John Vine CBE QPM, the Independent Chief Inspector of the UK Border Agency, has today published three reports focusing on the Agency’s operations in Scotland and Northern Ireland: border operations, countering abuse of the Common Travel Area, and the Agency’s representation at first-tier appeals in Scotland.
Representation at first-tier appeals in Scotland
This inspection took place between 22-26 November 2010 and focused on the efficiency and effectiveness of the Glasgow Presenting Officers’ Unit (POU).
At the time of inspection, the Chief Inspector was pleased to find that:
- management of the POU was effective, with clear targets and priorities; and
- the work of the presenting officers was generally well regarded by Immigration Judges.
However, the Chief Inspector was concerned to find that:
- the POU was achieving an attendance rate at appeals of 45% (year to date) compared to the target of 100% attendance;
- the Agency could not explain the difference between the locally recorded figure of 45% for attendance and the centrally recorded figure of 95% on the national database;
- analysis of allowed appeals was hampered by poor quality information on the national database; and
- at the time of inspection, 66% of entry clearance refusals were overturned at appeal.
John Vine, Independent Chief Inspector of the UK Border Agency, said:
“This inspection examined the efficiency and effectiveness of the UK Border Agency’s Glasgow Presenting Officers’ Unit (POU). The Agency has the responsibility not only to make decisions on immigration matters but also to defend appeals against those decisions at the Immigration Court. Agency policy since 2006 has been to have representation in 100% of cases – I found that the Glasgow POU was falling far short of achieving this target at appeals, with their locally recorded figure of 45% attendance.
“The evidence from this inspection shows that representation does achieve greater confidence in the outcome of cases and increases the likelihood of an appeal being dismissed. There is a clear need for national guidance to be issued by the Agency to prioritise the cases which should receive representation at appeal.”
Download the full report as a pdf here: