Magazine article Public Finance

Border Agency Will Meet Its Targets, Says Homer

Magazine article Public Finance

Border Agency Will Meet Its Targets, Says Homer

Article excerpt

The UK Border Agency is capable of meeting government targets for processing asylum applications, its chief executive has insisted.

Lin Homer was quizzed by the Commons home affairs select committee this week, after an independent inspector suggested that the target - to process 90% of applications within six months by December 2011 - was 'unachievable'.

In a report published on February 26, UKBA inspector John Vine warned the target could not be met "with current staffing levels'. He said that in November 2009, only 45% of applications were concluded inside six months.

But Homer told MPs that UKBA's system for dealing with asylum cases was 'worldbeating'.

'I don't believe anyone else in the world is even setting themselves a target,' she told the committee on March 2.

Vine's report also called on the agency to explain how it was going to clear a backlog of 215,000 older unprocessed applications before a July 2011 deadline.

Since 2007, 235,000 unresolved cases had been dealt with. However, committee member Janet Dean asked Homer why the agency appeared to be slipping behind, with only 15,000 being completed in the past three months, compared with 22,500 in the previous quarter. …

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