Parliament to end to independent investigations

Hearings to provide “far, far faster” method for looking into alleged wrongdoing

Parliament’s leadership has announced that investigations into alleged wrongdoing will no longer be carried out by independent panels, Berlingske newspaper reports.

Instead of years-long investigations, in some cases lasting up to a decade and ending in limited results, parliament hopes that hearings led by members of the legislature will provide a more effective alternative. 

The model would be based on legislative hearings already seen in countries like Norway, Sweden, the US and the UK, said Mogens Lykketoft (S), parliament’s president. 

“The goal is to wrap up these investigations far, far faster,” he said.

Drawn out and costly
Parliament is looking most closely at the Norwegian model, in which a select panel of MPs conducts hearings with the aid of legal counsel. Lykketoft left open the possibility of setting up independent panels, but said parliamentary hearings would be a faster alternative.  

According to Justice Ministry figures, over the past three decades, independent commissions have cost a total of 350 million kroner. In 2012 alone, the amount was 27.3 million. The most expensive independent investigation was the 10-year investigation looking into how to improve oversight of PET, the secret service agency. It cost 77.5 million kroner. 

Four other investigations are currently being conducted by independent panels at the behest of parliament, including an investigation into the decision-making process leading up to the 2003 vote to join the military coalition in Iraq. Its decision is expected in 2017

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