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Immigration: Independent Inspectorate

Volume 687: debated on Monday 18 December 2006

My honourable friend the Minister for Immigration, Citizenship and Nationality (Liam Byrne) has made the following Written Ministerial Statement.

The House will wish to know that I am publishing today a consultation document on the establishment of an independent inspectorate for immigration. Copies of this consultation document have been placed in the House Library.

At present there are a wide range of bodies that monitor, inspect or advise on specific parts of the immigration system. What is currently lacking is a clear and consistent view of the overall system in a way that can provide confidence to the public and to Parliament that the system is working efficiently and effectively and, where there are problems, that these are being addressed in a way that is consistent with the Government's policies and objectives.

In order to deliver this we believe there is a strong case for introducing a new independent inspectorate. The consultation paper sets out our thinking on the role such a new body might have to conduct an effective assessment of the Immigration and Nationality Directorate including overall effectiveness, quality of decision-making, enforcement powers, access to information and the treatment of individuals.

The consultation period ends on 16 February. We will then report on the results of the consultation and our proposed course of action.