Order of events

The Inquiry will be broken down into a number of stages and some of the stages may run concurrently.

The principal sources of evidence will be written statements submitted to the Inquiry by witnesses, documents recovered during the course of investigations by the Inquiry Team, supplemented by oral evidence when Lord Hardie considers that necessary.

Stage 1: Establishing the Inquiry: Announcement of the Inquiry by Ministers, appointment of Lord Hardie as Chair and agreeing terms of reference. Appointment of Solicitor and Counsel to the Inquiry.

Stage 2: Preliminary administrative steps: Setting up offices, recruiting staff and obtaining technical support.

Stage 3: Preliminary investigation: Retrieving and reviewing documents in order to scope what future investigative work is required. Meeting with some of the key personnel involved in the project and identifying potential witnesses, expert specialists, and potential areas for further consideration. Determining the uncontested facts.

Stage 4: Gathering material: Recovering and reviewing all relevant documentation from parties who have an interest, and obtaining written statements from potential witnesses.

Stage 5: Preliminary Hearing: Setting out what has already been done and specifying the focus of the Inquiry and when and how the Inquiry hearings will operate. At this stage, depending on the information already received, Lord Hardie may choose to publish a preliminary report.

Stage 6: Formal call for evidence: This will be the opportunity for people to provide written evidence to the Inquiry. The parties who have been identified as core participants will have the opportunity to make their views known. However Lord Hardie is also keen to hear from members of the public, local businesses, and other interested parties, on the consequences of the cost over-runs, delays and reduction in scope.

Stage 7: Review of the written evidence: submitted in stage 6. This evidence will be considered by Lord Hardie to decide what further evidence is required at oral hearings.

Stage 8: Oral hearings: It is anticipated that there will be some oral hearings at which specified witnesses will be asked to appear. Details of these will be announced at the appropriate time. However not everyone who lodges written submissions will be invited to give oral evidence.

Stage 9: Publication of evidence: All documents presented at the oral hearings, along with the transcripts of the hearings will be published on this website. Written evidence submitted to Lord Hardie will also be published.

Stage 10: Final report and recommendations: Review of all the evidence submitted and information obtained, in order to produce a final report and recommendations.