19 May 2011

Long awaited report still under wraps

The Danny Williams administration hired former Supreme Court Justice Bill Marshall to do a couple of reviews for them.

In 2005, they asked Marshall to review inland fisheries enforcement.

In 2008, the opposition asked about the report in the legislature.

They didn’t get much of an answer three years after Marshall started his work.

On Tuesday, justice minister Felix Collins got another question in the House of Assembly on the missing report.  Here’s what he said:

we received the report from Justice Marshall some time in late fall 2010. I am not sure of the exact date. In November or December, I think it was. I would have to check my notes on that.

Five years later.

Must be quite the tome.

But wait;  it gets better.

Collins explained that “because of the merger of wildlife and inland fish at this point in time and the transition that is going, we are still considering the report in that context.”

In other words, because the situation Marshall was supposed to report on five years ago doesn’t exist any more, we may have to think about this all again.

And for good measure, Collins tossed in this gem: 

We will release the report or the information from the report in a timely fashion.

This administration came to office in 2003 with a pledge to release reports within 30 days.

It took Bill Marshall five years to submit the report.

Collins has had it for more than five months.

And he still can only say he might just release some information from the out-of-date report at some unspecified time in the future.

Yes, friends, this is what Collins and his boss think counts as open, transparent and accountable.

Oh yeah, update:  There’s no word on whether Marshall finished the report into the prosecution service. That one’s been underway since June 2006.

- srbp -