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Feb 1, 2017

Wade Blames His Juniors for Messing Up Nationality Files

Gordon Wade

But what did Wade really see in those many files passing over his desk during those two years he was in charge? He said that a completed file with the relevant documents was presented, with the certifications from the accepting officers that the documents they received were true and correct. But something went wrong, somewhere. Wade says the breakdown comes in the pre-vetting period where the aforementioned communication did not exist, resulting in applications not being fully checked out.

 

Gordon Wade, Former Officer in Charge, Nationality Section

“As the final vettor, I don’t get to see a passport.”

 

Aldo Salazar, Chair, Senate Special Select Committee

“What do you get to see?”

 

Gordon Wade

“I get to see a file. A file that has certified documents in there and these files that come to me are from the entire country; it’s not just from Belmopan. Applications are submitted in each district; they are sent to Belmopan at the headquarters where at the registry unit where they will be turned into a file and what comes to my desk finally is a file.”

 

Aldo Salazar

“So you get a file, which will have copies of say the entire passport which will attempt to show that the person…say in the case of somebody who is here for five years, which I find most of the infractions were in relation of saying that people were here for five years and they were not. So in case of somebody who was here for five years—or who alleged that they were here for five years—you would have gotten a file with a copy of a passport in it, certified as a true copy. By who?”

 

Gordon Wade

“By the officer that accepted the application—whether it be in Belmopan or as I said, in the district stations.”

 

Aldo Salazar

“So the officer that accepted the application would verify the authenticity of the passport?”

 

Gordon Wade

“That’s the job of the acceptance clerk.”

 

Aldo Salazar

“So it is not that somebody would come with copies already?”

 

Gordon Wade

“No, no, no. When you bring in your application, you bring the original document along with copies. And the accepting officer should compare the copies presented against the original and then certify that there are true copies.  The suggestion you made that if the department was network, if we had a closer working relationship with the visa, the passport and the nationality section, those things could have been avoided. Because like I’ve mentioned, when a file reaches my desk, this file has been accepted, it has been prepared, the applicant has been interviewed; it has been pre-vetted before it comes to me. So when it comes to me, having been through all those processes, it is not the usual for me to start the process all over again and start verifying everything that’s in there. So that is where I would see a breakdown where that could be strengthen; that policy there.”

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