UKBA: Named and Shamed

The UKBA has been criticised for failing to provide accurate reports in connection with the backlog of unresolved asylum cases dated back as far as 2006.

John Vine, the independent chief inspector of borders and immigration, in his report blamed the UKBA for allowing a huge backlog of asylum cases to build up and for misleading Parliament about how it has dealt with this backlog.

In 2006 the home secretary ordered the UKBA to deal with 450,000 unresolved asylum cases within five years. In the summer of 2011 the agency informed Parliament that the legacy of unresolved asylum cases was resolved; however this statement was utterly inaccurate as at that time there were still 147,000 unresolved cases left.

Mr Vine in his report pointed out other failings on the part of the UKBA and went on to state that the agency had also failed to routinely or consistently make security checks to try to trace some of the unresolved cases. It appears that security checks were not carried out properly and applications have been placed into the archive of unresolved cases after minimal work. This practice is completely contrary to what the UKBA told the Home Affairs Select Committee; the agency gave assurance that 124,000 cases were only archived after ‘exhaustive checks’ to trace the applicant had been made.

From the chief inspector’s report it is clear that the UKBA is unable to fulfil basic functions; the continued failures are costly for both the asylum seekers that are left in a limbo and the country as the nation’s boarders are left uncontrolled.

A spokesman for the border agency stated that the failures are due to the fact that the agency is under resourced to cope with the expanding load of asylum and immigration cases; however also acknowledged that it is a “troubled organisation with a poor record of delivery”.

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