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Departmental Vetting

Volume 491: debated on Thursday 23 April 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what checks her Department and its agencies make of the immigration status of couriers working within her Department and its agencies; whether her Department requires couriers to notify the Department if they discover an illegal worker who has worked handling documents on behalf of her Department and its agencies; and how many illegal workers have been discovered working for such couriers in each of the last three years. (243123)

Internal Government couriers are security cleared and, as part of that process, are subject to a nationality status check. Staff who work for contractors and who have a need to access Home Office official information and/or Home Office premises are security cleared to the appropriate standard. Checks conducted by contractors on other staff are subject to periodic audit and inspection under contractual terms. The Home Office and its agencies do require information on any potential breaches of security by contractors. In the last three years I am aware of one individual working in a self-employed capacity for a contractor who was discovered through internal checks to have been working without the required permission.