4 New asylum cases |
- 59% of applications received an initial decision within 30 days in 2010/11
- 63% of claims were concluded within one year in 2011/12
- 37% of claims remained outstanding after three years in 2010/11
37. A summary of applications and initial decisions for main applicants
and dependents is shown in the table below:
|Pending initial decision
Table 2: asylum applications and initial decisions
Q2 2011-Q1 2012 (main applicants and dependents)
- The number of asylum applications
made in each quarter over the previous year has remained fairly
constant, fluctuating between 6,101 and 6,788.
- In each quarter the number of refusals was approximately
double to the number of grants made to asylum seekers.
- The majority of cases are given an initial decision
within 6 months but a substantial number of cases took longer
throughout the last four quarters.
Assessing the Agency's performance:
38. We are not able to regularly assess the proportion
of cases that receive an initial decision within acceptable timeframes,
as the Agency's quarterly figures do not make it possible to calculate:
- the proportion of asylum applications
given an initial decision in 30 days;
- the proportion of applications still pending
an initial decision at six months; or
- the proportion of applications pending an initial
decision for longer than six months.
39. The Agency only publishes annual figures for
the proportion of cases receiving an initial decision within a
given period as part of their performance monitoring statistics.
The latest performance statistics available for the year 2010
/11 show that 59% of adult cases received an initial decision
within 30 days. This is a lower number than we would have expected,
especially given the relatively constant rate of asylum applications.
The Agency does not publish statistics to show the proportion
of applications made in each quarter that receive an initial decision
before or after 6 months.
40. The Agency has had a historic problem with
a large backlog of asylum cases awaiting initial decision. This
backlog peaked in January 2000 at 120,400 cases awaiting an initial
decision. Given this track record we are concerned that the Agency
seems unprepared to allow us to regularly keep track of how quickly
it gives initial decisions on asylum cases.
In the evidence he gave to us Mr Whiteman restated his commitment
to transparency and openness but this will prove to be a hollow
commitment unless the Agency is willing to provide information
that will allow its performance to be monitored regularly.
Parliament must be in a position to know at once if a new
backlog starts to build up at the initial decision stage.
Assessing the Agency's performance:
41. The Agency does however publish quarterly statistics
to show the percentage of cases concluded within
|% concluded within 1 year
Table 3: Quarterly conclusions for asylum cases
in 2011/12 ( main applicants and dependants)
42. In 2011/12 conclusion rates remain constant,
ranging between 59-64%. The percentage of cases concluded within
one year was 63%. The Agency's annual performance figures for
the previous year 2010/11 show that 63% of cases were concluded
within 36 months. The Agency has therefore improved its performance
on last year. We will be interested to see how many cases were
still outstanding after 36 months in 2011/12 when the Agency publishes
its annual performance figures in August.
43. We note that 63% of cases are now being concluded
within 12 months an improvement on the previous year where 56%
of cases were concluded within this timeframe.
However we are concerned at the large number of cases that remain
outstanding for years. We acknowledge that there will be difficulties
in resolving a proportion of complex asylum cases. However, to
have resolved only 63% of cases after a three-year period seems
to us to be a very slow rate of conclusion. We believe this could
lead to a new backlog building up as more cases are added to the
"awaiting conclusion" pile. We expect the Agency to
tell us what the main obstacles to concluding these cases are
and we hope that its new performance statistics released in August
will show an improvement.
25 Home Office Immigration Statistics, January - March
2012, asylum tables, as 01.q and as.02.q, www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk/sitecontent/documents/aboutus/further-key-data/ Back
These cases do not necessarily relate to the applications made
in this period. Back
House of Commons Library, note for HASC on Statistics on Immigration
and Asylum, 12 June 2012, p3 Back
House of Commons Library SN/SG/1403, June 2010, p9 Back
Q150, Q149 Back
Percentage-of -asylum.xls. UK Border Agency website, http://www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk/sitecontent/documents/aboutus/
Notes: Cohort: Number of applications
received in a month, based on main applicants only and excluding
dependants and any fresh applications. The data relate to applications
which were one year old in the quarter. For example, Q1 2010-11
relates to data for applications received in April, May and June
Unsubstantiated: When an individual
claims asylum but then does not turn up for their interview to
substantiate the grounds of their claim. Unsubstantiated claims
are excluded from this calculation but other withdrawn claims
Conclusion: An asylum application is
deemed to be concluded when: an asylum seeker has either been
granted asylum, humanitarian protection, discretionary leave;
or, if refused, has left the UK (voluntarily or by enforced removal);
or the individual withdraws their asylum claim. Back
UKBA, Asylum Speed Measures.xls, http://www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk/sitecontent/documents/aboutus/further-key-data/ Back