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Reforming UK Border and Immigration system: Chair's statement

22 July 2014

A statement from The Rt Hon Margaret Hodge MP, Chair of the Committee of Public Accounts:

The Department has still not solved some of the big problems of the former UK Border Agency. It’s unacceptable that over 25,000 asylum claims are still waiting to be dealt with and the Department does not know if over 175,000 people who have no right to be in the UK have left or not.

How the Department expects to recover its position and deliver a proper service without good management information is beyond me. The fact its data is still inconsistent and of poor quality is frustrating - with the Department failing to record the minimum amount of information required to make a decision for a third of asylum claims. 

The Department is not helping itself, as it has failed to solve its IT problems - despite spending £347 million on a new system, it has not delivered what was expected. Given its poor track record, I have little confidence that the further £209 million it is spending on another IT system will be money well spent. It is simply not good enough that the Department has not tracked its progress in reducing costs by £594 million. The Department knows it has remained within budget, but it simply does not know where it has made these savings or whether they are sustainable. The Department, therefore, cannot give Parliament assurance that these cuts will not negatively impact on its future performance.

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