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The second witness at today’s Senate hearing had even more criticism of the passport system utilised by the Immigration Department. Francisco Gonzalez, who shared his expertise with the Auditor General’s audit team shared some of his concerns about the passport system. He indicated that during the seven months he assisted in the audit, he discovered that there have been passports issued but which do not appear as such in the Immigration Department’s database.


Senator Mark Lizarraga – Member of Special Senate Select Committee


“You tried to see how the system works; you try to understand the system?”


Screen_Shot_2017-03-15_at_8.00.53_PMFrancisco Gonzales - CITO Acting Director


“Yes Sir.”


Senator Mark Lizarraga – Member of Special Senate Select Committee


“And in doing so you wanted to see the steps, step by step by step by step?”


Francisco Gonzales - CITO Acting Director


“Yes Sir, I wanted to see if and I still don’t know up to this day and have that written in my report that I’ve submitted, I still don’t know whether you can print a passport  without it being entered into the system and shown as printed because when you look at some of the passports that have been physically delivered and when you look it up in the system it would be a QA, some of them would be a data entry which speaks to the fact that it’s possible that you bring in you documents then somebody enters it about two weeks.


Senator Pastor Ashely Rocke – Member Special Senate Select Committee


“When you were brought on what in your mind were you expected to do?”


Francisco Gonzales - CITO Acting Director


“I was again expecting to look at the passport system, audit it and see if there were any irregularities and then do data extraction for the Audit General’s Team.”


Senator Pastor Ashely Rocke – Member Special Senate Select Committee


“Did you get the chance to do all of that?”


Francisco Gonzales - CITO Acting Director


“Yes Sir”


Senator Pastor Ashely Rocke – Member Special Senate Select Committee


“You did and while doing the investigation did you find anything irregular?”


Francisco Gonzales - CITO Acting Director


“Well, what I had just stated that the process flow didn’t matched with what the system had and well…”


Senator Pastor Ashely Rocke – Member Special Senate Select Committee


“Well, that’s computer term man; I am not a computer person, so explain that what it means?”


Francisco Gonzales - CITO Acting Director


“A passport could be delivered without the system showing that it had been delivered, I found that to be highly irregular but again it is probably just how the system was built.”


Senator Pastor Ashely Rocke – Member Special Senate Select Committee


“Anything else”


Francisco Gonzales - CITO Acting Director


“The system was running with some very outdated and obsolete hardware and software, I mean after the audit was completed we had to call a couple ties to assist in the helping bring back up the system so that shows the system was very vulnerable, something else that was irregular was no development or testing system for you to be able to conduct test or to be able to see if there is any improvements that can be made to the system that you can recommend impossible do maybe that would have helped I the system.”


Senator Pastor Ashely Rocke – Member Special Senate Select Committee


“The vulnerability that you talk about, what does that mean?”


Francisco Gonzales - CITO Acting Director


“It’s a weakness of the system Sir.”


Senator Pastor Ashely Rocke – Member Special Senate Select Committee


“Weakness meaning”


Francisco Gonzales - CITO Acting Director


“That if it doesn’t capture from A to B and the passport is then delivered then it’s not serving its purpose.”

 

Senator Pastor Ashely Rocke – Member Special Senate Select Committee


“But we still continue to use the system?”


Francisco Gonzales - CITO Acting Director


“Yes Sir”

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