NZ Immigration employees caught using database like dating website
Staff at the New Zealand Immigration offices have been accused of unauthorised access to a confidential client database in order to compare would-be migrants’ finances and personal details.
During the past year, immigration officers have been accessing confidential client details, identifying those sounding wealthy and interesting and comparing their suitability as boyfriends or husbands. According to a former employee, certain clients were recommended to unmarried staff members as a joke.
Ten complaints were made against nine NZ Immigration officers over the last year about unauthorised access to applicants’ confidential details. Seven of the complaints were substantiated and three are still being investigated.
As a result of the seven complaints which were upheld, one immigration officer has resigned, four more have been given final warnings and one is facing disciplinary action. The behaviour of those involved was compared to searching online dating websites and joking with friends about the contents.
A spokesperson for New Zealand Immigration Services, Marc Piercey, told the New Zealand Herald that such misuse of confidential client records could not be tolerated by the agency. He added that breaches of its code of conduct were taken very seriously, and that those involved in the scandal would be dealt with in the manner which they deserved.
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