Officials to Track Residency Applications

September 28, 2007

The Immigration Administration announced it has implemented an electronic system to track the 300,000 applications for residency now being processed.

The system, to be used internally, aims to reduce the number of “lost” applications by identifying which administration official has the application at any given time.

“The system will allow us to maintain strict control over the applications. It is also a tool to help us fight corruption,” Immigration Director Mario Zamora said in a statement.

Immigration spokeswoman Heidy Bonilla explained that corrupt department officials hide applications, then call foreigners and charge them for “finding” the documents.

The new system aims to crack down on this practice.

In the old system, which was part manual and part digital, Immigration authorities could tell which department had the application, but not which employee.

Bonilla said authorities have suspicions about which Immigration employees are bribing foreigners, but they do not yet have enough evidence to file a case.

 

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