The government report found Australian immigration officials not only wrongfully deported Ms Solon to the Philippines, even though she was gravely-ill at the time, but also covered up the mistake.
She was deported as an illegal immigrant in July 2001, shortly after a car accident caused spinal injuries so severe her lawyers said she was unable to sign her name before boarding the plane.
The report was conducted by former Victoria state police commissioner, Neil Comrie.
Mr Comrie found at least three immigration officers first became aware of the mistake in 2003 but made no attempt to rectify it.
He said her physical and mental health problems had been ignored by poorly-trained immigration officers.
“The management of Vivian’s case was very poor, lacking rigour and
accountability,” his report said.
Ms Solon spent four years in a hospice for the dying in the Philippine capital, Manila before her identity was discovered in May.
She has two Australian-based children aged 17 and 9, and her estranged Australian had made persistent efforts to find her.
The Commonwealth Ombudsman’s report described the handling of her case as “catastrophic.”
“This report highlights some critical failures in public administration that had a dramatic adverse effect on an Australian citizen,” said Ombudsman John McMillan.
Ms Solon’s lawyer George Newhouse said she would return to Australia if a satisfactory compensation package could be negotiated.
But Mr Newhouse has said that “heads should roll” in the federal government.
“It’s not for me whether Amanda Vanstone or the Attorney-General Mr (Philip) Ruddock have paid a suitable price (but) as far as I can tell they’ve paid no price at all,” he told reporters.
Immigration Minister, Amanda Vanstone, has announced a A$230 million (US$175 million) program to fix her embattled department.
“I also want to repeat the Australian government’s apology to Ms Alvarez
and her family,” she told reporters.
Amanda Vanstone said one of the officers implicated in the cover up
had resigned and the other two were under investigation.
But no criminal charges were expected to be laid.
The minister also said she had no intention of resigning over the bungle.
The Alvarez Solon case came to light after it was revealed another
Australian, German-born Cornelia Rau, was wrongfully imprisoned for 10 months as an illegal immigrant.
Since then, the immigration department has admitted wrongfully detaining more than 200 people who were in the country legally and revealed many had received compensation packages in return for not going public with their cases.