyed that DED posted a press release before formally notifying them. How much damage does something like this and what happened to Tiny Cow do to the Manx economy? Who will do business with us when we are making such a pig’s ear of everything of significance and with the TT being a world famous event, this couldn’t get any worse. I hope.
For more information on why the V9 tender should never have been awarded, read my first blog on V9; there’s a lot of stuff debunked in there and you will get a clear insight into why the tender should never have been awarded in the first place. Following on from that and as stated in my blog, government departments raised serious concerns back in August about how they might service a massive increase in visitors, how our transport links could cope and who would be responsible for what. I don’t think I need to comment further on this so I’ll just leave this link here, http://www.iomtoday.co.im/news/isle-of-man-news/vision-nine-contract-delayed-update-1-8046193
I believe an emergency meeting of Tynwald was called for Monday morning, by Chris Robertshaw. I also believe that this debacle will be referred to an Economic Scrutiny Committee – all right and proper steps, however I do believe that as this isn’t a legal matter yet, we can and must be allowed to debate the matter openly and freely. We can’t have another mess brushed under the carpet.
The TT is in trouble and its reputation is at risk. The Island’s economy is, in the eyes of the blinkered ex-Chief Minister Bell, the new CM, Minister Skelly and DED, growing and they believe that this means the economy is healthy and we can weather any storm, but as I’ve mentioned too many times on air and in person on social media and to voters, growth is not a good indicator of economic health.
I think that only Carl Parker and myself, maybe one or two other candidates talked about diversifying the economy, moving with the times and making use of our assets so one worries about the foresight of this administration, and this combined with the potentially huge reputational damage done to the TT and to our government as a potential trading partner and in times of such economic turmoil where the UK is exiting the EU, and its apparent inability to haul us into the fourth industrial revolution; the age of the cyber, scares the Hell out of me and makes me worry for the future of the Island. I suspect we’ll remain mired in the Manx epoch of the Stupid whilst nonsense like this goes unpunished and unaccounted for.
Heads must roll and on this, I completely disagree with Chris Robertshaw who gave a rather tedious interview to Paul Moulton, steeped in his idea about what Government should look like and where he declared that heads shouldn’t roll http://manx.net/tv/mt-tv/watch/81344/vision-9-chris-robertshaw. Robertshaw and Moulton talk about “scapegoats” but there shouldn’t be a scapegoat on this, just someone or some people held to account for disgracing the Island and for making a total and potentially costly mess of the TT. If this was to happen in industry, you can believe there would be a culprit fired and without hesitation. I have to add that looking at the last five years, there’s been ample reasons for the CEO and the Minister to fall on their swords.
I do enjoy my music and I like to punctuate my prose with a good tune and here’s one I think is most appropriate, certainly the first verse is anyway. ‘AC/DC Thunderstruck’ Enjoy. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v2AC41dglnM