Commission chairman Wally Yeung Chun-kuen has expressed frustration over the progress of the inquiry into allegations of government interference in the affairs of the Hong Kong Institute of Education. Despite numerous extensions to the inquiry's timetable, the commission is still striving to meet the June 14 deadline for the chairman to deliver his findings to the government, secretary to the commission Esmond Lee Chung-sin said this week. 'We are still working against that deadline. I think we will try our best and see how the inquiry progresses,' he said. When the inquiry was announced on February 15, Mr Yeung and commissioner Lee Jark Pui were given four months to return their findings to the government. They must determine whether the Secretary for Education and Manpower or other government officials have interfered with the institute's academic freedom or institutional autonomy. Last Saturday Mr Yeung questioned why Martin Lee Chu-ming SC, counsel for institute president Paul Morris and academic vice-president Bernard Luk Hung-kay, was pursuing a particular line of questioning during his cross-examination of University Grants Committee secretary-general Michael Stone. 'I'm just worried about the progress of this inquiry, that we are not wasting time,' he said. Mr Yeung has made several requests for lawyers to restrict their questioning to the inquiry's terms of reference. The chairman has extended the daily sitting hours, and hearings are also being held on Saturdays. However, the inquiry is only scheduled to sit for 12 days this month due to the availability of the lawyers and commissioners. Next week the inquiry will only be held on Saturday. The inquiry's secretariat has been forced to revise its hearing schedule eight times after witnesses took longer than expected to give evidence. Professor Morris endured seven days of questioning after the original timetable indicated he would spend two days on the witness stand. Professor Luk, whose allegations sparked the inquiry, was also scheduled to give evidence over two days but the academic's testimony stretched over five days. Seats in the hearing room will be at a premium later this month when the key government players take the stand. Former permanent secretary Fanny Law Fan Chiu-fun is scheduled to begin testifying on May 14, followed by Secretary for Education and Manpower Arthur Li Kwok-cheung on May 19. Four days have been allocated for Mrs Law to give evidence, while the current timetable has Professor Li on the witness stand for five days until May 30. Susanna Cheung Sau-man, a former Education and Manpower Bureau official, HKIEd treasurer Pang Yiu-kai and council chairman Thomas Leung Kwok-fai are scheduled to give evidence today.