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Departmental Fines

Volume 503: debated on Thursday 7 January 2010

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what powers (a) his Department and (b) each of its agencies has to impose administrative penalties; what the statutory basis is for each such power; and how much (i) his Department and (ii) each of its agencies has recovered in administrative penalties in each of the last 10 years for which figures are available. (309293)

The Immigration, Asylum and Nationality Act 2006 has provided a series of new sanctions for employers who employ illegal migrant workers. This includes a system of civil penalties, under which an employer can be fined up to £10,000 per person he/she is found to be employing illegally.

Additionally, Bulgarian and Romanian nationals who work illegally commit a criminal offence and may be served with a fixed penalty fine of £1,000 under criminal law.

Part II of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999 enables the Secretary of State to impose a £2,000 fixed charge on any air or sea carrier for each non-European Economic Area passenger they bring to the UK who fails to produce, on request, a valid travel document satisfactorily establishing their identity and nationality and, if required, a valid visa.

The Department can also impose a civil penalty on those responsible for carrying clandestine entrants, concealed in a vehicle. The maximum penalty which can be imposed upon the owner/hirer of such a vehicle is £2,000 per clandestine and upon the driver £2,000 per clandestine, the aggregated maximum per clandestine (applied where more than one person is responsible) is £4,000.

The UK Borders Act 2007 enables the Secretary of State to make regulations requiring foreign nationals who are subject to immigration control apply for an Identity Card for Foreign Nationals. Failure to comply with such a requirement may result in the imposition of a sanction, which may include a civil financial penalty up to a maximum of £1,000.

The value of penalties recovered is set out in the table.

£000

2008-09

8,512

2007-08

6,844

2006-07

5,787

2005-06

5,932

2004-05

5,872

2003-04

6,843

2002-03

5,279

2001-02

6,783

2000-01

8,892

1999-2000

9,370

The police forces in England and Wales have the power to issue fixed penalty notices as a sanction against a specified list of offences, mainly related to public order (Penalty Notices for Disorder) and motoring.

For the Department's agencies, no penalties are levied.