March 15, 2017

Two witnesses appeared before the Senate Special Select Committee at its 14th Public Hearing held in the National Assembly Chambers in Belmopan on Wednesday, 15th March 2017.  They were Mr. Rodolfo Bol Jr. who is the IT Manager at the Immigration Department and Mr. Francisco Gonzalez who is the Acting Director of the Central Information Technology Office (CITO), Ministry of Finance, Belmopan.

The Committee asked the witnesses a series of questions pertaining to the Auditor General’s Reports on Visa, Passport and Nationality. Mr. Bol was asked to clarify to the Committee the information found on paragraph 17.4 of the Passport Report whereby the Auditor General mentioned that “the IT personnel or BPIS users had the ability to remove the history of applicants”.  Mr. Bol however confirmed to the Committee that information that had been stored on the system could not be deleted. Mr. Bol further explained to the Committee the different types of users on the system for Passport and at the end of his interview he submitted a number of documents to the Committee for perusal.

On the other hand, Mr. Gonzalez was asked to explain to the Committee why he left the audit investigation and team, as claimed by the Auditor General in her report. Mr. Gonzalez testified that the necessary arrangements were made for someone to replace him in the audit team.

Absent at the public hearing which started at 10:28 AM and concluded at 3:30 PM was the Senator the Honourable Eamon Courtenay.   The Senate Special Select Committee is scheduled to meet again next Wednesday, 22nd March 2017, to continue its public hearing.