2021 Jan 14: Publishing the report, David Bolt said: For many this will seem to be a case of too little, and much too late. From ICIBI’s perspective, in 2016, and again in 2018 and 2019, a series of inspection reports recommended that the Home Office should monitor and evaluate the impact of the hostile/compliant environment. These recommendations were only “partially accepted” and never implemented. Had they been, some of the harms suffered by the Windrush generation and others may have been avoided.
- An inspection of the Home Office’s use of sanctions and penalties
- The Home Office responses to the Chief Inspector’s reports
3.1 All three operational directorates of the Home Office’s Borders, Immigration and Citizenship System (BICS) are involved in the administration of sanctions and penalties. However, current measures have been introduced piecemeal, and the inspection found little evidence of consistency or coherence in their design or in their application, and no overall strategy or underpinning rationale, beyond a broad understanding that their primary purpose is to encourage and enforce compliance rather than simply to punish breaches of the Immigration Rules.
3.2 The absence in most cases of complete and accurate performance data, in particular with regard to outcomes, means that those areas of Border Force, Immigration Enforcement and UK Visas and Immigration that administer and employ the various sanctions and penalties are not able to produce compelling evidence that they work. The fact that known problems with staffing levels, training, and guidance, and long-overdue reviews, have not to date been seen as organisational priorities adds to the sense that BICS is unsure about the true value of these measures.
3.3 The sanctions and penalties available to BICS fall into three categories: monetary administrative penalties (fines), referred to by the Home Office as “civil penalties”; enforceable undertakings, typically involving a warning, specifying the steps that a person or organisation must take in order to be compliant and to avoid a (further) penalty, and in some cases requiring them to take or refrain from a particular action or behaviour; and, denial or withdrawal of a service or privilege.
3.4 The inspection found no evidence that the relative effectiveness of these approaches, used singly, in combination or in sequence, had been seriously examined.
Read on: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/951438/An_inspection_of_the_Home_Office_s_use_of_sanctions_and_penalties__November_2019___October_2020_.pdf
ICIBI website is here: https://www.gov.uk/entering-staying-uk/inspections-of-border-immigration-asylum-services