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Public Accounts Commission

Volume 587: debated on Thursday 30 October 2014

The Chairman of the Public Accounts Commission was asked—

Foreign National Offenders

1. What process the commission would expect to be followed to address the recent issues highlighted by the National Audit Office’s recent report, “Managing and removing foreign national offenders”. (905728)

As the Chairman of the Public Accounts Commission is overseas, I have been asked to reply. The Public Accounts Committee is taking evidence on the report next week on 5 November. The normal process would be for that to be followed by a report from the Committee, which the Government would respond to in due course in the form of a Treasury minute.

The Leader of the House will be aware that there are far too many foreign national offenders serving their sentences in our prisons who should be serving their sentences in prisons back in their own country. Will he ensure that the Committee has all the resources it needs to expedite its follow-up of this very important report, and that the Government’s response is as speedy as possible?

My hon. Friend knows how seriously the Government take this. Indeed, the NAO report states that the number of removals has increased by 12% over the past two years, the time taken to deport foreign national offenders is reducing and the number of failed removals is decreasing. The Home Secretary has indicated her determination on that. The pursuit of this is a matter for the Public Accounts Committee, rather than the Public Accounts Commission, on whose behalf I am answering today. The Government will continue to take this very seriously.