FDA
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FOREIGN PRISONER SCANDAL RESULT OF GOVERNMENT UNDERFUNDING

Today the union representing senior officials in the Home Office responded to a report on the failure to deport some foreign national prisoners by condemning the Government for not adequately funding its own policies on public protection.

FDA general secretary Jonathan Baume said:

“This report confirms our view that the Government failed to allocate realistic resources to this important work. The report states that a ‘20-fold increase in resources’ over the past four years was necessary to staff this work properly.

“For too long the Government has drawn up policies and priorities for the Home Office but failed to allocate the money necessary to fund those policies. As an example, one consequence has been a crisis of prison overcrowding, which has drained resources from other parts of the system. The current resources to tackle the problem of foreign national prisoners have in part been diverted from work on removing failed asylum seekers, and as a result that target is not being met.

“It is important that the report notes that civil servants successfully processed more than three times the number of cases in 2005 than in 2002, despite being extremely understaffed.

“Since this crisis has come to light actions have been taken across the Home Office to better assess priorities and risks which focus on public protection. Building on this progress will be a major challenge for the incoming Home Secretary, the fourth in three years. Any new minister must ensure that the department is resourced adequately to protect the public.”


Notes for Editors

1. The FDA is the trade union and professional body representing 17,000 of the UK’s senior civil and public servants. Our members include policy advisors, senior managers, tax inspectors, economists, statisticians, accountants, special advisers, government lawyers, diplomats, crown prosecutors and NHS managers.

2. The FDA (formerly First Division Association) should be referred to simply as "The FDA" and can be described as "the senior public servants’ union".

3. For further information contact:

• Jessica Stark, FDA head of communications, 020 7401 5587 or 07967 484 441

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