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Incis Commision Of Inquiry

Media Release
Hon Phil Goff

1 February 2000


INCIS COMMISSION OF INQUIRY

The INCIS Commission of Inquiry set up by the previous National Government has been replaced by a Ministerial Inquiry, Justice Minister Phil Goff said today.

"It is important that we thoroughly review the role of the Police and other departments in the INCIS project so that we can identify the lessons which must be learned from the debacle.

"However, we have major concerns about the cost and effectiveness of a Commission of Inquiry due to the legalistic approach and the formality of the procedures inherent in a Commission of Inquiry.

"I have been advised that there was a serious risk that the costs associated with the Commission of Inquiry could escalate to as high as $7 million.

"This risks putting good money after bad. The cost to the taxpayers of this approach is greater than the value we are likely to gain from it.

"A Ministerial Inquiry without the requirement of a swarm of QCs and an excessively legalistic approach can achieve the same objectives at considerably lesser costs.

"A Ministerial Inquiry retains the element of an independent external review."

Dr Francis Small, who has been serving on the Commission of Inquiry, will head the independent Ministerial Inquiry.

"Dr Small's ongoing involvement will ensure continuity and allow us to get maximum value from the money already spent on the Commission of Inquiry.

"As before, its purpose is to review the INCIS project and draw lessons from it for the future. Its focus will be on government departments and will draw on the body of material already available from the Commission of Inquiry and the Select Committee.

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