The number of persons currently employed by the Home Office Immigration and Nationality Directorate on 30 June 2006 was 18,248, which amounts to 17,380 full-time equivalents. The Home Office does not centrally record information on the nationality of employees who fulfil our nationality entry requirements, so this information could only be provided at disproportionate cost. The only exceptions are records of those foreign nationals who are employed under the exceptional circumstances set out in the Aliens' Employment Act 1955. The Immigration and Nationality Directorate currently employs no foreign nationals under the terms of that Act.
asked Her Majesty's Government:
What vetting procedures are currently applied to staff recruited to the Home Office Immigration and Nationality Directorate; and whether existing staff who have not been subjected to the current procedures will be re-vetted. [HL7208]
It is longstanding procedure that all staff are required to have a national security clearance to the appropriate level commensurate to the duties they will be undertaking. Security clearance is valid for a maximum period of 10 years, depending on the level, and requires renewal or upgrading if the individual moves to a post which requires a higher level.
The Home Office is responsible for the conduct of its own staff and deals with matters relating to this in accordance with internal policies and procedures.
In addition, since 1994, the Independent Complaints Audit Commission has been in place in order to monitor the procedures for investigating complaints about the conduct and efficiency of IND staff and increase public confidence in IND’s complaints system.
One senior civil servant was removed from his current duties pending an investigation into how incorrect information had been provided to the Home Secretary. The investigating officer concluded that there were not grounds for disciplinary action in connection with this investigation.
The majority of posts in the Immigration and Nationality Directorate are open to European Economic Area nationals or Commonwealth citizens with no employment restriction or time limit on their stay in the United Kingdom, as well as to British citizens. Other foreign nationals may be employed only in very exceptional circumstances, as set out in the Aliens' Employment Act 1955. Reserved posts in the Immigration Service (including immigration officers and assistant immigration officers) are open only to UK nationals.