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Former Director Ruth Meighan was given an opportunity to propose recommendations to the Immigration Department, which she said, lacked the resources during her tenure to do proper checks on files. She agreed that a full audit was necessary.


Mark Lizarraga - Senate Select Committee member


“Having seen all that has come out, would you recommend a full audit be done of the department and the files?”

 

RuthRuth Meighan – Former Immigration Officer


“Certainly”


Mark Lizarraga - Senate Select Committee member


“Certainly, so your recommendation would be that a full audit be done for those year or other years as well?”

 

Ruth Meighan – Former Immigration Officer


“Yes”


Mark Lizarraga - Senate Select Committee member


“So you agree that a full audit needs to be done.  She’s also recommended specifically that a full audit be done of the Nationality register, would you agree that that needs to be done.”


Ruth Meighan – Former Immigration Officer


“Yes, when I as the Director didn’t expect that some of the things that happened did happen so I must state that clearly because the expectations were that when the information that is presented accurate, relevant I mean what we asked for.  Obviously, I don’t know if changing the people or putting more control or putting better system in place would make a difference.  Obviously the department requires people within the department that you can trust with the information that they are presented you with because at the end of the day what you get is what you make your decision on so my recommendation is that maybe there need to be some sort of systematic control on how the process is being done and I am of the opinion that that has been some changes because I heard that they have different committees now working in the department the unfortunate thing is that the information that is presented to the committees are the same information that was presented to me as the Director so unless we can start to collaborate and do further verification of the documents and that sort of things which is one of the things that we did at the time when I was there; to verify the authenticity of a document or to do cross check with the police department as one of our supporting agencies I think that our system will continue to fail there needs to be further strengthening within the department.”


Meighan was discharged by the Committee, on the agreement that she will have to review the entire report and provide feedback on the recommendations proposed by the Auditor General. It is expected that when the Committee hearings resume next week, they will be calling up the Senior Information Officers whose names have been called numerous times during the hearing. Throughout the scandals at the Immigration Department, those public officers have evaded the media and any form of public accountability, even though they have much to account for.

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