Grenfell Tower Inquiry final report “will not be published before April”
04 December 2023
THE GRENFELL Tower Inquiry Panel “continues to make progress” in drafting the final report, but its latest Newsletter – published on the dedicated Public Inquiry website – suggests that the final document “will not be published before April next year” (although the Inquiry Panel hopes to be able to send the concluded document to the Prime Minister ahead of the next anniversary of the fire in London’s North Kensington with publication soon thereafter).
Under Rule 13 of the Inquiry Rules, the Grenfell Tower Inquiry is required to write to those who may be subject to criticism, explaining the basis on which such criticism may be made. Drafts of the chapters relating to the history of the refurbishment, the response of central and local Government and chapters relating to the London Fire Brigade have been completed and warning letters have been sent to those who are likely to be criticised. “Responses to those letters have been received from many of those to whom we have written, although the process is continuing.”
Draft chapters relating to the manufacturers of products as well as certification bodies and aspects of the Tenant Management Organisation’s conduct are nearly all complete, although in each case “there is work to be done” before warning letters can be sent out.
Many of the chapters relating to the development of fire safety aspects of the Building Regulations and the part played by Government have been completed and others are “well advanced”, but some drafting remains to be completed.
Work on the chapters relating to experimental work conducted by some of the Grenfell Tower Inquiry’s expert witnesses is not quite as far advanced. The chapters relating to the circumstances surrounding the deaths of the deceased have largely been completed. The Grenfell Tower Inquiry Panel reports: “We do not think it will be necessary to send out more than a small number of warning letters relating to them.”
The Grenfell Tower Inquiry Panel also states: “The Rule 13 process is proving [to be] time-consuming. Not only do we have to allow recipients a reasonable time to respond to potential criticisms, but we also have to analyse their responses in order to decide whether we need to modify our provisional conclusions or the way in which we have expressed them. Nonetheless, we are probably over halfway through the process, having sent out over 100 letters so far.”
Given that the amount of evidence – both oral and documentary – that the Inquiry Panel has collected makes the drafting of a report “a very time-consuming task”, while the process of preparing and printing a work of this size “will take a considerable number of weeks”
In due course, the Grenfell Tower Inquiry Panel will write to all core participants about the arrangements for publication.
Following the conclusion of hearings for Phase 2, the Inquiry team is undertaking a sweep-up and publication process and will continue to publish documents on the website at www.grenfelltowerinquiry.org.uk. A list of documents published on the website post-11 November 2022 can be found online here.
As at 21 November this year, the Grenfell Tower Inquiry has disclosed no fewer than 20,784 documents in Phase 1 and 299,647 documents in Phase 2, yielding a total of 320,431.
The total number of core participants involved is 638.