The independent body in charge of keeping watch over the RCMP will release its report this week into the death of Robert Dziekanski, assessing the conduct of the four officers who repeatedly stunned him with a Taser at Vancouver's airport.

The report by the Commission for Public Complaints Against the RCMP will also look at the subsequent police investigation of his death, which has come in for harsh criticism as details have emerged at a British Columbia public inquiry.

While the high-profile inquiry in Vancouver has been grabbing headlines and stirring controversy, the commission has spent the past year quietly conducting its own investigation.

Commission chairman Paul Kennedy will be in Vancouver on Tuesday as he releases his findings about what happened in the early morning of Oct. 14, 2007.

There are persistent questions and an ongoing legal challenge by the officers involved over whether the public inquiry, which was ordered by the B.C. government and finished hearings in October, has any power to pass judgement on members of a national police force.

But Kennedy's jurisdiction is clear.

"The complaints commission is the only organization which has been specifically tasked by Parliament to examine the conduct of RCMP members," Kevin Brosseau, director of operations for the commission, said in an interview.

"They permit the commission to review the conduct of the RCMP members involved in the case, the adequacy of the investigation, as well as more broad issues such as those related to training and RCMP policy."

The report's release will be one of Kennedy's final acts as the head of the commission, since the federal government isn't renewing his appointment when it expires at the end of this month.

Dziekanski's fateful encounter with RCMP took place more than two years ago.

He'd arrived from Poland nearly 10 hours earlier, unable to speak any English and clearly agitated by the time he began throwing furniture in the arrivals area.

Summoned following calls to 911, police approached and within seconds one of them deployed a Taser five times, continuing even after Dziekanski was writhing on the floor, screaming in pain. Within minutes, he was dead.

Crown prosecutors in B.C. decided not to charge any of the four officers, concluding that their actions were justified. But their conduct has still been under intense scrutiny, particularly after their testimony at the public inquiry.

They were accused at the inquiry of using too much force and then lying about what happened to justify their actions. As discrepancies have emerged between the officers' account of events and an eyewitness video, the case has been held up as an example of why the RCMP shouldn't investigate itself.

Brosseau said Kennedy has the power to recommend discipline against members of the force, but the commission's reports typically focus on identifying policies that need fixing.

"The commission sees itself as focused on trying to improve police practices, and in that case, looks to make many of its recommendations remedial and forward-looking in nature," said Brosseau.

But whatever the recommendations, it's up to the RCMP and the federal government to decide what to do next, which some observers say shows there isn't enough oversight of the RCMP.

"If there are no real teeth to it, we might question why we would have an entity like this and have it looking into very serious issues," said David MacAlister, a criminologist at Simon Fraser University.

MacAlister said the RCMP has traditionally been reluctant to accept some of the commission's recommendations.

"As an organization, they think they do a pretty good job of looking into any problems and coming up with their own ideas about how to make things better," said MacAlister. "They seem to be a little resistant to external forms of criticism."

For example, when Kennedy released a report in August that concluded the RCMP shouldn't investigate itself in serious cases, the force quickly responded that it was working on its own changes and that some of Kennedy's proposals may not be practical in some cases.

The RCMP insists it listens to the commission's reports, pointing to its response following Kennedy's investigation into general Taser use.

He called on the force to limit shock weapons to situations where the subject is combative or poses a risk of serious harm to themselves, the police or the public.

The RCMP responded by telling officers to only use Tasers in situations involving a threat to officer or public safety, and by warning that Tasers can carry the risk of death -- despite claims to the contrary by the weapon's manufacturer.

"Some recommendations we can respond to quickly, some take a little more planning," said RCMP Sgt. Greg Cox.

"Also, we are not required to comply with recommendations. Not to say that we won't, but they're just recommendations, it's nothing more than that."

Walter Kosteckyj, the lawyer who represents Dziekanski's mother, Zofia Ciswoski, said the only way to ensure the police are properly watched is to create an independent body that can compel the RCMP to act.

"The thing that seems to be the hardest for the public and for me to fathom, is why have a police complaints commissioner if the RCMP are not going to abide by the recommendations?" said Kosteckyj.

"Why is it that no one seems to take responsibility when these recommendations are made to make sure they're implemented?"

As for Kennedy's report, Kosteckyj said he hopes it pays special attention to the investigation by the Integrated Homicide Investigation Team, which includes members of the RCMP.

"Hopefully he's going to bring to the public some sense of knowledge about how he thinks that investigation was conducted, because we have serious concerns about that," said Kosteckyj.