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Independent Chief Inspector releases reports on country information, immigration litigation and status removal

Date of Publication: 
30 January 2018
Summary: 

Three new inspection reports published by the Independent Chief Inspector of Borders and Immigration

Independent Chief Inspector releases reports on country information, immigration litigation and status removal

30 January 2018
EIN

The Independent Chief Inspector of Borders and Immigration, David Bolt, has released three important new reports today.

The 88-page An inspection of the production and use of Country of Origin Information can be read here.

The report examines how the Home Office produces and uses Country of Origin Information (COI). It looks at the way COI reports are commissioned, developed and disseminated, and it also considers how COI is used within asylum processes such as interviewing, decision making, appeal hearings and when dealing with further submissions.

Notably the Chief Inspector found that the combination of country information and policy in the Home Office's publicly released COI reports is "wrong in principle". The Chief Inspector continued: "It has the effect of directing decision makers towards a predetermined outcome, particularly where a significant body of asylum decision makers are inexperienced (as a parallel inspection of Asylum Intake and Casework found), unfamiliar with COI, have insufficient time to master every detail, and are likely to interpret 'Policy" as something they are required to follow."

You can read the 60-page An inspection on learning from immigration litigation here.

This report looked at how outcomes from litigation claims against Home Office decisions and actions are used to learn lessons and drive improvements in decision quality and to reduce the risks of further litigation.

David Bolt says his focus was the mechanisms the Home Office had put in place since the creation of the Litigation Operations unit in 2013 to manage litigation claims.

The report states: "The inspection found that since its creation in 2013, and particularly in the last two years, Litigation Operations had made various process improvements and, at the time of the inspection, was looking to build on these. The inspection identified room for further improvements in the processing of claims, as well as the need for clearer communication to decision makers in other units about litigation outcomes in order to avoid the same issues giving rise to repeated claims."

The third report published today is the 40-page An inspection of the review and removal of immigration, refugee and citizenship "status" which can be read here.

The report looks at how cases of the removal of Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR), refugee status or British nationality are identified for review, how they are progressed, and the quality of decisions. It also examines Home Office record keeping, the collection and use of data and management information.

David Bolt says the removal of any of these forms of "status" is a serious step, with profound consequences for the individuals affected.

"Overall, the inspection identified significant room for improvement, particularly within the Status Review Unit. The latter had already recognised the need for change, and it is hoped that this inspection report will give its efforts added impetus," the report found.

You can access the Home Office's responses to the Chief Inspector's three reports here.