In early November Portcullis House was the venue for a MPs’ surgery held by John Vine as part of his current focus on asylum. Led by Assistant Chief Inspector Mark Voce, the inspectorate is undertaking a thematic inspection of asylum, scrutinising how the UKBA delivers fast and fair decisions on asylum applications. Mark’s team are looking specifically at how the Agency intends to meet its published targets for concluding applications and legacy cases, as well as ensuring the quality of decision- making and providing information to customers.
Neil Gerrard MP hosted the session, which was attended by Kate Hoey MP, Laura Moffatt MP, and staff on behalf of other constituency MPs with a significant interest in asylum issues.
It was an excellent opportunity for John to canvass the views of MPs and their staff and followed on from a recent visit he made to a surgery held by Andrew Dismore MP, where he observed first hand the large numbers of applicants who are being assisted with applications by their local MP.
Discussions on Tuesday focussed on the length of time being taken to reach decisions in legacy cases, and the correspondence issued by the UKBA to update customers on the status of their applications.
Welcoming the opportunity to address some of his key stakeholders, John Vine said:
“MPs and asylum case workers are able to provide us with an invaluable insight into the applicants’ experience. This surgery helped us understand in more detail the common themes and experiences from this perspective.
“I’m grateful to Neil Gerrard for facilitating on this occasion and I’m keen to invite feedback on asylum, and any other aspect of borders and immigration, from other MPs who couldn’t make the session – my contact details can be found on this website.”
The asylum inspection report is due for publication in early 2010 and will be available on this website.