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MPs publish report on UK Border Agency and Glasgow City Council

The Scottish Affairs Committee has published its report on the circumstances around the termination of the UK Border Agency’s (UKBA) contract with Glasgow City Council for the housing of asylum seekers in the council’s accommodation.

The report is highly critical of the manner in which UKBA’s London office handled notifying the Glasgow asylum seekers of changes to their housing provision, which it says was inappropriate at best and callous and inhumane at worst.

However, the Committee says the Immigration Minister responded speedily and appropriately to the situation he had been put in.

The lack of firm contingency plans at the time the contract was terminated is to be regretted and the Committee remains unclear about issues around costs and savings, as well as being unable to clarify the complete financial situation around the accommodation contract.

Matters relating to the work of UKBA in Scotland will continue to be reviewed by the Committee, including the Family Return project, and additional figures and information requested by the Committee.

Comments from the Chair

 Ian Davidson MP, Chair of the Committee, said;

"A lesson in communication mismanagement has been amply demonstrated by UKBA in its handling of this case. We must not underestimate the distress and upset caused by UKBA’s actions.

However, we are reassured that the minister acted speedily and it is now important to look forward; a number of issues surfaced during our short inquiry which we feel require further examination and we plan to hold hearings on these in due course. 

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