Justice Minister Simonetta Sommaruga has opened an enquiry into why thousands of Iraqi asylum requests were ignored by the Federal Migration Office over the years.
Between 2006 and 2008 Swiss embassies in Syria and Egypt received some 7,000-10,000 requests for asylum from Iraqi citizens, which were put to one side by the migration office.
The enquiry will try to establish whether this violated the law and also how to best deal with the outstanding applications.
The report, entrusted to former federal judge Michel Féraud, is expected by the end of the year.
Also on Wednesday Sommaruga announced that the head of the Federal Migration Office, Alard du Bois-Reymond, had been dismissed. No reasons were given and Sommaruga would neither confirm nor deny that this was in connection with the Iraqi asylum enquiry.
Du Bois-Reymond, who had been in the post since January 2010, will be replaced at the beginning of November by his deputy, Mario Gattiker, who has been at the migration office since 2001.
swissinfo.ch and agencies