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Public Enquiry Office

Volume 449: debated on Wednesday 19 July 2006

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what recent instructions he has issued for CCTV coverage of the Public Enquiry Office counter to be improved. (73706)

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what steps he has taken since the publication of the report on investigations into allegations about the Public Enquiry Office in Croydon to find out the views of asylum applicants on the allegations made by Mr. Pamnani. (73696)

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what guidance he issued to Mr. Tim Gbedemah concerning the persons from whom he should take evidence during the investigation into allegations about the Public Enquiry Office in Croydon. (73698)

I am advised that Mr. Gbedemah's terms of reference are set out at paragraph two of his report. No specific guidance was given to Mr. Gbedemah as to whom he should and should not interview.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what plans he has to introduce a new code of conduct for PEO staff; when he will publish it; what (a) training and (b) guidance has been given to PEO staff on the new code; to what extent the Immigration and Nationality Directorate’s Security and Anti-Corruption Unit is delivering the training; and what guidance the code will contain on non-work related contact with applicants. (73711)

The recent investigation into events at the PEO, carried out by David Stephens and Tim Gbedemah, made a number of recommendations, including that consideration be given to putting in place a code of conduct for PEO staff.

This recommendation was accepted, and is currently being acted upon. We hope to have a draft code of conduct available for consultation with staff in July. The document will contain guidance on non-work related contact with applicants. The detail is currently being developed.

IND’s Security and Anti-Corruption Unit and PEO managers will jointly deliver the training to new and existing staff.