Skip to main content

E-borders inquiry


In 2003 UK border controls relied primarily on systems and procedures that operated at the border itself. In the early 2000s there was a growing realisation in the UK and elsewhere of the need to do more checks before people arrived in the country, and ideally before they left their point of origin. It was against this background that the Home Office set up its e-borders programme. After four years of planning, piloting and procurement, in November 2007 the Home Office entered a contract with Raytheon Systems Limited, a contract which it terminated in July 2010 claiming failure to deliver against milestones.

Between 2003 and 2015, the Home Office spent at least £830 million on the e-borders programme and its successors, including over £340 million between 2006–07 and 2010-11 on the e-borders programme, a further £150 million on the settlement with Raytheon and £35 million on legal costs, and £303 million on successor programmes. Although these have delivered some valuable capabilities, with advanced passenger data now available on an estimated 86% of those travelling to the UK compared with zero in 2003.This is still considerably short of the target in the e-borders business case of 95% by December 2010 and 100% by March 2014.