My honourable friend the Minister of State for Borders and Immigration (Phil Woolas) has made the following Written Ministerial Statement.
The UK Border Agency, which was established as a shadow executive agency in April 2008, will today begin to operate as a full executive agency of the Home Office. I am also publishing the UK Border Agency’s framework agreement, which describes how the agency will be governed, and its business plan, which sets out the agency’s objectives for the next three years. Copies of these documents have been made available in the Libraries of both Houses. The documents are also available on the Home Office website.
The move to full executive agency status is an important milestone in the development of the agency. It establishes a clear accountability framework within which the chief executive will have greater operational freedom to focus on delivering the agency’s services. At the same time, the framework agreement ensures that the agency will continue to work closely with the wider Home Office and its key delivery partners, including HM Revenue and Customs, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and the police. Later this year we hope, subject to the passage of the Borders, Citizenship and Immigration Bill, to complete the formal transfer of customs functions and staff from HM Revenue and Customs to the agency.
The agency will secure our borders and control migration for the benefit of our country and play a vital role in the Government’s work to protect the public from crime and terrorism and to protect the tax revenues which pay for public services.