Minister explains how they monitor quality of asylum claims interviews

Immigration Minister Mark Harper has said the UK Border Agency is auditing 10% of all first instance asylum interviews and decisions against a detailed quality assurance framework drawn up and agreed with the UN High Commissioner for Refugees.

Responding to Ms. Madeleine Moon, MP for Bridgend, Mr. Harper said that in the 12-month period to November 2012, some 1,402 cases were sampled. The average quality scores were 91.5% for interviews and 89.7% for decisions.

The quality benchmark is considered to be 90%.

Mr. Harper revealed that a new quality assurance process was being developed to re-design the agency’s existing framework, providing a more detailed analysis of quality and expanding the scope to measure success at each stage of the end-to-end asylum system, looking at the critical elements of the process.

He also confirmed that the existing quality assurance process is essentially the same for male and female applicants.

He, however, pointed out that the gender of the applicant in each audit is recorded, and the criteria for assessment includes how the interviewer and decision maker handled gender-related issues.

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