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Mar 15, 2017

Gonzalez Says Time to Fix Passport Machine

Francisco Gonzalez

Gonzalez spent most of the session leading Senators through an explanation of how technological failures with the machine readable passport system were an underlying cause of the problems within the Immigration Department at the time of the audit report. With news of the Government’s plans to purchase a new machine and the concurrent problems with the current system, Gonzalez made known CITO’s efforts to be part of the thought process in re-equipping the Department to avoid its past problems.

 

Francisco Gonzalez, Former Database Administrator, CITO

“With the purchasing of a new passport system, I think it could be very important before that to happen, that the Department take a step back, document all of their policies and procedures, put that on paper, and then look at various systems to ensure that whatever they’re purchasing matches what they have on pen and paper or in black and white. Otherwise we will be finding ourselves here in a few years, asking the same questions.”

 

Aldo Salazar, Chair, Senate Special Select Committee

“Not the same people asking them. Any other questions…”

 

Mark Lizarraga

Mark Lizarraga, Senator, Business Community

“One other question – you said you’re with CITO; are you involved whenever – I’ve seen in other Auditor General’s Reports that she has said that it would be nice for her to be consulted when systems are being bought? Do you know what the procedure is? You made a recommendation just now – will your office be involved in looking at the systems, in assisting with picking the systems that will be used, or making recommendations? I mean, how much weight will CITO have in this?”

 

Francisco Gonzalez

“We have requested that we be involved when any Department within the Government of Belize is looking to procure a new system; and we have also requested that they involve us from the analysis stage or from the inception of them wanting to purchase a system, so that we can ensure that they are getting what they need, as opposed to what somebody wants to give you. And I also recall making a recommendation to the Auditor General when she was looking to hire an I.T. person; I think they had a TOR for a systems administrator. Somebody doing this type of work would be along the lines of a software developer with database knowledge, or a database administrator one with a little software knowledge; they kind of go hand in hand, not a system administrator.”

 

Mark Lizarraga

“Those are recommendations; those are requests from your Department – but have those become policy? Is it a must that CITO gets involved in these processes?”

 

Francisco Gonzalez

“We do have the e-government mandate but it has been slow to get the kind of support. But we have been involved little by little; I know we have been involved with Natural Resources; currently we had a meeting with Immigration and Nationality just last week.”

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