asked Her Majesty's Government:
What is their assessment of the quality and consistency of decision-making in the new asylum model, in the light of (a) the UK Border Agency’s new asylum model quality team report, (b) the Refugee Council's survey of January 2008, and (c) the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees’s quality initiative; and what conclusions they have reached, in particular concerning implementation of the gender asylum policy instruction and the giving of due attention to such issues as experience of sexual violence, female genital mutilation, trafficking and sympathetic treatment of torture victims. [HL5416]
Continuous improvement in the quality and consistency of asylum interviewing and decision-making is very important to the UK Border Agency.
Joint working with UNHCR on this agenda has proved effective and many of the improvements made have been recognised in each of their five separate reports to Home Office Ministers. The Refugee Council's survey also provided some key pointers to the improvements made recently and to further improvements that could be achieved. The agency's own internal quality team adds to the battery of resource available to drive up the quality of work. Our overall assessment is that quality is improving but that room for further improvement remains.