Today I am announcing the publication of the Home Office response to Darra Singh’s review of the Home Office response to the mandating of DNA for immigration purposes. The Home Secretary commissioned this review to provide independent oversight of the effectiveness of remedial action taken by the Department when the incorrect mandating of DNA evidence came to light last year.
The review recognises the considerable efforts made by the Department, once the issue came to light, to assess the scale of the problem and prevent its recurrence, and to identify those affected and take remedial action, including reimbursing DNA testing costs where appropriate. The review acknowledges that good progress has been made to update guidance on DNA and to provide training on this issue.
While the review acknowledges the hard work behind the immediate response, it comments that the effective direction provided by the critical incident process could have been put in place at an earlier stage. The review also identifies areas where the Home Office’s approach to sampling, data collection, and assurance in this instance could have been improved.
The Department accepts the recommendations made in the report and has already taken action on them. Furthermore, beyond this specific issue the Department is focused on meeting the individual needs of the public we serve by improving customer service, ensuring we better protect the vulnerable and focusing on becoming more of a listening organisation.
I will arrange for copies of the report and Home Office response to be placed in the Libraries of both Houses.
The Home Secretary and I would like to thank Darra Singh for his considerable effort in producing the report and its recommendations.