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UKBA Apologize after Immigration Watchdog Alleged UKBA for Misleading MPs

United Kingdom Chief Inspector of Borders and Immigration, John Vine, has alleged in his report that UK Border Agency (UKBA) provided the information regarding the backlog of the refugee claimant cases to the Member Parliaments which was contrary to the facts. UKBA’s official has submitted apologies and accepted the full responsibility of the errors in the information to the committee in the year 2011.

UK Chief Inspector of Borders, John Vine, has said in his report that inaccurate updates were provided to the Parliament by the UKBA about the asylum cases.

“I found that updates given by the Agency to Parliament in the summer of 2011,” said John Vine, “stating that the legacy of unresolved asylum cases was resolved, were inaccurate.”

Mr. Vine alleged that very minimal paper work was carried out on the conclusion of the legacy asylum cases by in a bid to finish the work by summer of 2011. He added, “In fact, the programme of legacy work is far from resolved. On the evidence I found, it is hard not to reach the conclusion that cases were placed in the archive after only very minimal work in order to fulfil the pledge to conclude this work by the summer of 2011.”

Mr. Vine said that officials did not perform the security checks on the asylum cases on consistent manner and matching of records with other department was initiated in April this year. “I found that the security checks on controlled archive cases had not been undertaken routinely or consistently since April 2011, and data matching with other departments in order to trace applicants had not begun until April this year. This was unacceptable and at odds with the assurances given to the Home Affairs Select Committee,” Mr. Vine said.

“The flawed implementation of a policy change in July 2011, coupled with poor customer service, adversely affected a number of applicants. It led to lengthy and distressing delays for affected asylum applicants, including former unaccompanied asylum seeking children, whose cases should have been dealt with in a timely fashion,” the Chief Inspector of Borders further added.

Jonathan Sedgwick Sedgwick, the UKBA’s director of international operations and visas and a former acting chief executive, assumed the full responsibility for the incorrect information presented to the Parliament last year in April.

Mr. Sedgwick had said during his presentation that “exhaustive checks” had been done in 74,500 historic cases against 19 databases before they were placed in a “controlled archive”. The cases of the asylum seekers who could not traced by the UKBA were placed on a list ladled as “controlled archive”.

“I welcome this opportunity,” said Mr. Sedgwick, “to say to the whole committee in person how much I regret and apologise for the fact that I did mislead you on two occasions last year, specifically in relation to the number of databases that were and were not checked.

The UK home secretary in 2006 had asked UKBA to decide 450,000 unresolved asylum cases by the year 2011.

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