Statement of Chair regarding dates of future hearings
1. I am very pleased to announce that further human impact hearings will take place in Glasgow on 11 and 12 May 2022 and in Belfast on 18 and 19 May 2022. At these hearings the Inquiry will take evidence from persons adversely affected by the Horizon IT System who were and are resident, respectively, in Scotland and Northern Ireland. These hearings will bring to a close the sessions in which oral evidence is taken relating to human impact.
2. On 21 December 2021 I announced my intention to commence public hearings covering (what are now) Phases 2 and 3 of the Inquiry in June and July 2022. This reflected my ambition to hear evidence expeditiously and to make my report to the Minister as soon as reasonably possible.
3. Despite my best efforts and those of the secretariat and my legal team I have come to recognise that hearings in June and July are not possible. The Inquiry has received vast amounts of documentation which is relevant to Phases 2 and 3. This documentation is likely to be of considerable evidential significance and it is vitally important that it is assessed thoroughly before oral evidence is taken and tested.
4. With considerable reluctance, therefore, I have decided to delay the start date of the Phase 2 hearings to the week commencing 12 September 2022. The precise commencement date and the venue for the hearings will be confirmed in the course of the coming weeks. Phase 3 will commence shortly after Phase 2 has been completed.
5. I would like to stress that I remain committed to progressing matters as swiftly as I can, but I must keep firmly in mind the overriding objective of fulfilling my terms of reference and analysing appropriately the evidence which has been and will be provided to me.
Sir Wyn Williams
12 April 2022
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