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Migration Office faulted over asylum centres

The government has confirmed the Federal Migration Office breached the law in awarding supervision of its seven asylum centres to the same organisation.

An internal review found the Migration Office had awarded the management contracts for the seven sites to ORS Service for the past 20 years. Such contracts should have gone out to tender every five years.

The Zurich firm has been running the centres since 1991 although new legislation was introduced in 1996 which states each new contract should have gone out to tender, the cabinet wrote in response to a question by Swiss People’s Party politician Heinz Brand.

While no new tenders were launched for the contracts awarded to ORS, “it was mainly because collaboration with ORS had been tried and tested since the first contract was awarded in 1991”, the government noted in its response.

The Migration Office however will be launching a new tender this year. Migration Head Michael Glauser told the Swiss News Agency that taking care of asylum seekers was a “very demanding job”, involving different cultures and tensions that can arise in asylum centres, and which demands a high degree of professionalism.

ORS employs 300 people and takes care of around 4,000 asylum seekers every day. ORS told Swiss radio it would be following the situation closely and intended to apply for a future tender.

swissinfo.ch and agencies

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