The Independent Chief Inspector of Borders and Immigration Publishes a Report of Decision Making Quality in the Madrid Visa Section
An inspection of the UK Border Agency visa section in Madrid found staff were making good quality decisions and making proper use of the Immigration Rules. A new IT caseworking system also showed promise once the current problems with it were resolved.
The Chief Inspector was pleased to find that overall, the Madrid visa section was meeting its customer service targets, the quality of decision making was good, and refusal notices were of a high standard. In addition the files were in good order and the retention of documents on files was excellent, in line with recommendations previously made to the UK Border Agency in other reports.
The pilot of the new integrated caseworking system in Madrid showed that it had the potential to deliver clear benefits. However, problems with its operation in the pilot stage had caused delays and a reduction in customer service.
In addition, the Chief Inspector recommended the UK Border Agency raises staff awareness of the regional risk register in order to ensure that managers are alerted to potential, emerging or changing risks as early as possible.
John Vine CBE QPM, Chief Inspector of Borders and Immigration, said:
“I found good decision making quality, clear and complete refusal notices and proper use of Immigration Rules. I was pleased to note that the UK Border Agency had made improvements as a direct result of previous recommendations I have made. I found very good retention of documents on case files and detailed notes on the IT case working systems, which ensured a clear audit trail in respect of why decisions had been made.
I observed the potential benefits of using the Integrity system to process visa applications. The Agency will, however, only be able to realise these once current problems with the system are resolved as these are clearly having an impact upon customer service.”
Download this report as a pdf here:
A report published today by the Independent Chief Inspector of Borders and Immigration has found that all border security checks were being completed at Heathrow Terminal 3 and 4.
The Independent Chief Inspector, John Vine CBE QPM found that senior Border Force managers at Heathrow were acting on the recommendations made in his investigation report into Border Security checks, published on 20 February 2012.
He also found:
- good evidence of staff awareness of the need to safeguard children;
- a robust and consistent approach being adopted by officers when interviewing passengers; and
- the complaints process being promoted much more effectively.
However, the Chief Inspector found:
- queue measuring techniques at both terminals continued to provide an inaccurate reflection of performance;
- secondary detection staff drafted in to work on the Primary Control Point to ease passenger congestion often processed passengers less quickly and asked fewer questions; and
- inconsistencies regarding the use of forgery detection equipment in Terminal 3 and 4.
John Vine, Independent Chief Inspector of Borders and Immigration, said:
“Following the concerns expressed in my investigation report into Border Security checks, I decided to return to Heathrow in advance of the Olympics to determine whether or not the recommendations I made had been acted upon”.
“I found that all border security checks were being completed and that a number of initiatives were being taken forward, including appointing additional staff and making changes to management processes to deploy staff more flexibly.”
“Moving forward Border Force must ensure any new framework of border security checks, set out in its Operating Mandate, are resourced appropriately to deliver an efficient and effective service”.
Download this report as a pdf here: