The Home Office is making progress in implementing recommendations made by the Chief Inspector of Borders and Immigration. These were the findings of the Chief Inspector during a new initiative to carry out spot checks on previously inspected areas of the Home Office.
The Chief Inspector launched his new spot check visits in January 2013 to assess how certain areas of UK borders and immigration have changed, developed or improved since he last inspected them.
The first three spot check visits took place at the Public Enquiry Office in Croydon, the Command and Control Centre in Manchester and the East Midlands Reporting Centre.
The Chief Inspector was encouraged to find that:
• all three business areas had made progress against his previous recommendations;
• staff and managers were professional, enthusiastic and committed to driving improvement;
• at the PEO in Croydon progress in implementing the recommendations had been slow, but the pace had accelerated in time for his visit;
• there were significant improvements to the Command and Control Unit in Manchester and there was a clearer idea of its purpose;
• the East Midlands Reporting Centre continues to be a well run and well managed centre.
However, there were some areas of concern. These included:
• the Agency’s own monitoring of how far the Chief Inspector’s recommendations had been implemented was inaccurate in places. For example, data obtained from the Home Office in advance of the PEO Croydon Home Office showed that a number of actions were completed when this was not the case;
• at East Midlands Reporting Centre no record was kept of queuing times to be used as Management Information. This information would be useful for reportees waiting to be seen, for example, by giving them an indication of the how long they would have to wait.
Independent Chief Inspector of Borders and Immigration, John Vine, CBE QPM, said:
“The Home Office is ultimately responsible for implementing my recommendations, and is accountable to the Home Secretary, Ministers, Parliament and the public for improvements to service delivery.
These spot-check visits are an efficient and valuable accompaniment to my formal inspection programme. They allow me to see for myself if improvements have been made.
I am pleased to see evidence that the Home Office had acted upon my previous recommendations for these three business areas.”