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Auditor General Inquiry into Immigration Service

Auditor General Inquiry into Immigration Service

Prime Minister Helen Clark and Immigration Minister Clayton Cosgrove said today that the Government has invited the Auditor General to undertake an inquiry into the Immigration Service.

They said that events have come to light in recent days and weeks which give the Cabinet real concern about the integrity of systems within the New Zealand Immigration Service.

“These issues need to be fully examined – and this examination needs to be undertaken by an entirely independent party.

“Accordingly the Government has decided to invite the Auditor General to undertake an inquiry into the integrity of decision making processes in the Immigration Service at the Department of Labour, with a particular focus on the Pacific Division.

“Mr Brady has indicated he is happy to undertake this inquiry and will be giving urgent thought to appropriate terms of reference.

“The Auditor General can require production of documents and information and can examine witnesses on oath.

“My expectation is that his inquiry will cover the actions of senior management in the Department of Labour and the Immigration Service and will include interactions between the Department of Labour and the State Services Commission.

“The Auditor General will, however, set his own terms of reference.

“Our preference is for the Auditor General to commence and complete this review as soon as he can.

“It is important that the Immigration Service, and in particular the Pacific Division, can move on from the current uncertainty as soon as possible. Our judgment is that this can most effectively be done by way of an independent inquiry.

“Any individuals who have information which may reflect on the integrity of decision making processes in the Immigration Service are encouraged to raise any specific concerns with the Auditor General,” Helen Clark and Clayton Cosgrove said.

Other Matters

Three other inquiries or reviews are currently underway.

The Police are investigating matters concerning representations made by Mary Anne Thompson about her qualifications that will continue independently of the Auditor General’s Inquiry.

I expect the SSC Inquiry into the Department of Labour’s handling of the Oughton Review will be concluded in the next few weeks and will be available to the Auditor General.

The Chief Executive of the Department of Labour will consider the implications of the Auditor General review for the recently announced review of the Pacific Division.


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