Former Immigration CEO Says Delays in Reports to AG Were Unintentional

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Updated: February 9, 2017

The first person to appear before the Senate Special Select Committee was the Auditor General Dorothy Bradley. The Auditor General’s Special Reports on Visa, Nationality and Passport covers only about twenty five percent of all the available records at the departments. Bradley told the committee that during the audit, the officers at the department were being “difficult”. This claim was refuted by Former CEO in the Ministry of Immigration, Candelaria Saldivar-Morter, during her appearance before the committee yesterday.

 CANDELARIA SALDIVAR MORTER

“On the 3rd of March the Auditor General wrote to Mr.Hulse indicating that she was having some difficulties getting documents from the immigration department. The Minister discussed it with me, we discussed it with Ms.Marin. Ms.Marin insisted that there was no way that they were in any way trying to stop the AG from doing what she is authorized to do. I even went and met with the AG somewhere between the 14th and 15th of March.”

ALDO SALAZAR

“This is what year?”

CANDELARIA SALDIVAR MORTER

“2014 and I met with the auditor general and we went through, she again expressed the difficulty she felt she was having and we tried to work out how it would be easier done after which I went to speak with Ms.Marin. Like she mentioned in her testimony that we made available the space that the auditor general was one of the things she complained about not having adequate spacing for the team. We made adequate spacing for them and again it kept that Ms.Marin was saying that they were not trying to hamper and like Ms.Marin explained a lot of things were happening so some of the files that they wanted were with other entities, reports had to be prepared there is a time frame with everything and so I thought that it was mainly because of that that the whole issue of cooperation was brought up because it wasn’t in any way intentional but rather because a lot of things were happening and so a lot of things we are trying to put in place at the same time and for me on the part of the department I don’t think it was intentional but rather just the timing with everything.”

The auditor general also told the committee that files had been missing from the department and she was not able to recover them from either the CEO or the Director of Immigration.

CANDELARIA SALDIVAR MORTER

“When the auditor general wrote to me asking us for files from the ministry I responded and told her that we did not remove any files from the department’s building, all the inventory was done within the confines of the department and so she insisted that Ms.Marin was saying that the files were with us but we did not do that inventory outside of the building it was done right within the building and so that was another correspondence that I had received from the auditor general requesting documents so that they could conduct their audit but the inventory was done right within the confines of the department, the files were not taken from the department to the ministry it was done by the ministry staff but within the department’s building not outside.”

MARK LIZARRAGA

“And were those files ever given to the auditor general?”

CANDELARIA SALDIVAR MORTER

“I am not sure because it was all the files, the inventory was done of all the files.”

MARK LIZARRAGA

“And there were no missing files.”

CANDELARIA SALDIVAR MORTER

“According to the report there were some missing files. I think the report in the auditor general’s report indicated from my people the amount of files that were missing but other than that all the files were inventoried.”

MARK LIZARRAGA

“Was this exercise done at the time that Arthurt Saldivar was said to be in possession of the files? Is this what triggered that?”

CANDELARIA SALDIVAR MORTER

“No no that did not factor into it at all. What factored into it was the fact that whenever the minister would request a file we had issues with finding some of the files and so we decided on our own to do an inventory of the files so that we would not have that issue, so that we knew where the files stood and whether we had the files or not and the inventory also entailed checking the file to ensure the completeness of the files.”

MARK LIZARRAGA

“And what did you do when you found that there were files missing.”

CANDELARIA SALDIVAR MORTER

“Well we couldn’t really do anything if we couldn’t fine the files. At that point we had to find out what all files were missing but we know the numbers and we may have known some of the names but there was nothing we could do. We searched for the files and we couldn’t find them.”

MARK LIZARRAGA

“Did you find that to be unusual?”

CANDELARIA SALDIVAR MORTER

“A lot of things were unusual at the immigration department and that was why were trying to put things in place to ensure but we had to start at some point and the only way we could know where we were was to find out what situation it was and that was why the inventory was done.”

Some of the files were in possession of former PUP Area Representative, Arthur Saldivar.

MARK LIZARRAGA

“Did you later, well I know you wouldn’t know for sure, but did you later discover that there was a claim by Mr.Author Saldivar that he had some of the files and those were some of the same files that were missing.”

CANDELARIA SALDIVAR MORTER

“I don’t quite recall if they were the numbers that were missing from the inventory but I do know that there were some files missing but the police was involved in locating those files, we had asked the police to deal with that.”

MARK LIZARRAGA

“Do you know if the police interrogated him or if the files were returned or if he managed to….”

CANDELARIA SALDIVAR MORTER

“I can’t really recall where they were with that case.”