Border Agency 'put profit first'


The UK Border Agency is putting work that brings in money ahead of securing the UK's borders, staff told inspectors

Hundreds of migrant workers are left living in the UK illegally as the UK Border Agency puts profits before securing the country’s borders, an independent watchdog has said.

John Vine, the independent chief inspector of the UKBA, said the perception among staff was that the agency’s emphasis “was always on income-generating work first”.

Controlling immigration and the quality of decisions over cases were not as much of a priority as generating income and providing customer service, many staff said.

Limited resources and the lower priority of curtailment actions compared with other work which generated more income were both blamed.

Mr Vine called for the agency to act promptly to return those living in the UK illegally.

“If people no longer qualify to stay in the UK according to their visa conditions, then they must be required to leave the country,” he said.

“Many staff perceived that quality of decision-making and controlling immigration were not as much of a priority for the UK Border Agency as generating income and providing customer service. We saw evidence of resources being moved around the different work streams in order to meet demand.

“There was a perception among staff however that the emphasis was always on income generating work first before doing other work. This view was echoed by staff in sponsorship who confirmed that post-licensing sponsor maintenance work was seen as lower priority as it did not attract income.”

Immigration minister Damian Green told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme that Mr Vine was right to identify weaknesses in the system and promised to put them right.

Mr Green said: “Of course he’s right to identify there have been serious weaknesses in the immigration system and one of my most important jobs is to put them right. The system needs to be made more efficient and to get better as a system, and that’s the other thing I am determined to drive through.”

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.