Heads Must Roll at Home Office and UK Borders 'Agency'

Posted on | Saturday, 14 April 2012 | No Comments

MPs have called on the Home Office to take direct responsibility for a dysfunctional UK Border 'Agency'

But with no competent, trustworthy Home Secretary at the helm, and an evasive Permanent Secretary, what hope is there?

Until that Robespierre moment, when Home Secretary Theresa May, Minister of Immigration Damian Green, and UKBA Chief Executive Rob Whiteman plus other incompetents are removed from office, our sovereign shores will remain poorly policed.

In the latest report from the Home Affairs Committee, Rt. Hon Keith Vaz MP, Chair of the Committee, said:
"The reputation of the Home Office, and by extension, the UK Government, is being tarnished by the inability of the UK Border Agency to fulfil its basic functions.
The Foreign National Prisoner issue and the Asylum backlog were scandals which first broke in 2006, 6 years ago. UKBA appears unable to focus on its key task of tracking and removing illegal immigrants, overstayers or bogus students from the country.The so-called 'controlled archive', the dumping ground for cases where the UK Border Agency has lost track of the applicant, will take a further 4 years to clear at the current rate of resolution. This is unacceptable.
Following the Border Controls saga we now have two agencies instead of one. We are hopeful that the UKBA will now concentrate fully on the issues that are causing so much concern to the public and to Parliament."
(Note:  the “Agency” has an archive of 119,000 lost applicants and 17,000 live cases}.
What hope of this happening when we have evidence of Home Secretary Theresa May refusing to provide data to the Committee and now the CEO Rob Whiteman dishonouring his commitment to transparency – Section 79 of the report stating: 
79. When Mr Whiteman first appeared before this Committee on 15 November 2011, he told us that, ‘ I think this Committee has  an important role  in holding me to account and also in my being transparent about the good things and the bad things that happen ... I very much want to work on the basis of trust with this Committee’.It is therefore deeply disappointing that on two occasions since our last report, the Committee has been denied access to information (by Mr Whiteman).
It isn’t sufficient that the Home Affairs Committee, as an overseer and scrutiniser simply ‘requests’ – it must have the authority to ‘instruct’, i.e., demand action that includes removal of incompetent personnel in the national interest.


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