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Entry Clearances

Volume 508: debated on Tuesday 6 April 2010

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what recent assessment he has made of the operation of the hub and spoke model for the issue of visas to enter the UK. (325080)

The hub and spoke system has been rolled out gradually since June 2007. This model, which separates the collection of applications from the place where the decision is made, has enabled the UK Border Agency to improve the efficiency and consistency of its visa operation, building on its network of visa application centres as well as increasing the security and integrity of our staff and delivering customer service benefits.

Management reviews of the impact of Hub and Spoke are undertaken at regular intervals, and assessments of hub and spoke arrangements have also been made by the independent chief inspector of UKBA. A recent internal evaluation has confirmed that hub and spoke has delivered a number of key benefits, including improvements in quality and consistence of decision making, efficiency and productivity, resilience and flexibility, and customer service.