Minister Skelly under fire over Vision Nine

Government under spotlight

"We conclude that responsibility for the failure of the project......lies primarily with the Minister for Economic Development, Mr Skelly, and with the Department's former Chief Executive Officer, Mr Chris Corlett".

The damning verdict of the Economic Policy Review Committee report on the Vision Nine saga.

Government was looking to appoint Vision Nine as promoter for the TT and Classic TT.

No contract was signed and the tender process came to an end in November last year.

Evidence was given to the Committee chaired by Michael Coleman from a wide range of parties.

DED is criticised for not consulting satisfactorily with other Government departments about the concept and costs - Police, Health and Infrastructure for example - and should have done so after the lessons of the previously abandoned World Series plan.

Neither did it involve the Acting Attorney General while using The Sports Consultancy (which had a relationship with Vision Nine) as legal adviser and hid behind commercial confidentiality.

One recommendation is departments should not obtain legal advice from the private sector without approval from the Attorney General..

The Council of Ministers is under fire for allowing the concept to go to Tynwald without the necessary checks and balances in place.

Motorsport experts within DED were not consulted due to a possible conflict of interest but they in turn are criticised for sitting back too much.

DED underestimated the financial risks of contracting with Vision Nine who could simply walk away if things had not worked out - the committee says the potential reputational damage to the TT and Isle of Man is immeasurable.

Finally, given the widespread impact of the TT and Festival of Motorcycling has on all aspects of Manx life, the concept of outsourcing responsibility is "arguably tantamount to outsourcing the governance of the Isle of Man for four weeks of the year."

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