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Full disclosure first step in Immigration claims

Full disclosure first step in Immigration claims

National Party Immigration spokesman Lockwood Smith says the Immigration Minister should order full disclosure of the details surrounding an irregular visa process for members of a senior Immigration official’s family.

“The public will be justifiably suspicious if the full details of an investigation into a senior staffer are kept secret. Clayton Cosgrove should order full transparency as a first step towards restoring confidence in the department.”

It has been revealed that an inquiry, conducted last year but kept secret, found procedures had not been followed in relation to visas granted to family members of Immigration Service boss Mary-Anne Thompson.

Reports suggest Ms Thompson broke the Immigration Service’s code of conduct rules, while another staffer has been disciplined.

“For the public to retain confidence in the Immigration Service, the Minister should do what he can to open up the files on this case. These are serious claims, and Mr Cosgrove can’t just dismiss them as an operational matter.

“The public will have real concerns if there’s any perception that our rules were relaxed, or bent, for the family members of a senior official.

“This Department, more than most, has good reason to be up front. It was exposed as ‘lying in unison’, and failed to act when concerns were raised about alleged activities involving former Labour MP Taito Phillip-Field.”

Dr Smith says he is reserving his judgment on whether a State Services Commission review of matters related to the case is required.

“Let’s see precisely what ground has been covered by the initial inquiry first.”


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