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Members ask Questions to obtain information on a matter of fact. They are addressed to a person who would be expected to have particular knowledge of the subject, usually the Minister for the responsible Department.

Examples of questions include:

The Hon. Member of Council to ask the Chief Minister –

Whether the Government has an Early Years Strategy and, if so, what priority is given by the Government to early years strategy and intervention?

The Hon. Member for Garff to ask the Minister for Education and Children –

What the annual administrative cost to the Department is of collecting data from schools as required by the Education Act 2001?

The Hon. Member for Douglas North to ask the Chief Minister –

What his Government’s policy is in respect of note taking at official meetings between departmental officers and third parties from outside Government?

The Hon Member for Douglas South to ask the Minister for Education -

Whether her Department has set guidelines that apply to schools with regard to the reasons why a pupil can be suspended from school with any recommended period of time for such a suspension?

Members may ask Questions on any almost any matter, and it is here that they have the opportunity to scrutinise the work of Government 


Submitting a Question

Members may table Questions for Oral or Written Answer. They are submitted on a special form to Table in the Chamber & Information Service of the Clerk of Tynwald’s Office. Questions should be clearly written and must be signed by the Member.

The Clerks examine the notices of Questions closely to ensure that they conform to the rules for asking questions. Should it be necessary, the Clerks will consult the Member regarding the content or wording of any Questions and, where required, matters may be referred to the presiding officer for a decision.

Link to Page on writing Questionsd Click here for more information on how to write Questions.

Asking A Question

Prior to a sitting all Members receive a copy of the Order Paper and, in the case of a Tynwald sitting, the Question Paper. During the sitting the Questions are taken in the order in which they appear on the Question Paper. For each Question, the Member who submitted the question is called on by the presiding officer. The Member stands and reads out his or her Question.  Once the Question has been asked in this way the presiding officer calls on ‘the Member to reply’, and the Member to whom the Question was addressed will reply.

Once this initial reply has been received, Members may ask supplementary Questions.  Normally the Member who has tabled the Question will be called first to ask a supplementary Question, should they want to.  The number of supplementary Questions permitted following a tabled Question is at the discretion of the presiding officer, otherwise the same guidance rules apply to supplementary Questions as to tabled Questions.

If the Member answering the Question has not included something another Member wants to know, they may stand as the previous speaker concludes to indicate to the presiding officer that they wish to ask a supplementary Question. However, debate is not permitted to flow from this procedure and so Questions must not introduce matters not included in the original Question.

In a normal sitting, there is a set period reserved for oral questions: in the House of Keys, this is one hour; in Tynwald Court, this is two and a half hours. Unless Members agree to suspend Standing Orders, any Questions not reached during this time receive a written answer.

Link to Order Papers Order and Question Papers.

Link to Listen Again Listen Again to Questions.

Link to Tynwald Companion - Order Papers Read more about Questions.