The Senate Special Select Committee held public inquiries n the Auditor General’s Special Audit Report of the Immigration and Nationality Department for the period 2011 to 2013. The Committee was charged to investigate allegations of corruption cited in the Auditor General’s Special Audit Report after prominent cases such as Wong Hon Kim, the man who almost received a passport while in a detention cell in China. The witnesses who were called to testify include former Minister Elvin Penner, former Commissioner of Police Allen Whylie and former Immigration Director Maria Marin. Now that the dust had settled and the transcripts of the testimonies have been typed and attorneys have been consulted, the question that remains is the completion schedule of the report. We spoke to the committee President, Senator Aldo Salazar who says a draft should be ready in approximately eight weeks.
Aldo Salazar Chair, Senate Special Select Committee: “We are compiling all of the information where we had expressed volumes and volumes of material. All the testimony that would have been in the public hearing was reduced to writing and now we have that electronically. We want to go through all of that and in addition to that there were documents that were submitted to us by witnesses. We have had to decide on an outline for the report, we have had to decide on how we are going to put the report together. We had to compile the raw information to put in the report. We had an attorney in that purpose to instruct us in that regard and to help us with those aspects of it. The draft version is about to be completed I would say in about hopefully eight weeks. As you can understand and you would understand that logistically there are five people involved apart from myself. You all have full time jobs and who are engaged otherwise so logistically it is still a little bit challenging. The Senate does not have the ability to prosecute anybody in relations to findings in the report or anything that came out of the hearing. In fact along time ago during the hearing the Senate in fact shared certain testimony with the prosecuting authorities in order for them to make that determination to start with. It was not a decision that the Senate committee makes. The Senate committee is going to make a report that is going to be considered by the Senate. We are approaching that time when the report is going to be before the Senate and then the Senate will debate that report and that is my understanding so it is not that…and then that report is going to be shared with everyone.”
Salazar says that as president he does not hold a vote in the committee. The majority will present a report but there is also the possibility of a minority report being created by other senators who may not agree with the majority. The other senators on the special select committee include: Eamon Courtenay, Pastor Ashley Rocke, Elena Smith, Mark Lizaragga and Dr. Carla Barnett.