Supplementary note by the Immigration
and Nationality Directorate, Home Office
LETTER TO THE CLERK OF THE COMMITTEE FROM
THE DIRECTOR GENERAL, IMMIGRATION AND NATIONALITY DIRECTORATE
Your letter of 2 August invited a response to questions
relating to points raised during the course of the Committee evidence
session with port operators and carriers on 20 June.
The enclosed document incorporates the IND response
to those questions. It also includes a report of progress made
following recommendations of the National Audit Office (HC 204
Entry Into The United Kingdom February 1995), which has been prepared
for the purpose of this current inquiry, and responses to outstanding
points raised during the evidence session of 13 June and recent
visits to ports made by members of the Committee.
Stephen Boys Smith
18 September 2000
This document is provided to the Home Affairs
Committee as part of their inquiry into physical controls at ports
of entry. It comprises three sections:
Section One is an update on the 1995
National Audit Office report "Entry into the United Kingdom"
and provides the current position on the recommendations made
within that report.
Section Two is a response to a list of
questions which were sent by the committee in a letter dated 2
Section Three contains other information
requested from IND officials either at the oral evidence session
on 13 June 2000 or during the course of the visits to Immigration
ports and offices.
Update on the National Audit Office Report 1995
The National Audit Office report "Entry into
the United Kingdom" was published on 22 February 1995 following
a study of Immigration Controls at UK Ports of Entry. The report
made 29 specific recommendations covering five main areas:
the development of management information
systems to compare performance and effectiveness between ports
the reduction of passenger queuing
the recovery of charges incurred
under the Immigration Carriers Liability Act;
the enhancement of the Immigration
Service detention estate and better management of the system for
allocating detention spaces;
the need to maintain efforts to increase
the number of immigration offenders detected.
In 1996 the Immigration Service produced an
update on those recommendations. A copy of that report is attached.
The aim of this report is to build on the 1996 update to provide
the current position in respect of the recommendations (some of
which have been overtaken by organisational or legislative changes),
for the purposes of the Home Affairs Committee Inquiry into physical
controls at ports of entry.
Since the original report a new section, Operational
Planning and Support Services (OPSS) has been established (in
1997). OPSS oversees operational practices and procedures and
is also involved in queue measurement, process improvement and
information technology provision and support.
Recommendations from the 1995 report
Four of the five areas referred to above were
broken down into 29 specific recommendations. An update on these
is below (interrelated recommendations are commented upon together).
The last area (on the number of immigration offenders detected)
is not linked directly to any of the other recommendations and
so is considered separately.
. . . the need to maintain efforts to increase
the number of immigration offenders detected.
There has been a steady rise in the number of
immigration offenders detected by the Immigration Service over
the period 1995 to 1999 (the last full year available). Some 18,450
were detected in 1995 rising to 25,235 in 1999.
The Immigration Service introduced a number
of new systems to bring about this increase. These included the
setting up of a new enforcement office serving the main IND public
office in Croydon and the surrounding area, the establishment
of a dedicated absconder tracing team in the Metropolitan area
and the deployment of body detection dogs at south coast ports.
Problems arising from the setting up of the
Integrated Casework Directorate led to a reduction in the number
of deportation cases handled over the latter part of this period,
but this was more than offset by the rise in the number of illegal
entrants detected, particularly those of clandestine entrants.
Our strategy aims increasingly to prevent and
deter the arrival in the United Kingdom of clandestines. If successful,
this will impact upon the number of detections made even though
increased numbers of searches are planned.
Additionally, a substantial increase in enforcement
staff is planned over the next two years; these resources will
be used for major increases in the removal of failed asylum seekers
and to detect additional in-country offenders.
The introduction of an electronic fingerprinting
system including the use of portable fingerprint readers should
contribute to the detection effort.
The service should seek to identify the underlying
factors that may explain the differences in the rate of refusals
and voluntary returns between ports. (2.18)
The service should monitor trends in this
indicator over time and investigate the reasons for any significant
The service should monitor passenger throughput
regularly and investigate the reasons for any significant trends
and differences in performance between ports. They might also
consider whether there are elements of best practice at the more
productive ports, which could be applied elsewhere. (3.14)
The service should assess in more detail
those factors, which may affect performance and, in light of these,
monitor the relative positions of ports over time and investigate
the reasons for any significant changes. The collection and analysis
of management information could also be improved, for example
by recording scheduled time more accurately and consistently between
The service should take steps to enhance
the value of such analysis, (ie the monitoring of trends and variations),
by improving the accuracy and consistency of the management data
Performance indicators should be presented
in a time series, with greater use made of graphics to enable
managers to focus more clearly on trends. (3.7)
"Families" of ports should be established
to enable comparisons to be made between ports of a similar scale
and passenger mix. (3.7)
The service should define some indicators
more clearly to ensure that data are collected on a comparable
basis at each port and consider including one or two additional
The service should consider the merits of
including the weighted number of further examination cases per
staff day to the performance indicator package. (4.9)
The above recommendations are all linked to
the Management Information System (MIS). MIS was introduced on
1 August 1995 and was a major step in improving the service's
ability to monitor its performance as a whole, look for trends
and to make comparisons between ports. The MIS has since developed
to fulfil a number of NAO recommendations, for example:
the introduction of revised performance
the introduction of "family
groups" to facilitate port on port comparisons;
and, more recently, we have been
able to refine the removed and proceeded data so that we could
more effectively monitor our performance against our targets as
outlined in the ISPD Directorate Plan 1999-2000.
MIS has been adapted a number of times to better
fit our changing needs but a wholesale review of the system is
now underway. There are a number of reasons for this, not least
of which is the fact that the IS is entering a period of structural
change which will see ISED and ISPD working more closely together.
It is also vital that we have a system in place which enables
us to accurately capture all the data we need to measure our performance
against targets set in the IS Business Plan.
There are also other developments that will
feed into this and which have prompted a review of MIS. They are:
The Impact of IND Casework Programme
on the IS will, of course, need to be monitored closely to measure
The incremental introduction of a
more flexible approach on the arrivals control, as provided for
by the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999, will also need to be closely
We are implementing a number of other improvements
to our processes and procedures that will supplement and complement
the revised MIS:
The roll out of POISE to ports will
provide for computer generated and electronically transmitted
returns. This will be a great improvement on the current system
that involves ports completing manual returns and faxing or posting
them to ISHQ.
Local business plans based on the
centrally produced IS Business Plan have replaced individual port
plans. The targets will then be linked to individual officers'
targets via their Performance Appraisal and Development Review,
so making sure that individuals are aware of how their work will
influence national targets.
There will be a Grade 7 (Assistant
Director) manager in each district. Each district manager will
have responsibility for all the IS functions (ports and enforcement)
in that district and will be in a position to closely monitor
the IS activities and performance in their area.
We have introduced a rolling programme
of guidance issued to ports, which informs them of best practice,
thereby ensuring consistency of approach at ports nation-wide.
A review of our method for measuring
queuing times is also underway. Detailed work was carried out
at Heathrow using CCTV to measure queuing times and a measuring
methodology has been devised and approved by Dr David Worthington
of Lancaster University. (Dr Worthington was recommended to the
Immigration Service by the NAO because of his experience and knowledge
in the area of queue measuring.) Implementation in this area has
been slower than anticipated because of difficulties in resourcing
We are also examining how to link
IS work more closely to the costs. We are looking carefully at
our accounting structures and aim to calculate unit costs for
each output, (eg a unit cost for refusals, removals, asylum applications
etc) and to have this information available for each location.
By linking our work to costs we will be in a position to provide
improved information on our costs, identify trends and track efficiency
gains by output and/or port.
All ports should set targets for time taken
to resolve the different types of further examination cases, allowing
for local workloads and priorities. The information necessary
to monitor performance against targets might be provided from
the ports' current computerised casework system (PAS) at the major
Variations in the throughput of further examination
cases emphasise the need for a more detailed evaluation of the
cost-effectiveness of the systems for handling these cases at
individual ports. (4.9)
A statistical retrieval is available from the
Port Administration System that provides the following information:
Cases landed after 5hrs;
Cases granted Temporary Admission
Cases detained after 5hrs;
Cases granted Temporary Admission
after 5hrs (subsequently detained);
Cases detained after 5hrs (subsequently
granted Temporary Admission);
Cases removed after 5hrs;
Total Number of Cases (non-asylum)
not cleared within 5hrs and a percentage figure.
All ports have agreed targets for the time taken
to deal with various stages of the asylum process and these are
contained in our Business Plan. Non asylum cases are monitored
at a local level so that resources can be most effectively deployed.
The Service should consider the alternative
methods of measurement suggested by the NAO, which should improve
the accuracy and reliability of information on queuing times.
As more accurate information becomes available,
the Service should assess the impact of initiatives to reduce
queuing times, and the likely costs and benefits of introducing
these methods at other ports. (3.39)
Detailed work was carried out at Heathrow using
CCTV to measure queuing times and a measuring methodology has
been devised and approved by Dr David Worthington of Lancaster
The new methodology uses percentages of time
as the measure (rather than percentages of passengers, which could
not be accurately measured). Work is on-going to identify a national
queuing target of all passengers cleared within 30 minutes for
x per cent of the operating time of the port (85-90 per cent the
likely range) and all passengers cleared within 45 minutes (the
International Civil Aviation Organisation target) everywhere for
100 per cent of the operating time. In parallel, work is going
ahead in partnership with BAA to see if any further enhancements
or refinements can be made to queue measuring techniques.
The proposed methodology is most effectively
carried out using CCTV but implementation in this area has been
slower than anticipated. The methodology can be conducted manually
and manual trials took place in April to test its effectiveness.
The results are being evaluated with a view
to early implementation in advance or parallel with CCTV development.
The service should continue to press forward
with their efforts to match available staff more closely to patterns
of demand: work underway in developing a computer model at Heathrow
and consideration of the recommendations of the review of shift-working
practices should help to achieve this. (3.20-3.23)
IMPACT (the computerised manpower planning system)
had already been developed at the time of the last review. Installation
at all Heathrow and Gatwick terminals was completed in 1997. ROSPLAN
(the computerised duty list compilation package) has now also
been successfully installed at Gatwick and Heathrow Terminals.
Consideration was made as to whether Rosplan should be installed
at Dover and Waterloo but it was calculated that the costs would
outweigh the benefits.
Shift patterns at ports are set (in agreement
with unions) to ensure that they meet the operational demands
of the port. The IS Business Plan (2000) includes an objective
to re-examine working patterns to improve contact between line
managers and their staff and to take account of the Working Time
The transfer policy is also being re-examined
and where necessary will be revised to ensure that staff deployment
meets business needs and affords development opportunities for
The Service should consider whether the revised
approach to establishing staffing requirements used at Heathrow
and Gatwick might also be used in assessing relief requirements.
The staffing formula in its current configuration
does not easily lend itself to other airports and is wholly unsuitable
for rail, sea and ferry port operations. It is specifically designed
to calculate the number of immigration officers required to deal
with arriving passengers at an airport as opposed to a ferry or
rail port, with initial calculations being linked to details of
maximum aircraft capacity and projected arrivals provided by airport
operators. The formula does not cater for the high number of peaks
and troughs in passenger flow encountered at smaller operations.
The formula is however subject to regular review (most recently
in March 2000) and a more fundamental re-examination is planned
for later in the year. Other paragraphs supporting the above recommendation
addressed how the seasonality of business at ports of entry was
being covered. The overall policy is to establish staff allocations
that will make all our units self-sufficient and to use temporary
attachments for developmental reasons rather than to plug gaps.
A pilot Assistant Immigration Officer (AIO)
conversion course has recently been held and will allow AIOs who
have attended the course to deputise as IOs and, at the discretion
of local managers, operate on the main arrivals control when demands
are pressing, so reducing the need for relief. The effectiveness
of the training will be analysed and more courses may be run in
future if the scheme proves successful.
The focus in the future will be at District
level with Managers able to move staff around within their District
to better match resources to operational need. At Manchester Airport,
for example, mobility of staff between terminals has been introduced
to deal with peaks in passenger flows. Further rationalisation
of shift patterns is in hand which may well lead to a single duty
list across all three terminals.
In view of the pressure on places the Service
should consider whether there are ways in which the temporary
admission arrangements might be strengthened. (5.11)
The Asylum and Immigration Act 1996 broadened
categories of detainee eligible for CIO bail. Revised guidance
was issued and a training programme implemented in 1997 to heighten
awareness among key managers of the scope for CIO bail.
When temporary admission is considered inappropriate,
release on CIO bail should always be considered as an alternative
to detention. Each case should be considered on its own merits
taking into account the person's family, social and economic background.
Part III of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999
provides for up to two automatic, or routine, bail hearings for
those in immigration detention, and is expected to be introduced
from October 2001. All detainees will be entitled to routine bail
hearings apart from those held following a court recommendation
for deportation. Full training and written guidance will be given
to all directly involved within the IS. Provisions of Part III,
including presumptions to liberty and nine exceptions to bail,
will be extended to CIO bail and other applications under the
The Service should continue to pursue a pro-active
debt recovery strategy with a view to reducing the amounts outstanding
more rapidly. (2.37)
This recommendation refers to the operation
of the Immigration (Carriers Liability) Act 1987. There has been
a progressive fall, year on year, in the amount of monies outstanding.
In 1995 21 per cent of the cumulative debt was still outstanding.
This had fallen to less than 6 per cent by 31 December 1999.
Annex A details cumulative totals of charges
incurred and outstanding by year.
There will be a continuing need for carrier
training sessions, as the number of passengers without proper
documentation tends to fall after such sessions only to rise again
a few months later. (2.38)
The NAO report update of 1996 indicated that
evaluation procedures had been put in place, and that these showed
a 30 per cent reduction in inadequately documented passengers
(IDAs) in the six months following training compared to the previous
The programme of training visits for carriers
continues: 94 stations were visited in 1999, an increase of 10
on the previous year's figure of 84.
In the first six months of 1999, using the above
form of calculation, there was an overall reduction of approximately
10 per cent in IDA arrivals from locations where training had
been carried out. The decrease in effectiveness from 30 per cent
to 10 per cent can be attributed to a number of factors:
many of the visits conducted in 1999
were for refresher training. The improvements following refresher
training are less spectacular because airline staff are already
applying the lessons learned from earlier training;
the quality and quantity of forged
documentation used by IDAs has increased markedly. Airline staff
are not expected to detect high quality forgeries and the training
is aimed at the "reasonably apparent forgery" standard
set by the carriers' liability legislation;
a number of new routes were introduced
during the first six months of 1999 and training was provided
in advance of those routes opening. These locations will therefore
not produce a decrease in IDAs following training.
Carriers' performance at locations where training
has been carried out continues to be monitored and analysed. The
types and numbers of charges incurred are scrutinised and refresher
training aimed at particular weak points is recommended when required.
Airline Liaison Officers based at 20 overseas locations also conduct
regular update training sessions with airlines.
The service should explore whether the process
of obtaining additional information on passengers from within
the Home Office and visa issuing offices could be speeded up.
Although delays in the Casework Programme have
meant that the IS has not yet been able to establish the anticipated
level of information exchange within the Home Office, the installation
of POISE at ports will provide considerable benefits in this area.
Trials of a new Data Warehouse IT system are
planned to take place shortly at Heathrow, Croydon and Dover to
help fill the information gap between operational staff and the
rest of the Home Office. Should these prove to be successful,
access to the information nationwide will be considered.
We have also moved toward a much more integrated
approach with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office with the creation
of the Joint Entry Clearance Unit (JECU). JECU will be staffed
50/50 by Home Office and Foreign Office staff and will have as
one of its functions the monitoring and maintenance of the exchange
of information between the two departments.
We will need to monitor the trials of the Data
Warehouse and review its use quickly for wider implementation
if it proves effective.
Now that JECU is established we will be monitoring
the exchange of information between the Home Office and posts
The Service should seek to improve the screening
of HO files that are referred for enforcement action. (2.9)
Responsibility for the screening of Home Office
files referred to the Immigration Service for enforcement was
transferred to the Integrated Casework Directorate (ICD) in November
1999. The ICD's Enforcement Liaison Unit (ELU) is tasked with
screening such cases and prioritising them in accordance with
the Directorate's objectives. The Unit also acts as a central
point of contact between the Immigration Service and the ICD on
The existing role and functions of the Enforcement
Liaison Unit, including its screening responsibility, are currently
being reviewed with the aim of further refining the arrangements
for the transfer and monitoring of enforcement cases moving between
the ICD and the Immigration Service.
10 Includes deportation and illegal entry cases. Back