The first draft report of the Senate Special Select Committee should be completed sometime this week. The Committee was established to investigate incidents of corruption highlighted in the Auditor General’s Special Audit Report of the Immigration and Nationality Department. Following a year’s worth of public hearings, Senator Eamon Courtenay told the media today that the draft is in its final stages. He explained that the transcribed interviews took a lot more time to review than anticipated.
Senator Eamon Courtenay: Well, as I understand it the final draft or the draft is in the final stages and will be shared with the committee for us to review. Hopefully in not too distant future it will be released or tabled in the Senate, I guess debated and then of course made public. We have been assured by the attorney who has been working on it that it is in its final stages.”
Reporter: No timeline at to when we might possibly start seeing it?”
Eamon Courtenay, PUP Senator: I expect within a few days. Probably this week. That’s the impression I have.”
Reporter: Are you satisfied with the way that process has gone?”
Eamon Courtenay, PUP Senator: First of all there are thousands upon thousands and thousands of pages of transcript to review. So I think that whilst the public viewed it, every word was being recorded and now has been transcribed and has to be reviewed; literally gone over to make sure that the report is comprehensive, that it is proper. That has taken a lot more time that we had anticipated. I believe that our attorney is working diligently. The committee is working as diligently as it can. To be frank it took more time than we anticipated but we are assured that we are reaching the end.
A total of 42 meetings were held by the committee between 2016 and 2017, where several high profile witnesses were interviewed, including former Government ministers Elvin Penner, Anthony “Boots” Martinez and Edmond Castro, as well as Police Commissioner Allen Whylie and former Immigration Director Maria Marin.