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National Asylum Support Service And Landmark Properties

Volume 402: debated on Thursday 3 April 2003

The text on this page has been created from Hansard archive content, it may contain typographical errors.

On 11 July 2002, in answer to a Parliamentary Question from my hon. Friend, Member for Liverpool, Riverside, (Mrs Ellman) Official Report, column 1194W, I announced that I had instructed the Director of National Asylum Support Service (MASS) to arrange for an independent inquiry to be carried out into issues arising from NASS' dealings with the Landmark company. I am, today, publishing a summary of the report of that inquiry and a copy of that summary is being placed in the Library.The inquiry confirmed that there were serious problems in the way accommodation for asylum seekers was being run in Liverpool. Its main recommendations have been accepted and are being implemented. Although the report concludes that there has been no material breach of contract by Landmark, it is clear that what happened in Liverpool is completely unacceptable.I am therefore also announcing, today, the action which has been put in hand.A new contract manager has been appointed and will hold Landmark closely to account; the future of the contract will be reviewed after six months in the light of performance.The new Deputy Director General of the Immigration and Nationality Directorate, responsible for NASS, has been asked to make clear to Landmark that significant improvements will be needed from them—both in their general performance and also in the standard of their properties. In the meantime, no further dispersal will be made to Landmark properties.I have also recently commissioned an independent review of the management, staffing and expertise at NASS, which is due to report by the end of May.