The Obama Administration has halted new citizenship approvals after realizing that its background check system was broken, The Washington Times reported.

The report, quoting a key congressman said, the government has suspended naturalization ceremonies and banned officers from approving any new applications for citizenship earlier this week after realizing its background check system was broken.

House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte, who was tipped off about the error said that he was surprised the administration did not bother to inform him, it was reported.

In the internal email Goodlatte obtained by Washington Times, the associate director at U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services ordered all officers “not to approve or oath any naturalization cases”.

“At this point we are not confident that proper FBI Name Checks have been run on certain ELIS cases. At this point we are uncertain of the scope of the problem,” it was said in the email.

FBI name checks give immigration officers a look at criminal histories or other national security breeches.

The officers have been asked to conduct citizenship interviews but not give approval for citizenship.