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Watchdog: Home Office continues to fail on basic immigration tasks

The independent borders watchdog has accused the Home Office of continuing to fail on getting “the basics right" on immigration.

In his final report, John Vine, the Chief Inspector of Borders and Immigration expressed how frustrating and disappointing it was to encounter the same problems continuously.

“Despite the abolition of the UK Border Agency and the functions being brought back under direct Ministerial control in the Home Office, many challenges persist and impact on public confidence,” Mr Vine said. “I still find too much evidence that the Home Office does not get the basics right. This includes the quality and consistency of decision making but also having caseworkers with the right skills, aligning resources to the right priorities and having high quality management information that provides a sound basis on which to make decisions on future strategy and resourcing.”

The report shows the Home Office has not improved on how it handles asylum cases. Mr Vine urged the Home Office “to ensure that it makes good quality decisions in a timely manner, treats all these vulnerable applicants with dignity and respect, and uses public money wisely.”

The independent borders watchdog’s report shows that the Home Office’s £30m immigration contract with Capita, an outsourcing firm led to a series of failures.

“Of the 120,000 people whose cases were sent to Capita for contact to be made, I found that less than 1% had left as a result of Capita’s intervention,” Mr Vine said.

The report also shows that Capita had mistakenly overstated the number of illegal immigrants leaving the country by more than a quarter.

“Any failure to take action against foreign nationals who overstay their permission to be in the UK has the potential to undermine public confidence in immigration control,” Mr Vine said.
 

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