Carlos Perdomo on Checks and Balances in Immigration

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Updated: June 15, 2017

Former Immigration Minister Carlos Perdomo appeared for the second time before the Senate Special Select Committee. Perdomo, whose name appears several times in the auditor general reports, was mainly questioned by Senate Mark Lizarraga. Senator Lizarraga was primarily interested in the procedures put in places after irregularities were discovered within the department.

MARK LIZARRAGA

“Do you agree that you implicitly and it can be said explicitly tolerated wrongdoing under your watch?”

CARLOS PERDOMO

“I don’t agree”

MARK LIZARRAGA

“You don’t agree. Would you agree that you either implicitly or explicitly nurtured wrongdoing under your watch?”

CARLOS PERDOMO

“You just spoke about casting aspersions, you are back to it. I don’t agree.”

MARK LIZARRAGA

“Do you agree that implicitly or explicitly wrongdoing grew and blossomed under your watch as Minister of Immigration and Nationality?”

CARLOS PERDOMO

“I don’t agree.”

MARK LIZARRAGA

“As Minister of Nationality, Immigration and Passport did you drive the formation of any policy on immigration, passport and nationality?”

CARLOS PERDOMO

“It’s been a few years since I’ve been in that post I don’t recall what policies we did but whenever we would have meetings it would be myself, the CEO maybe the director or other people but I don’t recall exactly what we did it’s been a long time.”

MARK LIZARRAGA

“As a member of cabinet at any time did the cabinet say to you ‘Minister Perdomo we know that so and so is happening in that Ministry we want you to straighten it up?’

CARLOS PERDOMO

“Except for the case that I mentioned last week I don’t recall anything like that.”

MARK LIZARRAGA

“Cabinet never expressed any concerns about the goings on in that department except in that case?”

 CARLOS PERDOMO

“Not in the way you are framing it. I am saying just when there were discovered irregularities like that airport incident that I mentioned last week.”

Lizarraga persisted in his line of questioning, asking Perdomo whether or not he believes that as the Minister of Immigration he should be held responsible for the actions of his junior staff.

MARK LIZARRAGA

It seems to me that the constitution and the regulations are clearly telling us that people in authority and in senior positions in this country starting at Cabinet are responsible for those below them would you agree?”

CARLOS PERDOMO

That was talking about the public service.”

MARK LIZARRAGA

Yes but the concept is the same. If you read the constitutions and the regulations the concept is the same, those that are above you are responsible for those below would you agree?”

CARLOS PERDOMO

I don’t agree because it’s something that has to go into a discussion. How will you be responsible for everything that everybody down below does. You are responsible for somethings but you can’t take responsibility for everything a public officer does so it’s an issue that is very broad and has many many different angles to answer it and so so your question I can’t answer that because that is not a fair question.”

MARK LIZARRAGA

Minister what I want to, I’m not casting blame or aspersions on anything as yet, what I’m trying to see…”

CARLOS PERDOMO

But that is exactly what you are doing, you are casting aspersions.”

MARK LIZARRAGA

What I’m doing is I am quoting the constitution and the regulations.”

CARLOS PERDOMO

But you want me to agree to everything you read and I am saying that in dealing with the constitution there is a lot of ways to look at it and discuss it. It just can’t be yes or no.”

The senate hearing resumes on Wednesday, June 21.